The story of two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel and their pursuit by a Mexican American detective who realizes the War on Drugs is unwinnable.
What's it like to be an employee of a global drug-trafficking organization? And how does a 15-year-old American boy go from star quarterback to trained assassin, surging up the cartel corporate ladder?
At first glance Gabriel Cardona is the poster-boy American teenager: great athlete, bright, handsome, and charismatic. But the streets of his border town of Laredo, Texas, are poor and dangerous, and it isn't long before Gabriel abandons his promising future for the allure of the Zetas, a drug cartel with roots in the Mexican military. His younger friend. Bart, as well as others from Gabriel's childhood join him in working for the Zetas, boosting cars and smuggling drugs, eventually catching the eye of the cartel's leadership.
Meanwhile, Mexican-born detective Robert Garcia has worked hard all his life and is now struggling to raise his family in America. As violence spills over the border, Detective Garcia's pursuit of the boys and their cartel leaders puts him face to face with the urgent consequences of a war he sees as unwinnable.
In Wolf Boys Dan Slater shares their stories, taking us from the Sierra Madre mountaintops to the dusty, dark alleys of Laredo, Texas, on a harrowing, often brutal journey into the heart of the Mexican drug trade. Gabriel's evolution from good-natured teenager into a feared assassin is as inevitable as Garcia's slow realization of the futile nature of his work.
A nonfiction thriller, Wolf Boys depicts more than just Gabriel, Bart, and the officers who took them down. It shows, through vivid detail and rich, often moving narrative, the way in which the border itself is changing, disappearing, and posing new terrifying and yet largely unseen threats to American security. Ultimately, though, Wolf Boys is the intimate story of the "lobos" themselves: boys turned into pawns for cartels. Their stories show how poverty, ideas about identity, and government ignorance have warped the definition of the American dream.
©2016 Dan Slater (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
I just wish the narrator was able to pronounce the Spanish words properly. I had to refer to my hard copy to read the words for myself because some of his pronunciations didn't make sense or sounded in Spanish. otherwise an excellent book
very in-depth, informative and engaging,and you really leave with an understanding of how the gang life can attract young men,but leaves you wondering ,as drugs do to your life how do they not see the consequences as the deterrent. Performance was a little boring,but well read.
All I can say is Bravo!! story is real, intriguing, and addictive. As a mexican-american I can testify to the authenticity of this work
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Like peeling an onion layer by layer, Slater reveals the history of America's war on drugs in a thorough, fascinating and cohesive way through the mesmerizing and tragic story of these young men. Even if you never had any interest in the illegal drug industry, the impact it has on our culture is too important to be ignored. Read this book not just for its compelling narrative, but also for its social commentary of life in an American border-town and the complexities of human nature.
Wolf Boys is haunting and opens a window in to a life I definitely never understood before. My career and life's passion is in the schools trying to help kids before they ever get to the place Bart and Gabriel reach. So this exposed reality felt especially important and heartbreaking for me. As an American living in California who cares deeply for our country's Mexican heritage and intertwined history, it is all the more critical to hear this story. The depth of research is astounding. Never have I read a book with this much research that tells a story so well.
I started this book in hardcover, but quickly realized I needed to hear the story aloud the first time. (Thanks, Audible!) The language and story telling are so rich, I could only get through a few pages at a time but once on audio, I couldn't stop listening. Simonelli uses his deep voice and storytelling skills to make the book even more compelling. This is an excellent, well-acted and complicated audio rendition. He got the language right and it is slightly reminiscent of the old Jack Webb, Dragnet narrative I loved so much. Now I can go back and read the book page by page.
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