1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:                                          

The brutal murder leads Detective Lombardo to discover a war raging between a cartel that is seeking to legalize drugs and the American agency that would like to stop them.

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why?

Detective Guillermo Lombardo because he is the last of a dying breed: the kind of policeman that believes that “doing the right thing” and seeking “justice for the little guy” is not only his job but his way of life.

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

I would develop the secondary characters (the drug lord, the DEA agents, the American counselate members, the Mexican politicians) more. This would allow me to explore the questions of corruption, both the kind brought on by economic gain and hunger for power, the social conditions that lead the young and the uneducated to work for the cartels, the power plays between governments (both the Mexican conservative government as well as the conservative elements of the American government), and the consequences for innocent people of “the drug wars”.

4.) Give us an interesting fun fact about your book or series:

I do not know if can call it a “fun” fact but I would like to add that many of the events of the novel are based on true events. They did not happen in the same sequence but similar things did happened and I was witness to several of them.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can e-mail me: ropena@gmail.com, we can chat: ropena@Lycos.com or if you are willing you can call me at +33 5 5903-2756 (I live in France).

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?

There is another “Guillermo Lomardo” book in the works. It is set in Paris and has to do with art confiscated by the Nazis and collaborationist during WWII and the illegal market that has bee developed to sell it through auction houses, and the efforts of survivors and descendants of survivors of the Holocaust to reclaim the art. I also have outlines for two more books in the “Guuillermo Lombardo” series: they are set in Mexico City and in a small border town called Nuevo Laredo. As a break from crime fiction, I plan to do a memoir of meeting and marrying my French wife. I plan to call it “I Married a French Woman, and Other Horror Stories”.

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

Chapter 1: Victor Disappears

Victor Delgado left the University’s computer center a few minutes past one in the morning. He started his car and pulled out of his private parking spot. As he turned into the main boulevard of the University campus, a car parked in a side street started its engine and slowly pulled out of its parking space a few seconds after Victor’s car went past it.

The traffic was light in the streets of Monterrey at that hour, yet Victor drove slowly, carefully, just as he did everything else in his life. Victor was a methodical young man, and his training as a computer engineer perfectly suited his conscientious, careful manner.

The three men in the car following Victor’s were careful and patient, too. The driver of the car made sure that Victor was unaware that he was being followed; he used whatever other cars came along as shields and as cover.

When Victor turned into Figueroa Avenue, the man sitting in the passenger’s seat of the car that was following Victor’s said, “This is it; cut him off.”

The car with the three men jumped forward in a burst of speed and the driver expertly maneuvered in front of Victor’s car and stopped. Victor tried to avoid hitting the car that had suddenly appeared in front of him, but even at the relatively slow speed at which he was driving, it was impossible: Victor’s car swerved, hit the left-rear side of the car in front of him and broke its back light.

Before he could get out of his car to inspect the damage, the three men jumped out of their car and ran toward Victor’s. Startled, Victor pushed a button to open his window and apologize, but before the glass was halfway down, one of the men opened Victor’s car door, grabbed his arm, and dragged the young man out of the car.

Victor hardly had time to make out the three dark silhouettes grabbing at him before a blow to the back of his head made him lose consciousness.

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