... another devastating but necessary book ... especially poignant in that this is a powerful reminder of the dreadful cost the use of torture entails, and of the U.S.’ role in perpetuating torture on the American continents. Gibler’s interviews with Tzompaxtle Tecpile provide the marrow for a carefully researched, meticulously constructed, and often excruciating narrative. While honoring Tzompaxtle Tecpile’s story, Gibler honors the reader’s intelligence, nimbly deconstructing the roots and the legacy of torture. This is an important look at the price exacted by the legitimatizing of state-sponsored violence and the concealment of the truth about such operations, and their disastrous consequences for everyone.
... this is a work of advocacy journalism, one that dispenses with any pretense of objectivity in pursuit of a deeper truth. Even more provocatively, the author recognizes that in matters involving torture, the whole story may never be known. The experience transcends language and short-circuits memory, and it can’t be captured in the words of a cohesive narrative ... Gibler clearly believes his subject, but his inclusion of so many other perspectives suggests the difficulty of reporting on a subject so fraught with secrecy, where even crucial information from the man who is the subject of the book must be shielded to protect him ... The reasons why this book can’t tell the whole story—and how the stories it tells conflict—are fascinating tales in their own right.