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The Queen of the South
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New or Used: $14.56
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About the Author

Born in Cartagena, Spain, Arturo Perez-Reverte is the internationally acclaimed author of The Flanders Panel, The Dumas Club, The Seville Communion, The Fencing Master, and The Nautical Chart. In 2002 he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy.

Reviews

Perez-Reverte presents another action-packed thriller that will help solidify his reputation in that genre. In the seamy world of Mexican and Spanish drug dealers, Teresa Mendoza, the novel's eponymous heroine, quickly rises from mere dealer's moll to the peak of her own cartel, surviving the murder of two boyfriends, a stint in prison, and the opposition, both licit and illicit. She is, after all, "a woman thriving in a world of dangerous men" and, it must be said, one whom the reader admires and respects but doesn't really like. Perez-Reverte has obviously researched this subject well and relies on his storytelling wits, throwing out a series of twists, double-crossings, agents provocateurs, and revenge plots. The fast-paced narrative is interrupted occasionally by the commentary of the "narrator," allegedly gathering information for this notorious woman's biography, a metafictional device of which the author fails to take full advantage. First-time readers may wonder what all the fuss is about, since the novel fails to transcend an exciting but basically hollow tale; fans will be surprised that the intellectual ingenuity characteristic of earlier efforts (The Club Dumas) is conspicuously absent in a work one would not expect from a newly elected member of the Royal Spanish Academy. Perez-Reverte's reputation, however, makes this a required addition to public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/04.]-Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Readers of Perez-Reverte's sixth thriller won't be able to turn the pages fast enough: the author of The Club Dumas, The Seville Communion and other literary adventure novels now tackles the gritty world of drug trafficking in Mexico, southern Spain and Morocco, offering a frightening, fascinating look at the international business of transporting cocaine and hashish as well as a portrait of a smart, fast, daring and lucky woman, Teresa Mendoza. As the novel opens, Teresa's phone rings. She doesn't have to answer it: the phone is a special one given to her by her boyfriend, drug runner and expert Cessna pilot Guero Davila. He has warned her that if a call ever came, it meant he was dead, and that she had to run for her own life. On the lam, Teresa leaves Mexico for Morocco, where she keeps a low profile transporting drug shipments with her new lover. But after a terrible accident and a brief stint in prison, Teresa's on her own again. She manages to find her way, but Teresa is no mere survivor: gaining knowledge in every endeavor she becomes involved in and using her own head for numbers and brilliant intuition, she eventually winds up heading one of the biggest drug traffic rings in the Mediterranean. Spanning 12 years and introducing a host of intriguing, scary characters, from Teresa's drug-addicted prison comrade to her former assassin turned bodyguard, the novel tells the gripping tale of "a woman thriving in a world of dangerous men." Agent, Howard Morhaim. (June) Forecast: Like Perez-Reverte's previous novels, this one is an international bestseller. It should hit big here too, released in a 100,000 printing and backed by an author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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