A seemingly innocent traffic accident one Saturday afternoon in a small Louisiana town leads to the discovery of a major drug smuggling network operating out of rural East Texas. The subsequent drug trafficking investigation soon runs headlong into a major FBI money laundering investigation, as it becomes apparent that the small-town drug trafficking operation is part of a sophisticated money laundering enterprise extending into Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America.
A brother and sister inherit a financially struggling East Texas lumber mill two decades earlier. To help shore up the finances, they enter a Faustian Bargain where they agree to use their transportation network to distribute drugs (cocaine, and later meth) for an old friend from Mexico to the Southeast and Midwest. The brother runs the mill and the logistics/shipping operation, while his sister is responsible for legitimizing the proceeds through investments in real estate, restaurants, college athletics, and entertainment to create a diverse and sustainable money-laundering system.
By the time law enforcement even becomes aware of their existence, the siblings are already laundering several hundred million dollars a year, including more than $70 million a year through the local private university.
THE CAJUN PIÑATA is the fifth book in the Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series.
An international medical conglomerate secretly creates a state-of-the-art surgical center within the Texas Medical Center district in Houston to perform organ transplants for wealthy patients desperate to find a suitable match at any price.
The concierge-style operation uses a public clinic in Monterrey, Mexico, to source its organ matches, unbeknownst to the impoverished donors, who are led to believe they will simply be donating a kidney.
FBI Special Agent Cortez, while investigating possible cartel connections to the recent murder of a prominent Houstonian, instead uncovers a scheme so despicable that it shocks even the most hardened of law enforcement officers.
HEART OF GOLD is the fourth book in the Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series.
Selected as a Finalist for 2021 Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller!
In a daring nighttime raid, a notorious Venezuelan terrorist is broken out of a remote prison compound buried deep in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. In the months following his escape, strange things begin to happen in Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana.
At the urgent request of the CIA, FBI Special Agent Pete Cortez is temporarily assigned to the FBI’s Legal Attaché office in the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, where he and Agency officer Clarice Robideaux are given the task of finding out not only who freed the Venezuelan, but more importantly, why.
As Cortez and Robideaux follow the spidery tentacles of an intricate conspiracy with a global reach, their investigation leads them through a dizzying array of military, political, intelligence, law enforcement, and business interests, few of whom are really what they seem.
What do all these seemingly disparate people have in common? The Venezuelan.
THE VENEZUELAN is the third book in the Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series.
A fully-loaded supertanker anchored sixty miles off the Texas coast suddenly begins hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, and FBI Special Agents Pete Cortez and Teri Barnhart quickly determine the vessel has been deliberately sabotaged.
There are strong indications that whoever was behind the first attack is planning another—and soon—as Cortez and Barnhart navigate the treacherous world of oil, politics and environmentalism in hopes of unraveling the mystery of who sabotaged the supertanker, why they put the marine habitat of the entire Gulf Coast at risk to do it, and why they’d kill to keep their secret hidden.
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS is the second book in the Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series.
Two criminal oligarchs—one Mexican, the other French—secretly join forces to make their extensive logistics and distribution networks available to global terrorists ... with terrifying consequences.
The assembly area for their incursions into the United States is a weekend retreat (Rancho Buena Fortuna) on the southern banks of the Rio Grande owned for generations by a prominent Monterrey family. Carrying out these operations are a mercurial Venezuelan terrorist known as Fósforo, and a young Stanford-educated engineer named Graciela Montoya.
Standing between them and the deaths of thousands of innocents is FBI Special Agent Porfirio "Pete" Cortez, whose career is on thin ice as vultures in blue suits circle in for the kill.
RANCHO BUENA FORTUNA is the first book in Bill King's Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series, and is set amid the gritty landscape of south Texas. If you enjoy idiosyncratic characters like John Sandford's Lucas Davenport, you'll love Pete Cortez.
My next novel, which I have tentatively titled THE GRINGO SAFARI, will be the first book in the new Doc Gunther mystery series. It is scheduled for publication in June 2022.
Doc Gunther (who has made several appearances in earlier Pete Cortez novels) is a modern-day Texas Ranger currently assigned to Company D of the Rangers, whose area of responsibility runs along the US-Mexico border, from South Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico to Val Verde County (including Del Rio and Lake Amistad) in the west.
Coming in June 2022.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The sixth novel in the Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series, which I am currently in the process of writing, is scheduled for release in December 2022.