The power of the dog
The title, "The Power of the Dog" comes from the Psalms: Save my soul from the sword, my love from the power of the dog. And Don Winslow's masterpiece is not only a page-turning thriller but also a rich and compelling novel about a very mixed group of characters, each in his or her own way seeking some sort of salvation or redemption.
The plot is essentially simple: how the US government and some of its quasi-autonomous agencies (CIA, FBI, DEA) all for their own reasons encouraged, sponsored and actively financed and helped the development of the drug cartels and their trade in Mexico.
Groups of characters are - a young Chicano boy from the Barrio who makes good and becomes a Senator (and who is the target of an assassination plot that tops and tails the book); a morally troubled DEA boss who tries to do good, but who is driven by events and by a desire both for salvation and revenge to sleep with the devil; and the various gang leaders, some of them psychopathic, others urbane, civilised and deadly; a high-class prostitute; and a charismatic Catholic priest who is dedicated to the improvement of the lives of his people. Out of this simple material, Winslow has built a novel that works on so many levels and offers so many satisfactions it defies belief.
Praise for Don Winslow: 'Don Winslow is the kind of cult writer who is so good you almost want to keep him to yourself, as if letting everyone in on the secret will somehow dilute the pleasure.
So gulp down this book, tell all your friends, and remember - you heard it here first!' - Ian Rankin. 'The Death and Life of Bobby Z. It has whiplash speed, deliciously sleazoid characters and a major altitude problem.
What a blast!' - Carl Hiaasen.