BOOK REVIEW: The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World’s Most Wanted Drug Lord


Author: Malcolm Beith
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Grove Press (August 23, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802145485
ISBN-13: 978-0802145482
My Source: (Public Library)

The dense hills of Sinaloa, Mexico, are home to the most powerful drug lord since Pablo Escobar: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Guzman is among the world’s ten most wanted men and also appeared on Forbes magazine’s 2009 billionaire list. With his massive wealth, his army of professional killers, and a network of informants that reaches into the highest levels of government, catching Guzman was considered impossible—until now. Newly isolated by infighting amongst the cartels, and with Mexican and DEA authorities closing in, El Chapo is vulnerable as never before. Newsweek correspondent Malcolm Beith has spent years reporting on the drug wars and follows the chase with full access to senior officials and exclusive interviews with soldiers and drug traffickers in the region, including members of Guzman’s cartel. The Last Narcocombines fearless reporting with the story of El Chapo’s legendary rise from a poor farming family to the “capo” of the world’s largest drug empire. The Last Narco is essential reading about one of the most pressing and dramatic stories in the news today—a true crime thriller happening in real time.

I have always been fascinated with the hidden world of Narcotrafico (the Spanish term used for such activities) Knowing little about Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and only what is seen on news outlets, I picked up this book at my local library. The first half of the book gives you a glimpse into the world of drug trafficking and its origins in the State of Sinaola in Mexico. It is very interesting how Malcolm Beith the author is able to trace this back to the early days of drug trafficking and the men behind such illicit activities that have become hero’s to many in Mexico. I always knew that corruption was rampant in Mexico, but this book really gets into the depth of that corruption and how it leads all the way up to the Presidential cabinet. I think the title is a little misleading, because honestly I thought it was going to talk about the whereabouts to “el Chapo” or at least what is being done to hunt him down. Beith talks about “el Chapo” and a lot goes into his stay in prison the first time “el Chapo” was captured in the early 90’s. At times I did find the writing a little boring and not interesting, and I also found my self going from one subject to another and really not sticking to one area of interest. I would rate this book 4 stars out of 5, because it is full of history of the narco’s in Mexico and its origins, but it lacks more information on “el Chapo”. Now I understand Beith may have been limited in his research for so little is known of “el Chapo” but I think if he would have stuck with one subject throughout or organized a little different then I would have given it a 5 star rating.

Purchase this book (HERE)

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