4 out of 4 stars
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Marnia Gonzalez is the eldest daughter of Mexico's president and first lady Tomar and Allison Gonzalez. She was happily celebrating her birthday on a cruise ship in the presence of her friends and her nanny, Barbara. She loved and trusted the woman and even forgave her for the affair she had with her father, President Tomar Gonzalez. Barbara used this trust and favor to complete her mission, to acquire sensitive information from the presidential office. Her employer was Boris, a mysterious, exceptionally skilled, and influential Russian. The cruise ship was the final part of the plan, where Barbara was to depart, and Marnia and her friends were the insurance against any government interference. However, things got out of hand when a member of Boris’s team went rouge resulting in deaths and injuries. Commander Edwards Jacob was immediately tasked to rescue and remedy the situation, and he did so skillfully and swiftly.
Since then, Jacobs became Marnia’s inspiration and role model. She reinvented herself, dropped her famous last name, and worked towards joining the Anti-cartel Task Force. She is now Lieutenant Marnia Gonzalez of the Anti-cartel Task Force and immediately begins working towards her goal. She pushes on and is soon immersed in a murky world of child sex trafficking, slavery, gun smuggling, and a bizarre secret but powerful society. She fearlessly pursues the Santiago and Menerez cartels. Boris also resurfaces, and more curiously, a familial name comes up. What does her family have to do with this world? What will be the ultimate cost of her war against the cartels? How much power and influence do these individuals command, and whom will she trust?
The Cartel Crusher by Dan E. Hendrickson lives by its name right from the introduction. It instantly throws the reader into a world where everyone seems to be working an angle or is corrupt. Hendrickson excellently introduces and develops the characters, and the description of their attributes is exquisite. Each character has a specific role and origin, making them realistic and distinct. The action and fight scenes are amazingly detailed, allowing the reader to visualize and experience every physical and tactical maneuver. The depiction of the military operations, cartel settings, and their array of weapons and activities are authentic.
My favorite aspect of the book is the formidable and heroic female presence. Marnia’s skills amaze and terrify many, and she rises through the rankings through hard work and commitment. Rosemary Sargent is another stout woman who runs the most profitable brothel in Mexico City. She commits to and helps Marnia thwart cartel operations at whatever cost, including her own life and wellbeing. I equally love the chronological arrangement and the telling subheadings within the chapters. Initially, I thought the story unfolded too fast, but as it progressed, the reason for this became apparent, and it developed into a comprehensive and captivating plot. Otherwise, I found nothing to dislike.
The book is professionally edited, and I did not find any errors. The language is simple and has minimal use of profanities, but the despicable acts of child abuse and forced prostitution might affect sensitive readers. The book has minimal reference to religion with only one quoted Bible verse. The Cartel Crusher entails organized crimes, covert operations, government corruption, the wealthy one percent influence, and sadly the perverseness of human behavior. Additionally, there is an unlikely romance blooming, but with one party suspecting the other's sincerity. I recommend it to those looking for an action-packed novel full of secrets, tension, and suspense. The book’s ending is just the beginning, leaving one yearning for the next one. The rating is definitely a 4 out of 4 stars.
The Cartel Crusher
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