Book tip: "The Border" by Don Winslow
With "The Border," Don Winslow closes his trilogy about the "war on drugs" between the U.S. and Mexico. Fasten your seatbelt and prepare to boil over with rage. It's taken Winslow 20 years, an insane devotion to research and a profound sense of icy desperation to capture the scope, history and magnitude of this real-time horror festival. At the center of the trilogy — also including "The Power of the Dog" and "The Cartel" — is DEA agent Art Keller and quarter-century's efforts to stop narco-trafficer Adán Barrera (based on El Chapo) and all that has spiraled out from his drug empire. No matter how many times you think what you're reading can't be real — it is. No matter how many times you think it can't get worse — it does. Yes, these books are long, with dozens of astonishingly sculpted characters, but they blow through your brain like a tornado. Once you start, you'll steamroll through all three novels with a growing sense of dread and sorrow — and yet a tide of exhilaration over Winslow's art and storytelling. He'll cleave your heart and soul with depictions of human slaughter, raw governmental duplicity and the sheer scope of callous, real-life greed. And then he'll talk about Mexico! "The Border" takes us up to 2018 and life under a Trump-like president and serves as the decay-colored icing on the cake of madness. Winslow writes with the virtuosity and passion of a dark angel whose sole purpose is to take us with him while he kicks down the doors of hell and slams our heads inside for a quick peek at where we're headed. Then you realize we're already here.
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