The Power of the Dog
|Genre||Thriller, Crime novel , Historical novel|
|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3573.I5326 P69 2005|
Winslow's novel describes three decades of the United States war on drugs by following several main characters: The DEA agent Art Keller, Adán Barrera, who controls large parts of the drug trade from Mexico to the United States of America, the prostitute Nora Hayden and Sean Callan, a gangster from the streets of New York. Keller becomes obsessed with the Barrera family after they tortured and killed a DEA agent in Mexico. Trying to avenge his colleague Keller discovers massive involvement of the US and the Mexican government in drug trade operations. The CIA prevents him from taking revenge on the drug cartels to combat left activists in Latin America.
Winslow shows the brutality of the war of drugs with very graphic scenes involving torture and massacres. He also explains with many details how the drug trade worked and how the different organisations collaborated to achieve their respective goals—from the Mexican drug cartels to the Vatican.
Arthur "Art" "Arturo" Keller : DEA agent, participant in the Operation Condor, obsessed with hunting down the Barreras, and other people responsible for killing his friend. Husband of Althea, father of her children.
Adán Barrera: Nephew of Don Miguel Angel Barrera, brother of Raul. Drug trafficker. Nicknamed Lord of the Skies.
Nora Hayden: Prostitute. In love with Juan Parada, lover of Adán, Sean, and Jimmy Piccone.
Sean Callan: Irish mobster and hitman for the Italian mafia.
Don Miguel Angel "Tio" Barrera: El Patron, head of the drug trafficking organization. Uncle of Adán and Raul.
Juan Ocampo Parada: Cardinal, priest of the Barrera family. Nora's friend.
Güero Méndes: Drug trafficker, first an ally, then an enemy of the Barrera family. Husband of Pilar and father of her children.
Sal Scachi: Former Colonel of the United States Army, now member of the Calabrese crime family.
Jimmy Picone: Member of the Calabrese crime family, acquintace of Sean Callan and Sal Scachi.
Fabián "El Tiburon" Martinez: Main hitman of Raul Barrera.
Raul Barrera: Older brother of Adán, Co-leader of the Barrera cartel.
Gloria Barrera: Daughter of Adán and Lucia.
O-Bop: Friend of Sean Callan, Irish mobster.
Ramos: Friend of Arthur, member of the Mexican Police.
Allusions to actual history, geography and current science
CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking is central to the book's plot.
Portrayal of the Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio's murder in Tijuana on March 23, 1994.
Aspects and some of the resolutions of the Cristero War are mentioned.
Winslow includes the 1985 Mexico City earthquake and its far reaching consequences for Mexico into the plot.