Firstly I wish to thank Andrea Kiliany Thatcher of Smith Publicity for inviting me to read and review CRUSADER by Joel Galloway
The United States’ crackdown on cocaine trafficking in Florida has forced the Colombian drug cartels to turn to Mexico. The original, monolithic Mexican drug cartel has splintered into several warring factions, exhibiting a type of ruthlessness and barbarism that has not been seen before. Military and law enforcement personnel are actively recruited by the new deadly Mexican cartels, as well as all manner of criminals and U.S. gangsters. An ancient evil religion fuels the ambitions of the most powerful cartel leaders, hell-bent on utter destruction.
As it fights its decent into darkness the country desperately searches for heroes…
The book is unique. It is violent. It attempts to portray the so-called Mexican drug wars in a realistic fashion as to capture the brutality and devastation of the appropriate time periods. The antagonists, cartel leaders devoted to the ancient Aztec gods, perform evil acts in shocking mannerisms. Yet, at the same time, it tells the tale of a man and his spiritual quest to find peace. The main protagonist is a former DEA agent who is captured, tortured, and left for dead in the Mexican wilderness. He is discovered and brought to a monastery where he is healed by a polymath Catholic priest. Eventually, the protagonist becomes devoted to the priest’s cause. He is transformed into a holy warrior, reminiscent of the Knights Templars, and will stop at nothing in his fight against the cartels to protect the innocent.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is one action packed and realistic read. The opening scene is a pretty wicked one where a severely beaten and tortured American DEA agent is literally up to his neck in it, sand that is. One of his eyes a few feet away tempting the Mexican desert creatures to an appetizer while the rest of him bakes in a tomb of sand in the sun. Tormenting memories haunting his mind of his wife and child in the hands of the Mexican drug cartel, then bouts of unconsciousness.
As America has forced the drug barons back over the Mexican borders the place has become more like something from the biblical times of Sodom and Gomorrah where vile and money driven men run corrupt police forces and courts. Anything goes, from beatings to murder, drug dealing to rape. Drug cartels openly run the towns and cities, battling openly with each other for pole position.
When a priest finds an almost dead man in the desert he nurses him back to health with the help of nuns. A man who has lost everything becomes their only hope, the Crusader, he has nothing left to lose and ready for revenge.
The story is very realistically told with no holds bared, when hands and knees are battered with sledge hammers you feel like you hear the bones splinter you cringe and take in sharp breaths and you feel terrified for the people who once had no hope. The Crusader is a warrior of the people, someone who does impossible feats against impossible odds to become a sort of myth, a holy warrior to save the people. A Robin Hood for the poor and a protector against the violence.
I really didn’t know where to stop reading this as the stories wove with each other, each harbouring its own horrors. History, religion and myths mixed to give the reader a kaleidoscope of unpredictable action that you really had no clue how it would come together on each page. It is a terrific story and outstanding debut. Brilliant research with the author who shares even more knowledge in the back of the book when the story is finished. You really couldn’t ask for anymore. A real gem!