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The Queen of the South  By  cover art

The Queen of the South

By: Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Narrated by: Lina Patel
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Publisher's summary

Few authors inspire the kind of passion that Arturo Pérez-Reverte does. Reviewers, readers, and booksellers alike have embraced his fiction as the perfect blend of suspense and literary ambition. A global best seller, he is one of the most admired and widely read authors in the world. And his stunning new novel is his best yet.

A remarkable tale, The Queen of the South spans continents, from the dusty streets of Mexico to the sparkling waters off the coast of Morocco, to Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar. A sweeping story set to the irresistible beat of the drug smugglers' ballads, it encompasses sensuality and cruelty, love and betrayal, as its heroine's story unfolds.

Teresa Mendoza's boyfriend is a drug smuggler who the narcos of Sinaloa, Mexico, call "the king of the short runway", because he can get a plane full of coke off the ground in 300 yards. But in a ruthless business, life can be short, and Teresa even has a special cell phone that Guero gave her along with a dark warning. If that phone rings, it means he's dead, and she'd better run, because they're coming for her next.

Then the call comes.

In order to survive, she will have to say goodbye to the old Teresa, an innocent girl who once entrusted her life to a drug smuggler. She will have to find inside herself a woman who is tough enough to inhabit a world as ugly and dangerous as that of the narcos, a woman she never before knew existed. Indeed, the woman who emerges will surprise even those who know her legend, that of the Queen of the South.

The Queen of the South is translated from Spanish by Andrew Hurley.
©2002 Arturo Perez-Reverte, Translation 2004 Andrew Hurley (P)2004 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic reviews

"A frightening, fascinating look at the international business of transporting cocaine and hashish as well as a portrait of a smart, fast, daring and lucky woman, Teresa Mendoza." (Publishers Weekly)

“John Le Carre meets Gabriel Garcia Marquez...Pérez-Reverte has a huge following...and it’s spreading.” (The Wall Street Journal)

"A thriller with an almost meditative tone, the novel's energy comes not only from the action scenes, which are expertly delivered, but also from the monologues in which Mendoza struggles with the multiple contradictions in her life. Many Perez-Reverte readers will be...drawn in by the author's remarkable eloquence and ability to plumb the recesses of a character's psyche." (Booklist)