4 out of 4 stars
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The feeling of reading a perfect story is something difficult to forget. Busted by Michele I. Khoury is a novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat while desperately wanting to know what will happen next. This crime thriller has 380 pages filled with action, great characters, drugs, suspense, and a little bit of romance. The author managed to flawlessly deliver a story about friendship, love, and inner strength. Although the book has very few sexual content, there are a lot of explicit scenes involving drug usage and physical violence. Therefore, I would not recommend this story to people under fifteen.
The story takes place in California, between 2008-2010. Gina McKenna is one of the many people affected by the recession period. She is a full-time artist struggling to pay the rent while her bank account is running low. When Gina almost hits rock-bottom, she meets a handsome, and rich, young man that seems quite interested in her. She is immediately seduced by his good looks and charismatic behavior. However, appearances can be deceiving, and Gina is about to find out that her perfect boyfriend may not be as perfect as he seems. Miguel Lopez is a mercenary. He is a cocaine supplier who's only interested in making money. He is ruthless and willing to do anything to take his enemies, or competition, out of the way. No one will get in his way to success, not even Gina. Special Agent Bobby Garcia works for the DEA; he has dedicated a big part of his life to eradicating criminals and illegal drugs, and after a series of events, his desire to eliminate people like Miguel becomes dangerously personal. The once righteous agent is willing to destroy people's lives and break the law in order to obtain his revenge. These three characters find themselves trapped in a tale in which no one can be trusted.
As the reader can notice, there are three main characters in this book. If I were to choose only one, however, Gina would be my choice since everything that occurs in the story somehow involves her. The characters, main and secondary, were amazing in every possible way. They had flaws and strengths like everyone else, which made them look real and relatable. I loved the heroes and hated the villains, but sometimes, I hated the heroes and kind of liked the villains. These characters caused a whirlwind of emotions within me, both positive and negative, and I enjoyed feeling that way because it meant that I actually cared about them. I related to these characters and felt their happiness and pain. When I read a book, I always look for character development; I dislike when a character remains the same throughout the story. However, I am so glad to say that this novel did not disappoint in that aspect.
I have noticed that this book falls under the mystery genre, which is not true at all. From the very beginning, we are told who the good and bad guys are. There is no mystery here. This is not a story about finding who the villain is but finding how to outsmart them instead. While I was reading this book, I felt as if I were watching a game of strategy. Both sides set the traps and patiently waited for someone to fall into them. This leads me to the book's strongest point: The attention to detail. Mrs. Khoury did a lot of research and interviewed a lot of people before writing this book. The way she described how the DEA handles drug trafficking and how drug dealers are able to smuggle cocaine, or blow, across the border and within the United States was too detailed and made a lot of sense. In the story, we see people from both sides of the drug spectrum: Those who think that it should be legalized and those who don't. If the author was biased towards a specific side, she did not show it. My favorite part was when the author described the tedious process of arresting a person. Search warrants are not that easy to get. As someone who is studying Criminal Justice, the accuracy of the facts made me feel really happy.
The book went through a professional and thorough editing process. The grammar errors were quite hard to notice, and I had to double-check every sentence to see if there were more. Although I would need to review my notes, I am ninety percent sure I saw less than ten mistakes throughout the story.
Despite my overall enjoyment of this book, I must admit that there were a couple things that bothered me a little. This feels like nitpicking, though. The first one was a scene in which one of the characters acted as a witness to a crime; They were in the courtroom, and the defense attorney was representing his son. Although this is totally legal, it is not ethical because personal feelings and favoritism are most likely to get in the way. Another thing I disliked was how every single character never answered their phone. I understand if it happens once or twice, but it happened so frequently that it frustrated me.
All in all, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I don't feel like the issues above mentioned were enough reasons to give this book a lower rating. The plot, characters, and grammar were fantastic; the writing style was descriptive and easy to follow along, and the information provided was accurate. I would totally recommend this story to anyone interested in an action-packed story with twists and turns in every page.
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