Library Journal Review
The former acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Riley, with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Weiss, recounts his dogged 32-year pursuit of the man most responsible for America's drug epidemic: Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, leader of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. As one might expect from an officer more comfortable in the street than behind a desk, Riley effectively and straightforwardly describes how Guzmán stoked demand to increase profit from his supply and used violence, bribery, and planning to control and defend his operations, all while staying one step ahead of his would-be captors. Riley also comments (repeatedly but justifiably) on the frustration felt by the DEA owing to the ignorance of lawmakers and politicians who didn't grasp the scale of harm Guzmán and his cartel were causing. The assertion that continuous interagency communication is critical to the success of law enforcement seems patently obvious, and readers will sympathize with Riley's efforts to drive this point home to those in power. VERDICT For readers who enjoy true tales of heroic good guys chasing evil bad guys and fans of the podcast Chapo: Kingpin on Trial.-Ricardo Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Retired DEA agent Riley reviews his three decades of combating drug traffickers in this gripping memoir. Riley was at the forefront of the efforts to apprehend Mexican drug lord JoaquA-n "El Chapo" GuzmA¡n Loera, currently on trial in New York for drug trafficking. Riley joined the DEA in 1985 and soon began working undercover, where he quickly realized the futility of racking up arrest statistics that removed a street dealer from a corner for a short while, but did nothing to address the larger organization supplying that dealer. His successes led to more and more responsibility within the DEA, where he pushed for interagency efforts to target entire cartels. In 1995, he heard about El Chapo, a Mexican crime boss who stood out because the Colombians paid him in drugs to distribute their cocaine within the U.S. Other Mexican drug lords soon followed El Chapo's lead, and with their own supply of cocaine, they were able to push the Colombians out of the U.S. market. Over the course of decades, Riley zealously pursued El Chapo, efforts that eventually paid off with his most recent apprehension in 2016 and his extradition to the U.S. Riley doesn't regard the war on drugs as close to over, noting that law enforcement can't be solely responsible for combating widespread drug addiction. This accessible look at the dangerous work of the men and women of the DEA deserves a wide audience. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.