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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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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El Diablo

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Valorie
  • FAIRVIEW, NC, United States
  • 09-03-12

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.<br/><br/><br/>

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Elana
  • NASHVILLE, TN, United States
  • 08-20-12

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding!

I became interested in what drug cartel took over in Columbia after Pablo Escabar was killed after watching the Netflix series Narcos. This is a thrilling story that shows how deadly and dangerous it was to be involved in the drug trade.

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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.

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Riveting

One of the best audio books I have ever listened to. If you are at all interested in this topic, I highly recommend this book. It reads like a fast paced crime story. Well written and great performance.

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outstanding

excellect account of events. The narrator made it easy to listen to. This book fills in possible gaps others leave out.

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Too much speculative dialog for a nonfiction story

I listened to over half of it and could never get interested. I dont care to listen to fiction. I'd rather read it. I really like the narrator but faking a Spanish accent in the dialog was unnecessary and only added to my annoyance of all the dialog. The author had several runs of delivering interesting facts of the story then the main character would begin bantering with someone. This broke up the flow and I'd lose interest.
If you like listening to fiction this will be a fine listen. I'd rather read dialog myself.

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whoa, crazy stuff and a world I never want to know

Good narrator, told story without confusing then listener. There are so many people to keep straight though, I had to go back to remember who was who.