Meza Azul prison in Arizona is supposed to be proof of what private enterprise can do for the nation’s prison system. Superior in design and featuring state of the art controls, it was constructed to hold the worst of the worst from across the nation. It wasn’t supposed to allow an escape or for an inmate to be able to lead a rebellion and take over the prison. That is until now.
Timothy Driver has instigated a rebellion and as their leader, has over 100 guards and workers hostage. He intendeds to kill a hostage every six hours until Frank Corso comes to him. The same Frank Corso who profiled the former submarine commander in a best selling book after his sensational murder trial. Corso thinks all Driver wants is for Corso to tell Driver’s story again in exchange for the freedom of the hostages.
Driver has other plans as he walks the slippery slope of sanity. He also has accomplices and despite his apparent growing break with reality, manages not only to escape the facility with Corso as his newest hostage, but to leave mayhem and death in his wake while constantly eluding law enforcement.
While G. M. Ford portrays law enforcement as bumbling idiots from time to time, especially in the federal ranks, that tone is not directed at them in this novel. While Frank Corso in his recurring role as the difficult reporter/author does make a few comments, most of his scorched speech and thought is aimed at the national media and their attempts to sensationalize a story no matter what it is. In this case, it works in the form of the character Melanie Harris, who rode her own emotional trudge of the death of her young child into celebrity pundit expertise and eventually became host of a reality based television show dedicated to hunting down criminals and putting them back behind bars. The allusion to a certain long running televion show on FOX stations around the country are many and at times the thin veneer of fiction is almost non-existent.
Series fans that hoped for a quick return of Meg will surely be disappointed. She remains gone and without contact, which may exacerbate Corso’s legendary by now “death wish.” Or not as the novel is certainly open to reader interpretation on that matter. What isn’t open is the fact that this novel is a hard-edged violence filled book that continues the character well and provides another strong entry in this very enjoyable series.
No Man’s Land
By G. M. Ford
William Morrow/Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN # 0-06-055482-7
More next time and as always feel free to drop me a note here or at Kevin_tipple@att.net with your comments, observations, and suggestions.
Thanks for reading!
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005
1 hour ago