To See It Through. By Jose Munoz. ISBN: 978-1-951088-08-8. $19.96

6" x 9" Black & White on Cream paper 210 pages

Because her curiosity gets the better of her, Diana Solis is a witness to a murder by the hands of her ex-lover, Rodrigo Flores, who is now trying to track her down. As luck would have it, Diana’s old high school boyfriend and author, Bobby Martinez, comes to town, and with no one to turn help her out of this nightmare, she asks for his assistance. As Bobby tries to formulate a plan, Dr. James Black, Bobby’s editor and a former US Intelligence operative comes for a visit, and after hearing Diana’s story, he remembers that someone owes him a favor. Locating the whereabouts of said indebted, Dr. Black flies to Berlin, Germany and enlists Alexander Tupov, ex-KGB officer and current member of the Russian mafia, to help him with his client’s friend’s predicament. Alex accepts the mission because despite being in the mafia and a drug supplier, he is also a man who keeps his word. As Alex takes over the operation, Diana and Bobby get reacquainted and Bobby learns of her immigrant smuggling operation, unique in that Diana’s Organization did not charge immigrants to cross. Bobby goes on a mission with Diana and gets to interact with the people who come into the United States. All are hardworking immigrants with a job already waiting for them. Slowly, Diana Solis has a metamorphosis from a person who had everything done for her to a person who needs to take charge of her life. She deals with her past, first coming home for the first time since high school, then with the friends who she abandoned, and then with her current predicament. There is a transformation that lets her see that for her to be in charge of her life, she has to push herself to confront the terror that she is experiencing.

With Diana and Bobby back in their hometown, Alex and Dr. Black arrange a meeting with Rodrigo, to try and take a less violent approach to ending this problem, but Rodrigo either does not believe him or he does not care. This is an important point because Alex is Rodrigo’s cocaine supplier, and Alex cannot eliminate the person who helps him make money. Diana calls Rodrigo and sets up a meeting in a public place, and it is here that Rodrigo shocks Diana by letting her know that he knows all about her friend who is trying to help her. This causes Diana to leave the hotel and be in the comfort of her friends from her Organization. This becomes the turning point for Diana, who feels responsible for exposing her friend to danger. Diana knows what she must do. She flies to California to prepare herself for the eventual meeting with Rodrigo. While Diana is away from El Paso, Bobby meets a young coed, and they end up spending the night together. The coed asks Bobby if she can take him to a girlfriend’s home to introduce him to her, and Bobby agrees, but it’s nothing how he had pictured. The coed delivers Bobby right into the hands of Rodrigo. After probing Bobby for information, he scares him by firing his weapon near Bobby’s head, then he is released. Diana comes back from California ready to confront Rodrigo. Alex and Dr. Black go into the planning stages to find the perfect place in the Sonoran Desert. After Diana learns about Bobby’s kidnapping, it makes her more resolute to confront Rodrigo. She calls him and tells him to meet her in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Meanwhile, Alex must be certain that Rodrigo’s partner Saul, is ready to take over the drug business, so to make sure Saul is on board, Alex orders his kidnapping with the ultimatum of either taking over the business or dying. He agrees to take over but tells Alex that he will let Rodrigo know that his life is in danger. With everything in place, Alex, Diana, Bobby, and Dr. Black head into the Sonoran Desert for their meeting with Rodrigo. It is a cat and mouse game filled with tension and suspense, as both Diana and Rodrigo need to draw first blood. In the end, Diana takes care of her problem. In the epilogue, a celebration party is held for Diana, and a gift is presented to Alex. He then donates part of his fee to Diana’s cause, which gives her an idea on how continue with her Operation. In the end Diana is finally free to pursue her education, where she realizes majoring in a certain subject area will help her to continue running the operation from relative safety.

TO SEE IT THROUGH is unique in several ways. First, readers are taken into the world of immigrant smuggling, only with Diana’s Organization, there is a twist. Diana and her group do not charge people being brought in. The families are vetted to ensure that they only bring in hard working people who want to live their American dream. Another way that TO SEE IT THROUGH stands out is that readers get into the mind of those hoping to come over for a better life, explaining their hopes and dreams. The subject of honor also plays an important role in this novel, as Alexander Tupov understands the importance of paying a debt. He realizes that his life would have been entirely different, and drab had his Cold War nemesis turned him over to the authorities; Alex recognizes this, and he gladly accepts the job to clear his debt. TO SEE IT THROUGH’s setting could be Any Valley, USA; its characters your next door neighbors; its conflict is pulled from today’s headline. It’s a story of Diana and Bobby. It’s the story of each of us.

 

 

 


Jose Muñoz