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  • Published: 2 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784750640
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 640
  • RRP: $22.99

The Cartel

A white-knuckle drug war thriller

The fast-paced and thrilling sequel to Don Winslow's epic drug novel, The Power of the Dog.

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping true-to-life epic, ripped from the headlines, spanning the past decade of the Mexican–American drug wars.

It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adan Barrera, the head ofEl Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Putting Barrera away costs Keller dearly – the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead.

Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down.

The Cartel is a true-to-life story of power, corruption, revenge, honour and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul.

'Sensationally good' LEE CHILD
'Tense, brutal, wildly atmospheric, stunningly plotted' JAMES ELLROY
'A gut-punch of a novel... an absolute must-read' HARLAN COBEN

  • Published: 2 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784750640
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 640
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Don Winslow

Don Winslow has worked as a movie theatre manager, a production assistant, and as a private investigator. In addition to being a novelist he now works as an independent consultant in issues involving litigation arising from criminal behaviour. His novels include The Kings of Cool, Savages, The Death and Life of Bobby Z, California Fire and Life, The Power of the Dog, The Winter of Frankie Machine and The Dawn Patrol. In 2012 Savages was released as a blockbuster film.

Also by Don Winslow

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Praise for The Cartel

Don Winslow delivers his longest and finest novel yet in The Cartel. This is the War and Peace of dope-war books. Tense, brutal, wildly atmospheric, stunningly plotted, deeply etched. It’s got the jazz-dog feel of a shot of pure meth.

James Ellroy

Sensationally good, even after the near-perfection of The Power of the Dog. Less of a sequel than an integral part of a solid-gold whole.

Lee Child

The Cartel is a gut-punch of a novel. Big, ambitious, violent and widely entertaining, Don Winslow's latest is an absolute must-read.

Harlan Coben

Don Winslow is one of the most exciting and well-researched crime writers of modern times. The Cartel is a masterpiece of storytelling.

Simon Kernick

Astoundingly ambitious…Draws on real events and people as it chronicles Mexico’s drug warsMasterfully organised and teeming with memorable characters, it is unlikely to be bettered this year.

Sunday Times (Thriller of the month)

Don Winslow has done it again. The Cartel is a first rate edge-of-your-seat thriller for sure, but it also continues Winslow’s incisive reporting on the dangers and intricacies of the world we live in. There is no higher mark for a storyteller than to both educate and entertain. With Winslow these aspects are entwined like strands of DNA. He’s a master and this book proves it once again.

Michael Connelly

A magnum opus coming in June from Don Winslow, who is to the Mexican drug wars what James Ellroy is to L.A. Noir. It's a long-awaited sequel to one of his greatest, The Power of the Dog.

Janet Maslin, New York Times

Ten years ago Don Winslow published The Power of the Dog, essentially the Godfather of the Mexican drug wars, an epic, blood-drenched tale of greed and murder. Now he’s returned with a sequel, The Cartel, which may well be the most relentlessly bleak and corpse-strewn crime novel ever written….Winslow brilliantly brings to life the savagery of the conflicts between rival cartels and also the heroism of the ordinary folk, mostly women, who dare to fight back. The Cartel is unforgettable and genuinely tragic.

Mail on Sunday (Thriller of the week)

You don't have to read Don Winslow's The Power of the Dog to get swept away by The Cartel, its ripped-from-the-headlines sequel, but you should. You should try to get your hands on everything Winslow's written, because he's one of the best thriller writers on the planet. You've read the headlines about the decapitations in Juarez, the kidnappings in Mexico City, the mass graves and battling cartels and corrupt politicians and police, the daily casualties of the Mexican-American drugs wars, which made you second-guess that Club Med vacation. An epic, gritty south-of-the-border Godfather for this time.

Benjamin Percy, Esquire

[A] riveting expose of a modern tragedy where the fast pace of the thriller narrative never stumbles over the painstaking attention paid to detail and background… his most powerful writing to date…As a reader, it's natural to want to immerse yourself again and again in the world Winslow depicts. But this, the author reminds us, is not wholly fiction: The Cartel is dedicated to a long but necessarily partial list of journalists murdered or "disappeared" during the period covered in the book…[Winslow is] a thriller writer of remarkable moral depth.

Sunday Herald

Don Winslow's astoundingly ambitious The Cartel blew everything else away in 2015. For once the overused label "epic" can justifiably be applied to this polyphonic chronicle of Mexico's drug wars, teeming with memorable incidents and characters.

Sunday Times

A huge, sprawling, violent mess of a novel, it is brutal and painful to read at times, and is a real eye-opener about the difficulties that society faces in that part of the world.


War and Peace for Mexican-American drug trafficking.


Epic and ambitious, so mind-bendingly-well-executed…The Cartel by Don Winslow is awesome in the proper definition of the word…A monumental achievementEssential readingUndoubtedly a future classic.

Big Issue

This superb thriller stands comparison with television’s The Wire.

Sunday Times

A truly epic, globe-spanning, ultra-violent masterpiece of a book.

Sunday Sport *****

This is a powerhouse of a novel from an author who understands the most subtle nuances of his subject matter, and may be one of the most essential crime fiction books of 2015.

The Skinny

Winslow's masterly sequel to The Power of the Dog continues his epic story of the Mexican drug wars. This exhaustively researched novel elucidates not just the situation in Mexico but the consequences of our own disastrous 40-year "war on drugs".

Publishers Weekly

This brutal, epic crime novel about the feud between and obsessive US drug agent and a wily Mexican cartel leader is thicker than a kilo of coke and even more addictive. It’s an utterly brilliant tale of power, corruption and bloody revenge. Love US TV boxsets? This is even better.


Fast, hot and devastating.

Tim Baker, Metro

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