3 out of 4 stars
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All Marnia wanted was to be a socialite, and as the daughter of the Mexican president, nothing could stand in the way of her dreams. However, fate had other plans for her. After her birthday celebration, her parents allowed her a lavish boat cruise with her friends without the presence of either of them, save for her nanny and security guards. Her parent's absence presented an opportunity for her father's political enemies to wage a vendetta against him. After watching her friends get raped and murdered, Marnia found a new purpose.
The Cartel Crusher by Dan E. Hendrickson is the second book in the Last Enemy series, but it is a standalone book. It is an enchanting read of non-stop action and adventures with sprinkles of romance. The fast pace ensured I never got bored on the bumpy ride filled with twists and turns.
Character-wise, Dan did a great job with the characters; they are well-rounded with sufficient backstories to acquaint the reader with them. I would have appreciated a more detailed description of the landmarks, though.
I have an affinity for novels with strong female protagonists, so it's no surprise that my favourite aspect of this novel is the feminist theme. Marnia's bravery and relentlessness in pursuing her goals are inspiring; she has an unflinching belief in her abilities.
I have a few quibbles though; the constant switch between first name and last name was confusing to me. One moment I'm reading about Santiago's conversation with Romulo, the next moment, Santiago changes to Anthony. I had to pause many times to figure out who a character is because of that. Though some readers might enjoy it, I didn't care for the detailed descriptions of the violent scenes.
That said, I would rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I am deducting a star for the myriad of errors I spotted while reading. The tell-not-show writing style of the author didn't work for me. I prefer dialogue-driven books but there were only a handful of dialogues in the book which made it difficult to connect to any of the characters. I don't think it's worth deducting a star for as it's just a preference.
Profanity is infinitesimal; however, the plot contains rape and violent scenes. The details of the rape aren’t lurid though; but if you find the word triggering, The Cartel Crusher is not for you. That aside, the book packs enough action to keep fans of crime-thrillers yearning for more.
The Cartel Crusher
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