2 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5

Rating Distribution

  1. 6
  2. 2
  3. 1
  4. 0
  5. 0

The Cartel

  • Read by: Ray Porter
  • Runtime: 23.4 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 6.23.2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio
  • Genre: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
  • 23.40 hrs6/23/2015Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 9781504610773
2 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5

Rating Distribution

  1. 6
  2. 2
  3. 1
  4. 0
  5. 0
30 day rental Learn more

Winner of the 2016 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 

Winner of the 2015 RBA International Prize for Crime Writing

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Novel of 2016

A Sunday Times (London) Best Book of the Year of 2015

A New York Times Bestseller

An Entertainment Weekly “Must Read”

A New York Times Best Book of 2015

A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year in Mystery/Suspense

A 2015 New Statesman Best Book of the Year

A 2016 People’s Choice Award in Crime & Mystery

A New York Times Best Book of Summer Beach Reads

A Voice Arts Award Nominee

A London Times Pick for Thriller of the Month

A Esquire Magazine Pick for Summer Beach Reads

A Los Angeles Times Best Book for Summer 2015 in Mystery Thrillers

A San Francisco Chronicle Top Shelf Pick for Summer 2015

A Miami Herald Favorite Book for Summer Reading, 2015

A Los Angeles Magazine Pick for June 2015

A Houston Chronicle Pick of Books for Summer

A 2015 London’s Telegraph “Book of the Year for Christmas” Selection

A Chicago Tribune Best Book of Crime Fiction for Gift Giving

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015

A Booklist Top 10 Crime Novels of 2016

A Nominee for tje 2015 GoodReads Readers’ Choice  of Best Mystery & Thriller

A 2016 RUSA Reading List Shortlist Selection

Winner of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2015 for Mysteries & Thrillers

A Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2015

A BookPage Top Pick in Audiobooks

From the internationally bestselling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping, ripped from the headlines story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars.

It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adán Barrera, the head of El Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Finally putting Barrera away cost Keller dearly—the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead.

Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice—or is it revenge?—becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains, and deserts of Mexico to Washington’s corridors of power to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona.

Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico’s drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera—and himself—that he always knew must happen.

The Cartel is a true-to-life story of honor and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul. It is the story of the war on drugs and the men—and women—who wage it.

Editorial Reviews

“I’m totally swept up. You can’t ask for more emotionally moving entertainment.”

Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“A first-rate edge-of-your-seat thriller.”

Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A gut-punch of a novel. Big, ambitious, violent, and wildly entertaining…an absolute must-read.”

Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Sensationally good.”

Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This is the War and Peace of dope-war books. Tense, brutal, wildly atmospheric, stunningly plotted, deeply etched.”

James Ellroy, New York Times bestselling author



“High octane…The righteous indignation that fuels his tale of cops, cartels, and the near-apocalyptic havoc they can create is, to use a sadly appropriate word, addictive.”

Entertainment Weekly

“With corruption, violence, and a love story to boot, [The Cartel] is sure to have you grasping at the edge of your seat.”

Vanity Fair

“A magnum opus…[Winslow] is to the Mexican drug wars what James Ellroy is to LA noir.”

New York Times

“One of the best thriller writers on the planet…Winslow has written an epic, gritty south-of-the-border Godfather for our time.”


“A sort of Game of Thrones of the Mexican drug wars, a multipart, intricately plotted, blood-soaked epic that tells the story of how America’s unquenchable appetite for illegal drugs has brought chaos to our southern neighbors and darkened our own political and criminal culture.”

Rolling Stone

“Here is fiction based on the best journalistic sources, with lively dialogue, timely revelations, and overall the pace and feel of an exploded documentary…A brilliant and informative work of fiction about a nightmare world that flourishes in the bright light of day.”


“A grand and gripping epic novel.”

Huffington Post

“A Wagernian epic of murder and vengeance..The Cartel is as much a work of meticulous journalism as artful fiction…[with] skillfully drawn characters.”

Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

“An adrenaline rush, addictive as crack, and epic…Winslow deals in corruption, subversion, and revenge with an intensity that makes him irresistible.”

Los Angeles Magazine

“This exhaustively researched novel elucidates not just the situation in Mexico but the consequences of our own disastrous forty-year ‘war on drugs.’”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Horrifying in its accuracy, mesmerizing in its sweep and immediacy, brilliantly pace and placed…It’s all made intensely real by Ray Porter’s powerful performance.”

BookPage (Top Pick in Audiobooks)

“A jarring glimpse into a reality about which many Americans remain blissfully unaware.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“There is some of The Godfather here, but Winslow’s characterizations, though certainly multidimensional, have more of an edge to them than do Puzo’s…Clearly one of the most ambitious and most accomplished crime novels to appear in the last fifteen years.”

Booklist (starred review)

“At heart, this is the familiar tale of symbiosis between pursuer and pursued, reconfigured for the war on drugs and given a mean noir edge.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Ray Porter is an experienced narrator who does an expert job with Winslow’s complex plot and dozens of characters…Porter does many voices—depicting characters’ accents, genders, and ages very well. His pace is good, and his tone is intense without being overly dramatic.”


“[The Cartel] gives, perhaps, the clearest insight I’ve ever seen into the corruption that has nearly ruined the country of Mexico. Very tough book, but if you want to know what’s going on south of the border, it is a must read.”

Bill O’Reilly, The O’Reilly Factor (Factor Tip of the Day)

“Lengthy, ambitious, and uncompromising.”

Mystery Scene

2 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5

Rating Distribution

  1. 6
  2. 2
  3. 1
  4. 0
  5. 0

2 out of 2 (100%) recommend this product

Write a review
    • 5/5

    Fans of the new Net Flix series Narcos will probably enjoy this more modern story.

    Paul (AudiobookReviewer) February 12, 2016
    The Cartel by Don Winslow is a follow up to his 2005 novel The Power of the Dog featuring two dynamic rivals — Art Keller and Adan Barrera, childhood friends who became arch enemies. Barrera leads the Mexican cartel while Art Keller, an ex-military DEA operative tries to bring him down.

    Don Winslow’s novel is more than simply a gritty organized crime story, it spans politics, diplomacy, culture and economics. There is a vast array of characters and locations; a truly epic piece of fiction. Winslow has a very deep understanding of Mexico which comes through in the writing.

    Ray Porter narrates both novels superbly, I assume he’s fluent in Spanish. He manages a number of character voices with conviction. These are very long novels so having the right voice to tell the story was truly critical. A+ on narration.

    A few honest thoughts on The Cartel. First and foremost, this is not a crime story for the faint of heart. It’s profane, graphic and extremely violent to the point of being grotesque. Second, if you have not read The Power of the Dog first I would recommend starting there, although it is possible to just pick up and listen to The Cartel without having heard the first book. Third, this is a very long story, it deserves to be compared to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather in its epic scope.

    Fans of the new Net Flix series Narcos will probably enjoy this more modern story.

    Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
    No 0 | Yes 0
    • 5/5

    A Quick Punch in the Gut Story

    Alan August 25, 2015
    The Cartel is a quick punch in the gut story about a federal agent attempting to take down some of the biggest cartels in Mexico. Don Winslow does an excellent job setting up his characters and scenes. You can actually picture everything easily. He does a great job of describing the violence of the cartels with out going into grave detail. Ray Porter was an excellent choice to narrate this title as he easily handles all the characters and the Spanish as well. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants a strong story with an interesting leading character.
    No 0 | Yes 0

2 Item(s)

per page

Author Biography

Don Winslow is the author of the highly acclaimed, multi-award-winning novel The Cartel, a New York Times bestseller, which also garnered the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and made the “Best Books of the Year” lists for the New Statesman, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Amazon. His other books have won the Shamus Award, Maltese Falcon Award, and the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize. Winslow has also written for film and television.

Titles by Author > See all

Reader Biography

Ray Porter has garnered two Audie nominations and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. A fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

Titles by Reader > See all

  • Summary
  • Reviews
  • Editorial Reviews
  • Related
  • Author Biography
  • Reader Biography
Digital Audiobooks With Zero Restrictions