“Call Him Mine” by Tim Macgabhann— Andrew and Carlos

Macgabhann, Tim. “Call Him Mine”, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2020.

Andrew and Carlos

Amos Lassen

Andrew is a reporter and he and his boyfriend, Carlos are tired of going through what was left of Mexico’s drug war and feel that there is nothing new to be found out about it. But then, they find a body that even the police are too afraid to look at and they realize what started out as just another assignment becomes the kind of story that all reporters dream of.

Andrew is an Irish journalist living and working in Mexico City when he and Carlos come across the body of a person brutally murdered by a cartel. When Carlos asks too many questions about it, he is killed and Andrew is faced with a dilemma – turn the other way or begin to examine the killings which lead back to oil fields, corporate boardrooms, and people who have been silenced in horrible ways.

Mexico City comes alive as we read as does the danger that Andrew faces. That danger is indeed part of the culture of the locale and while Andrew is often physically affected by it, he plods forward. Writer Tim Macgabhann is well aware of what he writes. He explains the workings of Mexican power structures and the complicated role that foreign journalists assume. He writes with prose that pulls us in and the story becomes more exciting step-by-step. It is a page-turning thriller.

From the moment that Andrew and Carlos find the mutilated corpse in an alleyway on their way home from Poza Rica, the one-time oil capital of Mexico to their home in Mexico City. From this gruesome, the story moves forward at a rapid pace and is filled with  violence and death as a plot involving connections between American and Mexican businesses is uncovered. The situations Andrew finds himself in are tense yet with wonderful moments of romance and light relief.

At the end of the novel, we learn the truth behind the fiction. I found it fascinating that amid the violence and evil there is a queer love story, something we do not get a lot of in thrillers.

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