Cartel by Lili St Germain

Lili St Germain was new to me at the start of 2014 but I have to say that she is now a firm favourite after her phenomenal Gypsy Brothers Series, which is you have not had the opportunity to read, you really should treat yourself because the whole series is absolutely top drawer!!

But I digress, I am here to tell you about Cartel, the first book in Ms St Germain’s new series. But where exactly to begin has me in a quandary.

The events in this book are set prior to the events of Gypsy Brothers but you should not consider that as a negative. This series, if this first book is anything to go by will be awesome.

But if like me you were left with little but contempt for Dornan Ross from beginning to end of the Gypsy Brothers series, this book will catch you a little unawares because this is life before the Gypsy Brothers – this is the early years and Dornan is back giving us an insight into the making of a monster! And it will have you completely engrossed, his whole demeanour will have you captivated, I mean are monsters born or bred – how on earth can anyone be as evil as he pertains to be – it had me questioning myself and him almost every paragraph.

I wasn’t entirely sure how this would unfold, I mean Dornan was a sadistic bastard in the previous series but bloody hell he really raised the bar to new levels of bastard – the man truly was the devil incarnate. He was trained from childhood to be an evil son of a bitch and fuck me he had it down pat! But did I expect what I got – not a chance this was a book that was soul destroying, it was completely outside my realm of comprehension and yet it was totally absorbing.

Don’t for one minute think this won’t get to you because believe me it will nail your arse!!

But what about Mariana? Could he cope with her and what would she do to survive her situation?

I liked her but found her difficult to connect with on some levels, I understood her determination to survive at all costs, she had spunk and fight that landed her in more trouble that she needed most of the time but she hung on to the little bit of her that she needed in order to keep herself sane. She remembered where she had come from and getting back to her past was all that mattered. But she was quick to move on and to almost erase Este, I couldn’t understand how?

Her relationship with Dornan was complicated, it was completely twisted on one hand but easy to assimilate on another – he was everything she had in her present time, love and/or hate him, her life and everything that happened in it was at his behest, I thought about the implications and I don’t know if I would have been able to cope the way she did or whether I would have sought a more permanent way out. So for that reason, I reserve judgement on her until I get to know her a little better.

But what can I say to you about this book – what I can say it that this does not deal with the pink and fluffy side of life, it is dark and unforgiving and I have to say rightfully so.

It deals with the underbelly of life, the shitty bits that we all know exist but hope like hell that we never have to come into contact with. It delves into the world of the trafficking in all its guises- drugs, weapons and people.

And while their victims deserve our pity and sympathy those that perpetuate and instigate the crimes are only to be condemned and abhorred because right or wrong for whatever reason they give for being involved, unlike their victims they have a choice, a conscious decision to make on what path to tread and they have chosen the path that serves their own gratification – I found many of the characters in this book not only distasteful but positively repulsive.

But I was completely engrossed and in some places completely terrified – the book is go graphic, so disturbing but expertly written, a perfect portrayal of life in all its incarnations, showing the human will to survive and the unfathomable ends that some will go to both ensure that does and does not happen.