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Publisher's Summary

In this riveting and relentless nonfiction thriller, award-winning investigative reporter William C. Rempel tells the harrowing story of former Cali cartel insider Jorge Salcedo, an ordinary man facing an extraordinary dilemma—a man forced to risk everything to escape the powerful and treacherous Cali crime syndicate.

Colombia in the 1990s is a country in chaos, as a weak government battles guerrilla movements and narco-traffickers, including the notorious Pablo Escobar and his rivals in the Cali cartel. Enter Jorge Salcedo, a part-time soldier, a gifted engineer, a respected businessman and family man—and a man who despises Pablo Escobar for patriotic and deeply personal reasons. He is introduced to the godfathers of the Cali cartel, who are at war with Escobar and desperately want their foe dead. With mixed feelings, Jorge agrees to help them.

Once inside, Jorge rises to become head of security for Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, principal godfather of the $7-billion-a-year Cali drug cartel. Jorge tries to turn a blind eye to the violence, corruption, and brutality that surround him, and he struggles privately to preserve his integrity, even as he is drawn deeper into the web of cartel operations. Then comes an order from the godfathers that he can’t obey—but can’t refuse. Jorge realizes that his only way out is to bring down the biggest, richest crime syndicate of all time.

Thus begins a heart-pumping roller-coaster ride of intensifying peril. Secretly aided by a pair of young American DEA agents, Jorge races time and cartel assassins to extract damaging evidence, help capture the fugitive godfather, and save the life of a witness targeted for murder. Through it all, death lurks a single misstep away.

William C. Rempel is the only reporter with access to this story and to Jorge, who remains in hiding somewhere in the United States—even the author doesn’t know where—but has revealed his experience in gripping detail. Salcedo’s is the story of one extraordinary, ordinary man forced to risk everything to end a nightmare of his own making.

©2011 William C. Rempel (P)2011 Random House

Critic Reviews

:“A fast-paced, heart-racing nonfiction thriller.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"In this powerful and riveting work of nonfiction, William Rempel demonstrates the virtues of investigative reporting. Gaining access to the figure that could - and indeed did - spill the secrets that brought down a cartel, Rempel has an extraordinary story to tell. He not only takes the reader inside the hidden world of the drug cartels. He also provides a fascinating character study of a man who must answer a simple harrowing question: Should he risk his life in order to save his soul, or should he keep a pact with the devil?" (David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z)

“Bill Rempel has earned his reputation as one of America's finest investigative reporters the old fashioned way -- by getting people to tell him explosive stories they won't talk about with anyone else. At the Devil's Table brings Rempel's skills to the fore as never before, revealing the graphic details of Colombia's bloody drug wars from the ultimate insider. By the end, you realize that the biggest mystery is how Jorge Salcedo stayed alive long enough to tell Rempel about his amazing life.” (James Risen, author of State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration)

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What listeners say about At the Devil's Table

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thrilling

William Rempel's book reads like a thriller, is filmic in its visual imagery, and is a remarkably thorough piece of journalistic writing. It is a pleasure to read something this riveting and yet layered in character and context. Wow.

4 people found this helpful

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A must read for all NARCOS fans

Well written, researched based account of what happened during the peak of drug cartels in Columbia . I'm glad to know a peace loving geek saved so many lives in the end.

2 people found this helpful

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El Diablo

inside look into the cali cartel . Narrator was great. Recommended this book good story.

1 person found this helpful

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Kept me listening

If an audiobook gives me that "I can't wait to listen to more if that" feeling than it deserves 5 stars. This was a great story by a key figure in the Cali cartel.

1 person found this helpful

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true story - chilling a real page turner

What did you love best about At the Devil's Table?

The fact that the story is a true report a the life of a man who lifed among dangerous criminals and found a way out

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The relativization of his values as he started to work to a drug cartel, and at last used his knowledge to play a decisive role in the downfall of the drug lords of the cartel de Cali, with graet risk for his and his falily's lifes

Have you listened to any of Fred Sanders’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

never heard of him before

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The post Pablo Escobar history of Colombiais somehow neglected. I wanted to have an insigth into what happened in Colombia after Pablo Escobrar's death and the change in power from Medelin to Cali in the leadereship of the drug busines.

Any additional comments?

After reading the book I watheced to the serie "En la boca del Lobo" at netflix. Excellent reconstruction of time and a serie that is worth to be watched even if you do not listen the book

1 person found this helpful

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Riveting

Bought this thinking I could listen to it in the background, but I found myself glued to it so riveting was the story. Reminded me of Netflix 'Narcos' and 'Argo' in the suspense category. Props to 'Jorge' for risking everything to bring down some awful monsters and to the US DEA agents for sticking with him to get him and his family out of Colombia.

1 person found this helpful

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Don't forget to breath

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a book that immediately pulls you in.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

It was almost impossible for me to put down. You never knew what was coming next.


Which character – as performed by Fred Sanders – was your favorite?

I liked the main character. He rocked his life to save his families and "do the right thing"

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Get ready for a roller coaster ride

1 person found this helpful

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incredible story. well told.

it's a truly fantastic story and it was performed superbly. jorge is a lovable criminal with a captivating moral dilemma and inspiring courage. i would recommend this to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderfully Written! Excellent Performance!

A very well written and informative book. Read by an excellent reader. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Finished watching season 3 of Narcos so this peaked my interest as you hear more about Escobar than the Cali Cartel but they were bigger and better organized.
Slightly different than series but more informative.
Narrator was great too!