I received a copy of The Garbage Sifter from Barry Jones for my honest review. I am delighted to say that the book is a fast-paced espionage page-turner – definitely a cool read with a lot of twists and turns, so if you are into the spy genre, I would say go for it.
In the first section of the novel, Camila Sanchez, the newly widowed wife of an Argentinian police officer, has become a garbage sifter in order to make ends meet. Under the protection of her husband’s friends, she has staked her claim on a territory a few blocks in radius to collect refuse that she then sells or shreds of paper that she uses to learn to read English. On one of her trash collecting jaunts, she finds a half-shredded confidential US government document. Realizing this is her one and only ticket out of abject poverty, Camila bribes an Argentine intelligence official with the contents of the document to get the money she needs to make a better life for herself, her young son, and her ailing mother.
We find out that the CIA is planning to infiltrate the Argentine government who are supplying infrastructure to the connected and powerful Mexican Gulf drug cartel by inserting a computer worm into their communications system to collect emails, and then using the data to take down the higher ups in the ring. Texan computer genius Eduardo Rodriguez discovers that the Argentine communications system does not function and ends up fixing it in order to collect the intel. When push comes to shove, a rogue Argentine police officer hunts Camila for the role she played in the scandal. I won’t go into further detail because I don’t want to ruin the suspense for anyone, but it suffices to say that Camila’s sale of this key information incites a ripple effect that puts everyone involved in danger.
The second section of the book focuses on the newly popular designer sex drug Rosario 5 and its connection with the attempt to ruin the campaign of a presidential candidate, while the last section hones in on the chaos wrought in America and Argentina by the sex drug, with “Paradise Parties,” similar to the San Francisco orgies of the past, becoming commonplace surrounding the developing Rosario 5 sex drug culture. Genius hacker Eduardo Rodriguez returns with Argentine agent Elina Cristina Aguilar to find where Rosario 5 is being produced and put a stop to it.
Author Barry Jones is a retired scientist turned storyteller. A member of Tennessee’s Explorastory club, the author shares his stories at speaking engagements and book readings within his community. Jones was named Industrial Scientist of the Year in 1998 by the Tennessee Academy of Science, holds a United States Soccer Federation “A” license, and in 2003, was inducted into the Tennessee State Soccer Hall of Fame for professional coaching at the adult and youth levels. Avid travelers and wildlife photographers, Jones and his wife live in Hendersonville, Tennessee; they have two grown sons. The Garbage Sifter is Jones’s fourth novel.