Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler

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Overview

winged obsession

The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler

One of the world's most beautiful endangered species, butterflies are as lucrative as gorillas, pandas, and rhinos on the black market.

And in this cutthroat $200 million business, no one made more money than—or posed as great an ecological danger as—Yoshi Kojima, the kingpin of butterfly ...

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Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler

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Overview

winged obsession

The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler

One of the world's most beautiful endangered species, butterflies are as lucrative as gorillas, pandas, and rhinos on the black market.

And in this cutthroat $200 million business, no one made more money than—or posed as great an ecological danger as—Yoshi Kojima, the kingpin of butterfly smugglers.

Determined to capture Kojima, rookie U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Ed Newcomer became close to the smuggler, posing as a young apprentice eager to learn the smuggling trade. But twice the agent's inexperience allowed this criminal, with a nearly supernatural sense of survival and an overwhelming sense of paranoia, to get away.

Just when it seemed Kojima was out of reach, Newcomer was given one last chance to reel him in. Somewhere in the hunt, Kojima had become obsessed with the agent. This obsession, along with his continued mania for butterflies, could finally spell the downfall of the untouchable smuggler.

But the story doesn't end there. Working under-cover to research this book, Jessica Speart befriended Kojima as well. Like Newcomer, she was going to betray Kojima. What she didn't know was that this cagey smuggler was planning to turn the tables and use her as a patsy for continuing his illegal butterfly trade.

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Editorial Reviews

Oklahoma City Oklahoman
“Reads like a suspense thriller.”
Miami Herald
Winged Obsession offers a fascinating glimpse into the illegal market in exotic and endangered butterflies....By the end of Winged Obsession, I was rooting for creatures I didn’t know existed before I read the book.
Daily Candy
Butterfly smugglers? Who knew? Journalist Jessica Speart chases down the butterfly world’s most elusive criminal, the notorious Yoshi Kojima, in her fantastic new book. It’s a journey with the twists and turns of a taut thriller — like The Orchid Thief, only with wings.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A true thriller about an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent hunting for the ‘human vacuum cleaner’ of the insect world.”
Lee Child
Meet the Hannibal Lecter of the conservation world... this expose reads like a thriller and proves once again that truth is stranger than fiction.
Lisa Scottoline
Winged Obsession is an unputdownable thriller.... I loved this book!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061772436
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 876,696
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Speart writes about environmental and wildlife issues. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, OMNI, Travel & Leisure, Audubon, National Wildlife, Mother Jones, Delta's Sky Magazine, and many other publications. Unsafe Harbor is her tenth Rachel Porter mystery. Jessica lives in Connecticut with her husband and their two dogs, Max and Tallulah.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2012

    Interesting

    Read this book as a book club selection. Interesting. It showed me a whole sub culture I never knew existed. Howeve, it was hard to get too excited about beetles and butterflies. Author could have fleshed out the story a bit with more characted information (i.e, wife). Worth reading.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    Fascinating story of a true crime investigation

    When it comes to thinking about dangerous criminals, butterfly smugglers do not leap first to mind. But, as I learned in this book, insect smuggling is a very lucrative illegal business that threatens to render many butterflies extinct around the world as they are treated like trophies rather than living creatures. The author did a great job keeping my interest up while describing an undercover cat-and-mouse game that went on for years. I'll never look at butterflies--or especially, butterfly collectors--the same way again.

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    Posted February 24, 2013

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    Posted July 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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