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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review: The Shadow Cartel (The Dominic Grey Series) by Layton Green

This is an intense thriller with interesting connections between drug cartel and cults.
The Shadow Cartel (The Dominic Grey Series)
by Layton Green
File Size: 6827 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477827811
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 1, 2015)
  • ASIN: B00O4FK868
Genre: Thriller, Mystery Suspense
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
The sins of the past always return…
Called upon by a former love to look into the death of a family friend in Miami, veteran investigator Dominic Grey is sucked into the darkest reaches of international narcotics trafficking. The murders of multiple drug dealers during a bizarre religious ceremony, combined with the appearance of a mythical assassin, take DEA agent Federico Hernandez and CIA operative Lana Valenciano down the same deadly path.
Lying in wait is an enemy known only as the General: a criminal mastermind whose uncanny ability to avoid detection while cowing even the most ruthless of rival cartels has made him a legend.
Thrown together on a covert manhunt, Grey and the two government agents race across the Americas to unearth a dark chapter in the history of the CIA that has spilled into the present—and put them in the crosshairs of an underworld puppeteer with a frightening reach.

Dominic Grey is a private investigator who grew up hard and rough on dark streets. He works with a cult expert, Viktor, but Viktor is currently away battling his own dark demons. Dominic misses his former lover, Nya, and is surprised when the fragile and healing young woman arrives to ask a favor. Nya’s neice has been killed in Miami by a bad batch of ‘designer’ drugs. Nya asks Dominic to track down the man responsible.

Dominic takes up the search, joining with a local DEA agent, Fred. The first trail leads to four dead men and a sighting of a blue lady who wields a deadly blow pipe. When another murder by the blue lady is reported Lana, from the CIA, steps in to aid the search. However her goal reaches higher. She wants to follow the cartel link to find a mysterious leader known as “The General.”

The team’s first few leads are successful but reveal that there is a mole leaking their every step. Lana takes the mission off record hoping to avoid leaks. This leaves the three of them very vulnerable especially when they start traipsing around Mexico and South America.

Dominic is finally able to reach Viktor who begins researching the Blue Lady. He determines she is part of a little known religious cult that uses black magic and voodoo type curses. As the good guys get closer to discovering the truth even Viktor becomes a target for an unexpected killer.

The story got my attention quickly although there are numerous characters to sort in the first few chapters. Once I was able to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys, I enjoyed the brisk pace of action and the twists in the mystery. I enjoyed the real descriptions of Miami and the Everglades since I am familiar with those areas. The descriptions of the third world countries cities and jungles, is distinct and made me thankful I don’t live in those dire conditions. The history and intricate connection of the cults and scopolamine being used in drug cartels is scary. Mr. Green uses an engaging technique by interspersing chapters that give the reader knowledge of the brilliant enemy without fully revealing him until later in the book.

There is cursing but the "F" word is only used once. Although this is part of a series, and I imagine that reading them in order would build better background, it read acceptably as a stand alone. It engaged me enough in strong characters of Dominic and Viktor that I would be interested in their next dangerous adventure.

I received this title from the author through NetGalley. It qualifies for my NetGalley challenge.

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