If you liked THE CARTEL, by Don Winslow…

  • Recommendations from Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

the cartelOne of the biggest books this year was Don Winslow’s The Cartel, a dark, violent, yet human look at the drug war and its effect on Mexico. For more crime fiction covering Mexico, past and present, I suggest these books.


9780615916545Federales by Chris Irvin

This novella about a former Mexican agent protecting a mayor who has taken on the cartels is the solemn and moving chamber piece to The Cartel‘s symphony. Both use the actual politician, Maria Gorriesta Santos, as a template for a major character. You can find copies of Federales on our shelves and via bookpeople.com


9781489561541Quick by Billy Kring

If The Cartel didn’t give you enough grim violence on the border this one will. The Quick has one of the scariest villains I’ve read in the past few years and I read a lot of books with scary dudes. You can find copies of Quick on our shelves and via bookpeople.com


9780805091298The Return by Michael Gruber

When a book editor gets a mysterious diagnosis, he fills a van full of guns, grabs his loose canon buddy from Vietnam, and heads south of the border to settle some scores. A rich prose style and engaging characters give us a look at life and death in Old Mexico. You can find copies of The Return on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

The Look Out: THE RETURN by Michael Gruber

Look Out for The Return by Michael Gruber
On Our Shelves September 3rd

Welcome to The Look Out, our new monthly feature that turns you on to a great piece of crime fiction coming down the road. Our first installment focuses on a unique book coming out September 3rd from one of the genre’s most respected authors.

In some ways The Return seems like a departure for Michael Gruber in both plot and subgenre. Known for dense, atmospheric thrillers drenched in literary attitude, here he gives us a more streamlined, hard boiled novel. What The Return proves is that Gruber’s voice can carry anything.

The main character, Marder, is a New York book editor who carries many secrets, one being a great amount of wealth. A medical diagnosis opens a darker secret he decides to confront and he grabs some guns, buys a camper and sets out for Mexico. Along for the ride is Skelly, his damaged and quite lethal buddy from Vietnam.

Gruber’s style and approach to the story holds it together and makes it different from your average revenge tale. He creates a strong air of violence and mystery. His characters slowly reveal themselves, creating suspense about who they are and making you care for them in a very deep way.

The Return is a one of a kind adventure by a one of a kind writer. Mark your calendars for September 3rd. (You can pre-order here.)