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Publisher's Summary

The true confession of an assassin, a sicario, who rose through the ranks of the Southern California gang world to become a respected leader in an elite, cruelly efficient crew of hit men for Mexico's "most vicious drug cartel" - and eventually found a way out and a (almost) normal life.

Martin Corona, a US citizen, fell into the outlaw life at 12 and worked for a crew run by the Arellano brothers, founders of the Tijuana drug cartel that dominated the Southern California drug trade and much bloody gang warfare for decades. Corona's crew would cross into the United States from their luxurious hideout in Mexico, kill whomever needed to be killed north of the border, and return home in the afternoon. That work continued until the arrest of Javier Arellano-Félix in 2006 in a huge coordinated DEA operation. Martin Corona played a key role in the downfall of the cartel when he turned state's evidence. He confessed to multiple murders. Special Agent of the California Department of Justice Steve Duncan, who wrote the foreword, says Martin Corona is the only former cartel hit man he knows who is truly remorseful.

Martin's father was a US marine. The family had many solid middle-class advantages, including the good fortune to be posted in Hawaii for a time, during which a teenage Martin thought he might be able to turn away from the outlaw life of theft, drug dealing, gun play, and prostitution. He briefly quit drugs and held down a job, but a die had been cast. He soon returned to a gangbanging life he now deeply regrets.

How does someone become evil, a murderer who can kill without hesitation? This story is an insight into how it happened to one human being and how he now lives with himself. He is no longer a killer; he has asked for forgiveness; he has made a kind of peace for himself. He wrote letters to family members of his victims. Some of them not only wrote back but came to support him at his parole hearings. It is a cautionary tale but also one that shows that evil doesn't have to be forever.

©2017 Martin Corona and Tony Rafael (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Rather Disappointing

Would you try another book from Martin Corona and Tony Rafael and/or Jacob Vargas?

Hell no! Once was plenty enough re: Corona's exploits. Don't get either too excited or mislead by this books title: there is very little 'hitting' going on, and lots of trying to justify his actions, or at least downplay them. I would estimate a full 98-99% of the book is the author recounting his time in prison/youth centers/super-maxes...which can be interesting enough, just not what the title implied was coming. 3/5 max.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Anti-climatic, like much of the book.

Which scene was your favorite?

None really jump out. :(

Do you think Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

See 'Would you try another book' section above.

Any additional comments?

More of a 'Life in Prison' book than hit-man book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great performance!

the absolute best part of this book to me was the narrator. I enjoyed this book very much! you should enjoy it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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wow

It speaks to do many lost youth and needs to be a lesson/topic placed in the minds of all our children.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So-so

This book goes into great detail when explaining how he became a Hitman, but then ultra-rushes through the period when he actually was one. Disappointed in this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • kenc
  • CRESTWOOD, IL, United States
  • 07-29-17

Poorly written

When I started listening to it I couldn't believe how bad it was I listen to the end and I was not surprised probably the worst book I've ever read

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must listen!

This book was amazing. I loved the details it goes into. As a LA native, most of the subject matter (gangs, names, places, etc.) really put my head into the storytelling. My favorite thing of all was Jacob’s narration. His monotone style and relaxed demeanor made me feel like Martin Corona was at the Audible Studios himself.

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Great book!

This was truly a great book! Once I started it I couldn’t stop! I seriously suggest it to everyone!

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What a hit

Great book. I’m not into the glorification of cartels or drug dealers but Martin talks about the incidents in his life that made him who he was. This was the transformation of a kid moving through the prison industrial complex to graduate in becoming a hitman.

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eye opening

life is crazy i can't believe the events this man went thru it's crazy but hate that he snitched

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Heard this audio book twice!! love it

I loved the book this is my second time listening to it. narrator sounds clear. This is pretty much a biography of the hit man Martin Corona... I think many young adolescence should read this book