4 out of 4 stars
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The real Mr. big, written by Ron Chepesiuk and Jesus Ruiz Henao, is a true narrative of the rise and fall of a man credited with bringing cocaine to the United Kingdom shores.
Jesus Ruiz Henao was born impoverished on a farm in Trujillo, Colombia, and knew he desired more from life. He had learned early in life while growing up in the Colombian coca-growing region, that people made money by selling cocaine. For safety, his father and other farmers were obliged to transport five kilograms of cocaine to the guerillas. He and his two companions Pedro and Jose bought five kilograms of cocaine from the jungle and doubled their profit, becoming Pereira’s largest drug dealer. Ruiz Henao married in 1983 and relocated to the United Kingdom. He found work as a cleaner in an office and then as a bus driver. He started to smuggle cocaine in small quantities in the mail. Later the amount and means of smuggling would increase and get sophisticated. Later he started laundering drug money sent to him from Colombia. Money laundering was done in different ways to avoid being detected by the authorities.
For a long time, the British had been wary of Ruiz Henao, but had not been able to gather enough evidence against him. His acquaintances and close associates were arrested and prosecuted. Following a trail of money, the British were able to apprehend and charge Ruiz Henao with conspiracy to import cocaine into the UK as well as money laundering. He was given a sentence of nineteen years in jail. Other members of his organization were also sentenced to prison for varying periods of time.
The narrative of the book is easy to follow and comprehend. I was able to immerse myself in the plot. I also liked the introduction of a new kind of drug dealer, with no flamboyance or violence. The fact that Ruiz Henao was charged while in prison on conspiracy charges is a true indictment of the British and in most cases other prison services all over the world. There is little rehabilitation that goes on there.
The book's first pages had a well-flowing narrative. There is a change in the narration pattern and flow as more narrators are introduced. I found myself getting lost briefly.
This book is professionally edited. There were no obvious grammatical errors or unexplainable typos. I rate it four out of four stars.
I would recommend this novel to readers who like human redemption stories. Anyone who believes no one is beyond redemption.
The Real Mr. Big
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