Friday, August 23, 2019

Don Winslow: The Power of the Dog

First I want to thank Char's Horror Corner for reading, reviewing and then recommending this book to me. 

Don Winslow shows the readers what the war on drugs really looks like:

Alright normally I would write the premise of the book here but this book is fairly complex and truly the  war on drugs is what this book is about, when, where and why it started are all covered in this book but it is so much more than that. You as the reader get to know each side of that story and the characters that go along with it. I do not think any premise I write would do this book justice or show the complexity that this book has, so I'm just going to use the premise that Winslow (I'll assume) approved to be used for the book:
"Art Keller is an obsessive DEA agent. The Barrera brothers are heirs to a drug empire. Nora Hayden is a jaded teenager who becomes a high-class hooker. Father Parada is a powerful and incorruptible Catholic priest. Callan is an Irish kid from Hell’s kitchen who grows up to be a merciless hit man. And they are all trapped in the world of the Mexican drug Federación. From the streets of New York City to Mexico City and Tijuana to the jungles of Central America, this is the war on drugs like you’ve never seen it."

Wow, it has been awhile since I have read a book like this and awhile since a book blew me away like this one. From start to finish I was hooked on reading and though there are times where I felt the need to look away I did not, I needed to know what was going to happen next. This book is BRUTAL and I mean that as a very high compliment. Winslow is not afraid to tell it how it was (is?) or sugar coat any of the facts or what it was like in Mexico and USA at the time this book takes place. You need to prepare yourself before you read this book. There are going to be actions, scenes and outcomes that are brutal, disgusting and crazy but it speaks to Winslow not wanting to gloss what happen, these were people's lives back then and it was (and still is) a deadly game.

You can tell that Winslow did his research and knows his stuff around the drug trades, DEA, corruption, money laundering and the brutality that the Cartels and the Mob use to get the job done. I will be the first to admit that I did not know much about the war on drugs between Mexico and USA until I watched Mexico Narcos on Netflixs (which I watched before this book and really this book blows that show away, which is saying something as that show was amazing too). You can also see the similarities between the two as several things happen in Winslow's book that are also featured some what on the show. Now don't go saying that Winslow copied Narcos Mexico, the book was released in 2005 way before the show, what Winslow uses to frame the scope and plot of the book are the actual events that are presented in the show and not the show itself, so yeah once again Winslow did his research.

I liked the multiple points of views, from the DEA agent Art Keller to The Barrera brothers to the Mob in NYC to everything in-between, you really get an idea of the scope of the drug and police operations (and at times lack there of) that were occurring out of Mexico and the United States. Winslow tries to cover all of that in this book and I will say he succeeded. Due to the ground that Winslow covers in the book, it should not come as a shock that there are multiple points of view and this was really the only way to truly tell this story. And this book is not just one story but multiple ones that intersect more than once over the time span of the book.

This series lived up to the recommendation and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. I look forward to see where the story goes from here, I'm totally hooked.

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