The sequel to Winslow’s page-turner Power of the Dog, the Cartel takes our tale of the Mexican drug trade to the present day and includes the rise of the ultra-violent new breed of narcos such as the Zetas. In writing and character development, perhaps a better book than Power of the Dog, this one (befitting the changes in the drug game) is also much, much more violent. This is a compelling indictment of the drug war, and a chilling reminder of the human price paid in Mexico for American’s desire to get high. If you can handle the decapitations, sexual violence and random murder of innocents, then this is a power read.
The Power of the Dog
Wow, what a read. A top-notch crime writer does the research and takes the time to understand the modern origins of the drug war in Mexico, then tells that story through the lives of petty criminals, cartel bosses, DEA agents and regular people caught up in the drug war.
Its an ugly and complicated story, and in this book, Winslow only gets to the 1990s (the sequel The Cartel, takes us to the present day). Along the way we touch on Iran/Contra, NAFTA, the end days of the Italian mafia, the rise of the narco-cartels, and much more. Lots of people get killed, everyone gets corrupted. Its a depressing, but captivating ride. If you want a well written popular novel, and don’t mind a bit of gore, this is the book for you.