This took me a while, it weighs in at a hefty 656 pages.
“I kissed that dead junkie when the vomit was warm on her kisser and I owe somebody for that.” remarks Eddie Lucco early on.
Reading that line early in the book, I wasn’t sure whether to carry on but it got better. Eddie Lucco is a gritty detective in the NYPD with a teenage Jane Doe in the morgue, dead from experimenting with crack, Lucco is obstinately determined to identify her, even if that means coming into the sights of the Columbia’s most dangerous drug cartel.
Meanwhile in the UK , Jardine, head of the British Secret Intelligence Service’s South American operations is planning to plant an agent in the heart of that same cartel. There is a lot of interesting detail for the nuts and bolts of such an operation.
This is a thriller with an intricately woven plot, all the threads twisted up in Colombia and held in the hands of Il padrino , a Pablo Escobar-like figure.
The Cartel is looking to expand into Europe and making a sinister deal with the Provisional IRA to distribute their product.
The interesting characters are predominantly male, the females are a mix of the dead, the long suffering wives and the potential sexual conquests of the male characters. Jardine’s peccadilloes are a serious chink in his otherwise impressive armour.
My rating 4 out of 5 (a great plot but I think the female characters could be developped more)
Body count: over 20 including at least 7 NYPD, some SAS, a couple of low life drug pushers and the Jane Doe I mentioned.