2016 Tucson Festival of Books.

I’ll be signing books in booth #171 on the University of Arizona mall during the Tucson Festival of Books, March 12th and 13th. I’m working the booth with Timothy W. Moore, a Phoenix Police detective who wrote Mirandized Nation, a detailed true crime book about Ernest Miranda, Miranda’s victims, and the Phoenix detectives who tracked Miranda down. Also signing books: Robert Dukelow, who writes the Helga series. Jackie Sereno, who writes Native American crime fiction. Margaret Morse, who writes paranormal mysteries. Stop by booth # 171. We’re located just south of the UA Student Union on the UA mall.


Quotes from Charles Bowden on the Drug Wars

The Drug War

One last bit of worthless advice from me: Things in Mexico … make more sense if you realize no one can wear a white hat and survive.


Frankly I wish Mrs. Clinton and her fucking squeeze had inhaled. I suppose my anger comes from thirty thousand new corpses in Mexico but listening to this policy jargon bullshit is more than I can or will tolerate. Our policies are a death machine in Mexico, period.


Every time in a speech I explain that border security is a system for recruiting small town Americans and corrupting them by placing them in a hopeless situation where tidal waves of money wash over their lives, I am met with blank faces.


One of the realities of Mexico is that there a very few facts one can believe, except maybe one’s own death. Juarez now is well past seven hundred dead on the year [2008], and the pace is not slackening. 146 murdered in July, and a torrent of death so far this August….


You are right about shifting cards, etc., in the drug world. The Federation thing is an invention of DEA. We have a need for our enemies to be like us and so we create charts on the border….

In the case of Mexico, the structure is affinity groups constantly joining on deals and then shifting into other arrangements. … Actually, the structure DEA imagines was never that solid, but since the death of [“Juarez Cartel” leader] Amado Carrillo Fuentes, it has been a lot looser, just as the destruction of the Cali and Medellin cartels in Colombia led to sowing dragon’s teeth as many smaller outfits were able then to emerge.  http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2014/09/charles-bowden-has-died-his-voice-louder-ever

Devil’s Kitchen reviewed on Amazon United Kingdom by expat Hollywood writer Lisa Chernin Newman

5.0 out of 5 stars A Devil of a Good Read, 7 Sep 2014
This review is from: Devil’s Kitchen (Paperback)
Clark Lohr’s debut novel is a cracker! It effectively transports you to Southern Arizona and the brutal Mexican borderlands while introducing you to a lorrie load of intriguing characters, starting with protagonist Manny Aguilar — a Mexican American detective for the Tucson Sheriff’s Department — who is called in when a corpse (well, head) is discovered in the local tip. Little does Manny realise the danger he is in when he refuses to settle for easy answers in the investigation. The fast-paced story is full of twists that keep you turning the pages, but there are also some beautiful bits of prose that sometimes make you stop for a moment just to bask in their poetry. If you enjoy noir with a good dollop of mysticism mixed in, this is definitely the book for you.

Mar Preston, Manny Aguilar, and a blog hop.

Crime writer Mar Preston tagged me to blog tour, highlighting my main character, Manuel “Manny” Aguilar.  Mar can be found at marpreston.com. She writes realistic, topical, procedurals featuring Dave Mason, a Santa Monica police detective.  Mar is the author of four crime novels (so far): No Dice, Rip-off, Payback, and On Behalf of the Family.

Manuel “Manny” Aguilar makes a second appearance in The Devil on Eighty-five, having debuted as the detective hero of Devil’s Kitchen, a border noir first published in 2011. Author Priscilla Barton describes Manny better than I can: “P.I. Manny Aguilar is someone to root for: genuine, manly, feminist, and flawed in all the right ways.”

            Manny’s been a private investigator ever since he got fired from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department for being in too many gun fights. He never swears in the presence of the dead, even if he’s killed them himself. Manny’s a Mexican-American, a Latino, a Tucson High graduate who played football and then joined the sheriff’s department.

 Manny lives in the Sonoran Desert, the place where they have those Saguaro cacti that look like people—the place where the roadrunner and the coyote come from—but the Sonoran Desert is no cartoon; it is one of the harshest natural environments on earth, and there are people on this desert who are decent and ordinary, and there are others who are not, and the flaming black engine that drives the pervasive evil present here is a phenomenon called The Drug Wars, a multibillion dollar a year industry perpetuated by the failure of the United States government, and many of its citizens, to take the money out of drugs.

One day, Manny Aguilar’s boss, Jeff Goldman, a smartass criminal defense attorney, sends him out to the Tohono O’Odham Nation, an Indian reservation the size of Connecticut, to help defend an Indian cowboy accused of murdering his own wife. Manny picks up a trail leading out the west end of the reservation to a two-lane blacktop called State Route 85. Manny will risk his freedom, his life, and his relationship with the woman he loves chasing the devil on highway 85.  The Devil on Eighty-five is available on Amazon in trade paperback and Kindle editions.

The Devil on Eighty-five reviewed by Mark Sadler in Suspense magazine.

The Devil On 85 by Clark Lohr – a review

Posted: 03 Aug 2014 12:59 PM PDT

“We have seen the enemy and he is us,” said Walt Kelly’s satirically political cartoon character Pogo, which brings to mind that any time the government gets involved in a situation there is bound to be a SNAFU.


Private eye Manny Aquilar follows several dead-end leads in an attempt to discover who murdered Lois Donahue, the wife of a Tohono O’Odham Indian, Donnie, who has recently been released from jail. The Native American has been re-arrested; after all he is the prime suspect, a husband with a violent past; but what husband would mutilate his bride in this fashion and burn her body? The facts just don’t add to Manny.


The investigation leads to a town on the rez, Ajo, Arizona where the line of questioning discovers possible reprisals from the cartels over drug and gun smuggling, not a family argument gone awry, and Manny finds himself in a shootout that leaves Lois’s sister, Evelyn, dead and Donnie critically wounded.


Highway 85, the ‘Devil’s Highway’ that Luis Urrea introduced too in his great book of that title, is a dangerous drug corridor where death awaits smugglers, and money changes hands for the control of the rampant evil between the cartels and those hired to enforce the laws. Guns and drugs cross the border for a profit and sometimes private citizens get caught in the crossfire, or become part of the set-up, like it or not.


Buckle up if you want to survive as Lohr takes us along on this bumpy ride down the Devil’s Highway in this intelligent and fast-paced race into hell and back.