Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick

saint deathIt’s very hard to review this book because I WANTED to love it the way I loved Blood Red Snow White and while I think that Saint Death is every bit as well-written as Blood Red Snow White, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I think that the problem truly stems from me – I am a very squeamish kind of reader, and this book is at times quite painfully explicit. We’re talking torture and all manner or horrendous acts of violence being described on these pages, and I just couldn’t handle it.

The prose is exquisite, as I’m coming to expect from anything Sedgwick writes, and I think that the storyline is very compelling, but for me this one just didn’t hit a home run. I found myself cringing and often trying to read through my fingers because I had to cover my face. The atrocities in this book are hard to swallow, made worse because I know that they are the sorts of things that happen regularly in parts of the world, including in Mexico. Drug cartels are no joke.

I love that this book tackles such a large and pressing issue in our modern day, and that it isn’t afraid to dive right in to the ugly underbelly of cartel life, but I don’t think I could bear to re-read this one. It’s just too sad! Don’t come here looking for a happy ending, because at best you’re going to get an incredibly bittersweet one that will leave your heart aching and your pulse racing from the suspense leading up to the final pages.

If you are looking for a realistic portrayal of drug cartels, gambling, and gang-life, this is definitely a great choice for you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Sedgwick has written a gruesome and haunting portrayal of poverty in Mexico and the drug cartels. It will tear you apart. Is it worth it? Yes. Will it hurt? YES.

What are you waiting for?

Rating: 4/5 stars

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