Cover image for The queen of the South
The queen of the South
Pérez-Reverte, Arturo.
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Reina del sur. English
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2004]

Physical Description:
436 pages ; 24 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.2 28.0 80149.
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FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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The critically acclaimed, beloved, and bestselling author of The Club Dumasand The Nautical Chartdelivers his most magniÞcent novel to date. 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 bestseller, 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 Southspans 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 three hundred 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 pinche narco 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.

Author Notes

Novelist and former journalist Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez was born in Cartagena, Spain on November 25, 1951. He started his journalistic career writing for the Spanish newspaper Pueblo and later for Television Espanola - the Spanish state owned television, in the role of war correspondant. He worked as a war correspondent from 1973 to1994 before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, El húsar, which was set in the Napoleonic Wars, was published in 1986, and he is well-known internationally for his popular Captain Alatriste fiction series, which takes place in 17th-century Europe. Pérez-Reverte has been elected to the Spanish Royal Academy.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Perez-Reverte has established a reputation for expertly mixing history and mystery; for taking seemingly arcane subjects (fencing, rare books, navigation) and exposing their richness as metaphor; and for focusing as much on his characters' inner lives as on the action that envelops them. Here he leaves the arcane subject matter behind to tell the story of Teresa Mendoza, the Queen of the South, a notorious and enigmatic drug smuggler in Spain and Morocco. History plays a role--the story is based on fact--but there is none of the elaborate intercutting between contemporary and historical plots that characterizes the author's earlier books. That is not to say, however, that this is just another drug-running thriller. Using an elaborate, Citizen Kane-like structure to tell his story, Perez-Reverte follows an intrepid reporter who is researching a book on the mysterious Mendoza. Much like Kane, the text jumps from the reporter's interviews to flashbacks in which the story unfolds, tracing Mendoza's life from her beginnings in Sinaloa, Mexico, and her escape to Spain after the murder of her boyfriend, to her remarkable emergence as the major player in the high-risk game of transporting drugs across the Straits of Gibraltar. 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 less interested in drug running than in rare books, but they will be drawn in by the author's remarkable eloquence and ability to plumb the recesses of a character's psyche. --Bill Ott Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers of Perez-Reverte's sixth thriller won't be able to turn the pages fast enough: the author of The Club Dumas, The Seville Communion and other literary adventure novels now tackles the gritty world of drug trafficking in Mexico, southern Spain and Morocco, offering 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. As the novel opens, Teresa's phone rings. She doesn't have to answer it: the phone is a special one given to her by her boyfriend, drug runner and expert Cessna pilot Guero Davila. He has warned her that if a call ever came, it meant he was dead, and that she had to run for her own life. On the lam, Teresa leaves Mexico for Morocco, where she keeps a low profile transporting drug shipments with her new lover. But after a terrible accident and a brief stint in prison, Teresa's on her own again. She manages to find her way, but Teresa is no mere survivor: gaining knowledge in every endeavor she becomes involved in and using her own head for numbers and brilliant intuition, she eventually winds up heading one of the biggest drug traffic rings in the Mediterranean. Spanning 12 years and introducing a host of intriguing, scary characters, from Teresa's drug-addicted prison comrade to her former assassin turned bodyguard, the novel tells the gripping tale of "a woman thriving in a world of dangerous men." Agent, Howard Morhaim. (June) Forecast: Like Perez-Reverte's previous novels, this one is an international bestseller. It should hit big here too, released in a 100,000 printing and backed by an author tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Perez-Reverte abandons the elaborate intellectual scaffolding of novels like The Club Dumas for the sock-it-to-'em tale of Teresa Mendoza, on the run after her drug-smuggling boyfriend is killed. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.