Borderline Summary

Summary (Critical Guide to British Fiction)

On one level, Borderline is a thriller. Felicity, the owner of an art gallery, and Augustine “Gus” Kelly, a hard-drinking salesman and philanderer, are about to cross into Canada from the United States when a bizarre border incident introduces them to each other and to a world of intrigue and danger. A refrigerated-meat truck in front of them is inspected by immigration officials, who have been warned that it is being used to transport illegal aliens. Inside the truck, the officials find a dozen Salvadoran refugees, some already frozen to death. In the confusion that follows, Felicity and Gus discover Dolores Marquez hidden inside a carcass of beef, half dead from exposure. Impulsively, they smuggle her across the border.

After Felicity and Gus return to their normal lives, their humanitarian deed dogs them. They become involved in a violent struggle between warring Salvadoran political factions and intelligence forces. After a mysterious spy posing as an FBI agent tells Felicity that Dolores was brutally murdered soon after being smuggled across the border, another person telephones her to contradict that claim. Felicity and Gus, separately, try to trace her. The questions of who Dolores is, and whether she is still alive, become increasingly unclear, as do the alliances of a variety of shadowy figures who attempt to convince Felicity to help them.

While Felicity follows leads in Boston, Gus returns to the country cabin near...

(The entire section is 573 words.)

Borderline Bibliography (Critical Guide to British Fiction)

Boston Magazine. Review. LXXVII (December, 1985), p. 122.

Cameron, Elspeth. “Borders,” in Saturday Night. CI (April, 1986), p. 57.

Library Journal. Review. CX (September 15, 1985), p. 93.

The New York Times Book Review. Review. XC (September 1, 1985), p. 8.

Publishers Weekly. Review. CCXXVIII (August 9, 1985), p. 63.