Porfirio "Pete" Cortez IV is the protagonist in a series of FBI mystery/thriller novels written by Bill King.
The son of an American petroleum engineer, Pete was born and raised in Venezuela before returning to the U.S. for college, the fourth generation of his family to attend Texas A&M University. Following five years in the Army, during which he served combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Cortez left active military service to begin a new career as an FBI agent. He is currently assigned to the Bureau's Houston Field Office.
If you enjoy quirky characters from authors like John Sandford, Robert B. Parker, and Elmore Leonard, you’ll love the Pete Cortez thrillers.
“A gritty FBI Thriller with jaw-dropping twists. King’s portrayal of the convoluted world of cross-border criminality, politics and business feels completely fresh.” — BestThrillers.com
“An intriguing mystery novel that explores crime near the border and the implications of greed.” — Kirkus Reviews
A junior official with the Mexican Consulate in Houston is abducted, his $600,000 automobile left abandoned in a pharmacy parking lot. In what initially appears to be a simple case of a wealthy foreign dilettante being held for ransom, FBI Special Agent Pete Cortez is assigned the task of securing the young consular official’s safe return and apprehending his kidnappers.
The problems begin when the family of the victim insists on dealing directly with the kidnappers, excluding both the FBI and the Houston Police Department. The task becomes even more complicated when rumors emerge about the true source of the family’s enormous wealth.
Who kidnapped Pepe Alonso? Was it a rival Mexican cartel looking to cripple a competitor? One of the myriad local Houston gangs hoping for a big payday? A rightwing Texas militia group looking to finance its future operations? Could it be the Mexican government…or perhaps even the U.S. government? Or could it be someone else entirely?
Above all, is the carefree young consular official truly what he has been publicly made out to be?
THE CONSULAR OFFICIAL is the sixth book in the Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series.
"A must-read for fans of true crime as well as crime fiction." — Kirkus Reviews
"An exciting crime drama with well-developed characters...a perfect blend of suspense and realism to keep readers engaged." — Kirkus Reviews
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.
"Not since Mario Puzo’s The Godfather have I read such a fascinating, fast-paced novel that delves into the world of procuring and selling human organs! A must read!" — Amazon Reviewer
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.
"The best new adventure writer and book series on the market!" — Amazon Reviewer
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.
"Hard to believe this is Bill King’s first published novel. He is a truly gifted story teller and I am looking forward to the further adventures of Pete Cortez." — Amazon Reviewer
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 jumping off point for their incursions into the United States is an idyllic 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 Pete Cortez novel, as yet untitled, will be the seventh book in the Pete Cortez FBI Thriller series. It is tentatively scheduled for publication in the summer of 2025.
As I get closer to the publication, I will be sharing some stuff about the plot and characters so stay tuned for more details. Also, follow me on my Amazon Author Page, as well as on my Facebook page, for periodic updates on the progress.