About Me

My photo
Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

Featured Post

Book Review: 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blog Tour & Review: Chemical Cowboys by Lisa Sweetingham

I would like to welcome Lisa Sweetingham to Epeolatry, who is here on her book blog tour for Chemical Cowboys: The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin. It is a book that I would highly recommend and perfect gift For Father's Day if you are still looking for a gift to give yours.

About Lisa Sweetingham

Journalist Lisa Sweetingham spent four years following in the footsteps of DEA agents and Ecstasy traffickers to bring Chemical Cowboys to life. Previously, she covered high-profile murder trials and Supreme Court nomination hearings for Court TV online. Sweetingham is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Parade, Spin, Time Out New York, Health Affairs, and many other publications. She resides in Los Angeles. Chemical Cowboys is her first book.

About Chemical Cowboys

For nearly a decade, Ecstasy kingpin Oded Tuito was the mastermind behind a drug ring that used strippers and ultra-Orthodox teenagers to mule millions of pills from Holland to the party triangle: Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. Chemical Cowboys: The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin is the thrilling, never-before-told success story of the groundbreaking undercover investigations that led to the toppling of a billion-dollar Ecstasy trafficking network, starting in 1995 when New York DEA Agent Robert Gagne infiltrated club land to uncover a thriving drug scene supported by two cultures: pill-popping club kids and Israeli dealers. Gagne's obsessive mission to make Ecstasy a priority for the DEA and to take down Tuito's network met with unexpected professional and personal challenges that almost crippled his own family. Woven into the narrative are the stories of Tuito's underlings, who struggled with addiction as they ran from the law, and the compelling experiences of a veteran Israeli police officer who aided Gagne while chasing after his own target, a violent Mob boss who saw the riches to be made in Ecstasy and began to import his own pills and turf warfare to the U.S.

My Review of Chemical Cowboys

Chemical Cowboys: The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin by Lisa Sweetingham traces of the evolution of the popular rave and nightclub drug, Ecstasy. DEA Agent Gagne first notices the drug in its early years, when it was known as "kiddie dope" and overlooked by officials focused on harder drugs like cocaine and heroine. Infiltrating the New York night club scene, Gagne and his partner track nightclub owner Peter Gatien and his league of employees including Club Kid King Michael Alig (remember the movie Party Monster? that guy). But Gatien and Alig are just small pieces in a larger, more world-wide drug puzzle full of danger, violence, death, and money. At the top of the international drug chain is Oded "the Fat Man" Tuito, and Gagne soon sets his sights on catching and convicting Tuito, as well as some of his other associates and drug pushers. Sweetingham takes the reader around the world, from Israel to Amsterdam, to Belgium and France, and back to the United States into the club scene and the mob. We witness law enforcement around the world working together to gain evidence and convictions. We are also given the ins and outs of how big time international drug dealers hide out, hide evidence, launder money, and pass drugs through airport and port security. This is a book full of twists and turns, with real life people and events and only minor details changed, mainly for the sake of condensing or protecting some of the people involved. When you read this book, you don't feel like you are reading some stiff account of justice in action-- it is certainly not dry. Sweetingham has written the book with enough personality and excitement that one could easily be reading a crime mystery novel. This book is further proof that the things that happen in real life can be just as good as anything you see on TV or read in fiction. What makes this book even more fascinating is that you know while reading it that these things really did and are still happening all around you. Names, places, and events are all familiar and distinct. You'll learn a lot of about drug trafficking and how law enforcement tracks down criminals. I wasn't aware that there were so many restrictions and regulations in place for Agents, and it was frustrating to me to see the bad guy get away so many times! This book must have taken a lot of time, and had to have required Sweetingham to research a lot. The sheer detail and specifics of the book shows that Sweetingham really knows what she is talking about and properly investigated the key players and chronology from beginning to end and everything connecting in a confusing and intricate web of drug crime.

No comments:

Post a Comment