The Cartel

The Cartel

A Novel

Book - 2017
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The New York Times bestselling second novel in the explosive Power of the Dog series--an action-filled look at the drug trade that takes you deep inside a world riddled with corruption, betrayal, and bloody revenge.

Book Two of the Power of the Dog Series

It's 2004. Adán Barrera, kingpin of El Federación, is languishing in a California federal prison. Ex-DEA agent Art Keller passes his days in a monastery, having lost everything to his thirty-year blood feud with the drug lord. Then Barrera escapes. Now, there's a two-million-dollar bounty on Keller's head and no one else capable of taking Barrera down. As the carnage of the drug war reaches surreal new heights, the two men are locked in a savage struggle that will stretch from the mountains of Sinaloa to the shores of Veracruz, to the halls of power in Washington, ensnaring countless others in its wake. Internationally bestselling author Don Winslow's The Cartel is the searing, unfiltered epic of the drug war in the twenty-first century.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2015.
ISBN: 9780525436515
0525436510
Characteristics: 752 pages :,map ;,20 cm.

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h
hamerkop
Jul 14, 2019

This is pulp fiction at best. While it traces the actual history of the Mexican civil war over control of the drug trade, and somewhat notes USA complicity; that is, the violence is a consequent of the misguided USA led "war on drugs", the novel wages war on Mexico and Mexicans. Is this depiction typical American racism? Or is it a fair account of the mayhem that has occurred? While the American agent hero, Art Keller is presented as a cold blooded killer, the only survivors of this tale are this agent and an American drug dealer. Won't waste my time reading more of this author's propaganda.

d
dsw3914
Jun 28, 2019

Wow. So much killing! If the very descriptive telling of human slaughter in various forms might bother you, better skip this one. One might think it is all made up but one would be wrong. The author even says that while it is fiction, it is based on many actual events. In fact, I just finished reading a story in the June 2019 issue of Texas monthly that told of a mother trying to find her disappeared daughter that vanished back in 2010 I think in the midst of many of the events told in this book. The missing daughter and mother are both Mexican citizens. She disappeared from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas which borders Texas for about 200 miles. I will read the 3rd of the series but have to take a break I think. Curious to see where it goes as several of the main characters of the first 2 of the series have died.

b
birdonthehorizon
Nov 19, 2018

Reads like both a documentary and a potboiler. The violence, the human cruelty--it would be impossible to measure just how depraved a picture of human nature rises from these pages. Not recommended for the bedside, that's for sure. Winslow's research seems thorough and penetrating. The violence and depravity do not, alas, seem at all inflated or gratuitous. One is convinced that, yes, this is the world human beings have made. And as the author makes clear, it is not the Mexican or Colombian drug lords or their minions alone who are responsible for this hell on earth. They exist because there are markets for their products, and no need guessing where those markets are. It is a gruesome read that demonstrates how vulnerable is the veneer of humanism at various social levels and clarifies, if that needed clarifying, why so many of the poor to the south of our borders risk their lives to escape.

k
kennethek
Mar 04, 2018

Reader Dannnn got this right. You want beaucoup violence? You got. This reader made it half way, nada mas. Winslow is however, a very clever and good writer, and great dialogue -ist who weaves his stories very well. "The Force" "less" violent and better character development.

d
dannnn
Sep 10, 2017

This will be my last read by Winslow. It is compared to the Godfather but it doesn't compare. It is somewhat like the movie scarface, but doesn't get there either. Way to long. It reads more like a detail history but is fiction trying to copy history. Develops characters to just have them butchered. I almost just dropped it several times, kept thinking it would get more complex and interesting, but didn't, just more of the same blood and guts. At the end who care what happens to the main character? No one.

I think he wanted to have a novel that was turned into a movie. Why didn't he just write a screen play. I won't see the movie. If I want blood I'll watch the news.

s
seeker472
Jun 20, 2017

A novel about the brutal Mexican drug wars. Winslow spares no sensibilities in the brutal
descriptions of the violence and treachery. One of the best novels I have read recently.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 22, 2016

This is an intricate, devastatingly brutal novelization of the 'War on Drugs' with Art Keller and Adan Barrera representing each side. Spanning 10 years this is a sweeping epic unlike any other I've read.

7
7626dee
Jul 31, 2016

You owe it to yourself to read this book to try to understand what this endless war on drugs has created. This is a work of fiction but the facts are probably worse. Columbia and Mexico have been effectively destroyed as nations by the drug culture and the developed nations of the world are the consumers. Without the consumer there is are no drug cartels!

l
lino_coria
Jul 19, 2016

What an exciting read. It is obvious Don Winslow did a lot of research before writing this book: most of the incidents are based on real events (sadly). He is also very familiar with Mexican culture beyond the typical Day of the Dead stuff. He knows how people think, behave... he knows where they hang out. The characters are three-dimensional, all believable. The Cartel is also a very exciting thriller. I only have very minor issues (some misspellings in Spanish and the epilogue).

k
kelliyfults
Jun 19, 2016

Like the present-day cartel wars, there is so much redundant violence in this book... (I read both books in this series). I had my heart broken and my stomach turned. The killings just go on and on. The senselessness of one-up-man-ship and payback are clear... My favorite characters were NOT the antagonists, but the 'normal' working-class Mexicans who get caught in the crossfire. And most-of all, the brave journalists who fight patriotically with their pens and their voices...

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lino_coria
Jul 12, 2016

lino_coria thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

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