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CriticasThis spellbinding thriller describes the cocaine trafficking adventures of Teresa Mendoza from her home in Sinaloa, Mexico, to Cadiz, Spain, and beyond as she passes from being the naive companion of a Mexican cartelero ("drug trafficker") to a merciless gang leader of international repute. Acclaimed author Perez-Reverte became one of Spain's most-translated contemporary writers with such best-selling historical thrillers as La tabla de Flandes (The Flanders Panel, Debolsillo, 2000) and El club Dumas (The Club Dumas, Suma de Letras, 2000). Unlike his previous historical novels, this saga is set in the present and features a female protagonist. As Teresa escapes from the Mexican drug lords and enters the Spanish drug scene, she is raped and imprisoned, has recurrent confrontations with the law, and partners with Russian mafiosi. Readers will sympathize with her ability to overcome abuse and her courage as she manages to enter and control the male-dominated world of drug trafficking. Once again, Perez-Reverte excels in his meticulous research, successfully recreating the language, music, and cultural codes that characterize this illegal business in both Mexico and Spain. The novel is chock-full of references to Mexican narcorrorridos ("Mexican drug ballads"), as well as to crime lore on both sides of the Atlantic. This is also a linguistic experiment, as Perez-Reverte masterfully adopts a Mexican dialect throughout. Already a best seller in Spain, Mexico, and the United States, this novel is highly recommended for all bookstores, and for academic and public libraries.
—Ilan Stavans, Amherst College, MA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.