The Cartel - Don Winslow

The Cartel

Author: Don Winslow

  • Publication Date: 2015-06-23
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
4.5 Score: 4.5
(From 917 Ratings)



From the internationally best-selling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping, true-to-life, ripped-from-the-headlines epic story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars.

It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adán Barrera, the head of El Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Finally putting Barrera away cost Keller dearly—the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead.

Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice—or is it revenge?—becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains, and deserts of Mexico to Washington’s corridors of power to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona.
Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico’s drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera—and himself—that he always knew must happen.

The Cartel is a story of revenge, honor, and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul. It is the story of the war on drugs and the men—and women—who wage it.

From the Hardcover edition.


  • Amazing

    By ChefZombie$$
    Read a long book in two days it was that good.
  • Great story. Way too long.

    By EvoATL
    Although the author is amazing and the book is entertaining, we almost could do without a third of the book and still get 95% of the story. If you have a lot of time on your hands. Go for it.
  • The Cartel

    By Wolfie10,000
    Wonderfully written. Great story. Don Winslow should be the one making drug policy for the US. The futility of the War on Drugs. We lost, very very very bad guys won. Winslow tell a great story. He changed my thinking about the drug laws. He doesn't say it, nor do I know if he believes it. He just tell the story. Drugs have to be made legal. No way to stop them coming across the border. Drug trade has helped lead to the disintegration of the Mexican state. US is partially responsible. Of course, corrupt Mexican politicians are also responsible. I've read other books by Winslow and they are all great. He has something to say that is important to all Americans. George Will wrote a column about his books and George Will being someone I greatly admire, I immediately went and purchased this one. Every America should read this. Shawn Bayer
  • As wearying as its protagonist

    By Gallery wag
    A lot of mansplaining the war on drugs and some improbable action sequences. Pretty tedious for a supposed thriller.
  • Great book!

    By JSGrundy
    Another great read. Quick pace and good characters.
  • Amazing!

    By A'toool
    One of the best books I've ever read. Happened upon it in the popular reading section at the library and gave it a shot. Glad I did. Didn't want it to end even as brutal as it was. Really gets into the intracacies of the drug war and shows how the whole Mexican country and government can be corrupted and the American role of fueling the drug violence. Bravo Mr. Winslow, this book was nothing short of perfect. I'm reading Power of the Dog now. Kind of wish I'd read it first to get the complete story in order but after finishing the Cartel I needed more and had to the back story to these characters.
  • Action Packed

    By Cyber_Grunt
    Graphic novel based on actual atrocities that took place. Interesting read!
  • Suspenseful

    By Stinkycameltoe
    What a great and vivid book! I love cartels, drugs, and violence and this book has it all! Even though it's fictional there is so much truth behind it!
  • Wow!

    By Hojolaw
    As compelling a book as it gets. Although the subject matter was disturbing to say the least, the book was thoroughly enjoyable.
  • One of Winslow's Best!

    By solanagirl
    Could not put this one down. Have long been a huge fan of Don Winslow and always feel that way about his books....however this one even more so! It's heartbreaking, it's cruel,raw and at times it makes you seriously wonder about the eventual fate of mankind. This is fiction but inspired by real events and sadly not that far from reality.