Of all the blows delivered by Don Winslow’s Cartel trilogy, none may be as devastating as the timing of The Border, its stunner of a conclusion ... This is a book for dark, rudderless times, an immersion into fear and chaos. It conjures more lawlessness, dishonesty, conniving, brutality and power mania than both of the earlier books put together. Because of that chaos, it might have benefited from an indexed cast of characters. But Winslow can’t provide one. For one thing, it would be a spoiler. You just have to watch these miscreants as they drop ... Winslow describes sting operations with immersive, heart-grabbing intensity. You don’t read these books; you live in them ... Last and never least with Winslow: the matter of languages. He is fluent in many of them, and The Border once again shows off those talents.
The Border is a furious, impassioned novel that directs its anger at a wide assortment of targets. Some of the angriest (and probably most controversial) moments come through Winslow’s scathing account of the 2016 presidential election ... The resulting portrait of greed and influence peddling at the highest levels of government lends an extra layer of outrage to an already white-hot narrative ... The Border guides us through a savage, wholly believable world. The result is a powerful — and painful — journey through a contemporary version of hell. Rarely has hell been so compelling.
Don’t be daunted by the imposing length of this epic crime novel—Don Winslow justifies every one of its arm-straining 700-odd pages. Winslow is a writer’s writer, but his work is also a gift to all discerning crime readers ... Winslow has excelled again with the final novel in the trilogy, The Border, every inch as pungent and involving as its predecessors ... With a dramatis personae that makes Tolstoy look underpopulated, this is Winslow at his sensational best.
Mr. Winslow writes gripping action sequences and wields statistics like a crusading journalist. Grand in scope, audacious in its political portraits, convincing in its socio-economic arguments and humane to the core, The Border is not only a formidable thriller but an important and provocative work.
The publication of the concluding volume in Winslow’s epic Cartel Trilogy represents a landmark moment in crime fiction, and it couldn’t come at a more propitious time ... in the end, it is Winslow’s remarkable ability to translate the utter fiasco of our 50-year War on Drugs into the most wrenching of human stories, tragedy seemingly without end, that gives this novel its unparalleled power ... all of those stories come together in a crescendo of pain mixed with courage ... [Winslow's] prodigious research and ability to combine massive amounts of detail into a structured whole show on every page of this trilogy. But coming through with equal force is his eloquence.
Powerful and troubling ... The novel, written in muscular, fast-paced prose, portrays torture, assassinations, mass murder, police payoffs, mass incarceration and political corruption from Guatemala to Washington, D.C.
And Winslow, his portraiture skills keener than ever, makes each of these villains convincing and complex, even as he embroils them in a labyrinthine power struggle ... Each life is evoked with such immediacy and each episode infused with such tension that any one of these overlapping dramas could be a short story. Taken together, dexterously layered and shot through with action, they constitute a triumphant grand finale.
The must-read book of the decade ... powerful, raw, and at times, overwhelmingly heartbreaking ... Much like his fictional character, Winslow has spent a substantial part of his life following the drug wars. Known for his unprecedented research and expert-level understanding of how the cartels operate, Winslow’s knowledge and passion bleed through each and every page as he crafts yet another masterpiece that feels ripped straight from the headlines. In fact, it’s almost eerie how much Winslow’s plot mirrors real life, and even those who oppose his political beliefs will be forced to reconsider their position after taking in this story and seeing the vivid, heart-stopping image he paints for readers ... represents the most epic crime saga of our time, all told in a way that only he could deliver . . . and The Border is his finest work to date. While it’s sad to see this series come to an end, Winslow sends it out with a bang that readers won’t soon forget.
The bad guys begin to drop off in a tale that’s part Tom Clancy, part didactic and ever-so-gritty how-it’s-done asides and part old-school shoot’em-up ... Jack Ryan’s got nothing on Winslow's guy. An action-filled, sometimes even instructive look at the world of the narcos and their discontents.