The Power of the Dog (Don Winslow)

I read the review for the third book in this trilogy, The Border, and thought it sounded intriguing. Here was what? A mystery? A thriller? A book that intersected with a period of history I experienced (the Iran-Contra Affair). It promised adventure with a purpose.

It delivered a stereotypical misogynistic mess. I’m not sure why I didn’t bail out of it sooner. It seemed so promising at first. Winslow clearly knows his history and it moved quickly. I thought that the political action would intersect more with the covert operations, and it just didn’t. The events that are contemporary to the story are just so much window dressing. This is a rogue cop, hooker with a heart of gold, Mexican drug dealer story written by an author who so clearly has his eyes set on some kind of screen adaptation.

There are 14 years between when The Power of the Dog was published and when The Border came out and I read that review. Maybe Winslow got better over time?

I’m not going to find out.

Charles Ellenbogen is the author of the teaching memoir, THIS ISN’T THE MOVIES: 25 YEARS IN THE CLASSROOM, and teaches high school English in Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio with Kirsten, his wife, Zoe, their daughter, Ezra, their son, Lincoln, their dog, and Chocolate Scales, their snake.

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