Renee @It’sBookTalk began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. I’ve wanted to join this meme for a long time and I thought it would be a great idea because it forces me to read books from the TBR and not only new releases. And, of course, I can also include some old favorites!
The prequel to The Cartel, and set about 10 years earlier, The Power of the Dog introduces a brilliant cast of characters. 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.
The Power of the Dog is one of the most popular books by Don Winslow. Up until this year, I hadn’t read any of his books, but now, after The Force and this one, I know he’ll become one of my favorites authors. These are not mystery books, they aren’t psychological thrillers either… they’re just books about cops and criminals, about gangsters and drug cartels. And they’re books that you can’t help but picture the movie in your head while you’re reading.
The Power of the Dog is an epic saga spanning many years and it tells the story of Art Keller and his never-ending obsession. His own particular war against drug cartels. Reading this book was like watching the show Narcos or El Chapo (it’s supposedly inspired by the latter) and let’s be honest here, the book is full of despicable people and evil criminals doing terrible stuff. Still, what I loved about this story was that you could root for the main character, Art. He didn’t always play nice, but only because there’s no other way to do things in Mexico. I find that fascinating. I also loved the priest, Juan Parada, and Nora, as complicated as she was.
My edition had over 700 pages but I never got bored and I completely devoured the last 200 pages. The ending is equally good and devastating, but I guess life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It was almost comical. I’ll hopefully read the sequel: The Cartel, soon.
P.S They’re doing a movie based on The Cartel and directed by Ridley Scott. I read that they wanted Leo DiCaprio to play Art, but come on, he’s supposed to be part Latino! As much as I love Leo, I don’t want him playing that part. You know who I’d love to see? Oscar Isaac. He’s a great actor, he was born in Guatemala and, he’s handsome 😉