Friday, June 5, 2009

Review ~ Chemical Cowboys by Lisa Sweetingham

Lisa Sweetingham, former reporter best known for covering the trials of Michael Jackson, Robert Blake and Scott Peterson has written Chemical Cowboys: The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin.

Book Description ~ For nearly a decade, Ecstasy kingpin Oded Tuito was the mastermind behind a drug ring that used strippers and Hassidic teenagers to mule millions of pills from Holland to the party triangle--Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.

Chemical Cowboys is a thrilling journey through 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 take down Tuito’s network met unexpected challenges and personal discoveries that almost crippled his own family. Weaved 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.

Chemical Cowboys offers a taut, behind-the-scenes glimpse into an international criminal enterprise as daring as it is deadly.

My Thoughts ~ I was excited about this book because my husband always watches tv shows talking about the history of drugs, etc. This is the first and probably only book I have ever read, that he actually said he wanted to read as well, lol.

If you grew up in the 70's, 80's or even the 90's then you are probably familiar with Ecstasy. It was actually discovered in the early 1900's by Merck (Germany), but was forgotten about due to the War and other discoveries. Somehow the drug made it's way over to the US for further study over the 1950's & 1960's. It actually has an interesting history, along with most illegal drugs.

Chemical Cowboys is an account of one DEA agent's years-long quest to take down an Israeli crime boss who was responsible for the importation of much of the Ecstasy sold in the United States. This is an investigation that took place over several years, the book covers all of it, including another look at the Michael Alig case.

Chemical Cowboys is full of facts, figures, and details. However, it never reads like it is. The book is fast paced, it reads just like a fiction novel. I honestly, hardly ever read non-fiction. I had to keep reading the book description to verify it really was a true crime book.

It provides a unique perspective on how the police build their cases. Regardless of how you feel on drugs that are considered illegal, you can't help but be happy when Tuito was a taken down. It also gives you a look at some of the other illegal activities that most drug dealers take part in, and why the police are so serious about drug crimes.

This was an excellent read and would make a great gift for Father's Day offering all the action and suspense that a Dad could ask for! I know my husband would love to open this book on Father's Day. He has already started reading my copy. I will be honest, this is the first time since we have been together (13+ years) that I have ever seen him read an actual book.

Be sure to check out other great reviews of Chemical Cowboys and many other fabulous books over at Pump up your book promotion.

Chemical Cowboys
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1 comment:

CherylS22 said...

Great review! I'm interested in reading this book, but like you I usually don't like to read non-fiction. I'm glad to hear it reads like fiction.

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