Arturo Perez-Reverte Queen of the South

ISBN 13: 9780142800713

Queen of the South

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9780142800713: Queen of the South

Güero Dávila is a pilot engaged in drug-smuggling for the local cartels. Teresa Mendoza is his girlfriend, a typical narco’s morra, quiet, doting, submissive. But then Güero’s caught playing both sides and in Sinaloa that means death.

Teresa finds herself alone, terrified, friendless and running to save her life, carrying nothing but a gym bag containing a pistol and a notebook that she has been forbidden to read. Forced to leave Mexico, she flees to the Spanish city of Melilla where she meets Santiago Fisterra, a Galician involved in trafficking hashish across the Strait of Gibraltar. When Santiago’s partner is captured, it is Teresa who steps in to take his place. Now Teresa has plunged into the dark and ugly world that once claimed Güero’s life - and she’s about to get in deeper . . .

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Product Description:

Derived from factual evidence, Perez-Reverte brings us a surprising novel with an interesting twist. Teresa Mendoza is nicknamed 'The Queen of the South' by journalists, and 'The Mexican' by the authorities of three continents. She narrates her story as it unfolded in Mexico over 12 years ago.

Review:

The Queen of the South is the latest in an impressive line of quite mesmerising novels by Arturo Perez-Reverte in which he has refined and enriched a narrative tradition stretching back to his great forbears of the past. In books such as The Fencing Master and The Dumas Club, the author demonstrates that he is a master of finely-honed storytelling techniques, impatient with the thin gruel we are so often served up today, and eager to cram his books with the kind of fastidious detail and exuberant plotting that was once the norm. The latest book has all the panache of its predecessors, with a new ambition--apart from the trials of his beleaguered heroine, we are given the intriguing insights of her mysterious biographer.

Güero Dávila and his lover, the initially docile Teresa Mendoza, are caught up in the drug smuggling activities of the ruthless Mexican cartels. But when Dávila tries to play both ends against the middle, he ends up dead--and Teresa finds herself on the run, in mortal fear for her life. In Spain's sultry and dangerous city of Melilla, she encounters another man engaged in the drugs trade, the dispassionate Galicain Santiago Fisterta. He draws her into his activities, and Teresa is soon involved in the hashish trade. But her destiny is not to be the ugly, meaningless death of Dávila; she is a woman who will achieve a remarkable reputation--if she can stay alive.

It isn't just the impeccable scene-setting of this dangerous Latin world that makes The Queen of the South such an impressive read; it's also the perfectly judged dialogue (of which there is a great deal)--Perez-Reverte is a master of idiom, and everything here rings true. The compelling central narrative of Teresa is set against the perceptions of her anonymous narrator, and the result is a fascinating mélange; over-ornate, perhaps, but always utterly involving. --Barry Forshaw

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