The sixth novel from this celebrated Spanish author is an edgy tale of international drug trafficking that takes place in Mexico, Spain and Morocco. The queen in question is brave, resourceful Teresa Mendoza, whose boyfriend Guero Davila, is a drug dealer. When Guero is murdered, Teresa fears for her own life and flees to Morocco from Mexico. With a new boyfriend, she transfers shipments of cocaine and hashish but soon ends up in prison. Once she is free, however, Teresa educates herself, employing her business knowledge and sharp instincts to become the head of one of the largest drug outfits in the Mediterranean. Her remarkable ascent in a brutal world dominated by men occurs over the course of a 12-year period and is recounted by a journalist named Oscar Lobato. His narration blends with scenes from Teresa's journeys adventures which are enlivened by a number of unsavory individuals, including Patricia O'Farrell, Teresa's drug-addled prison mate and business partner. Intricately plotted and richly detailed, the tale of her survival in the dangerous world of drug running is characterized by PŽrez-Reverte's trademark use of tension and suspense. With his wide-ranging vision and flair for larger-than-life characters, he crafts a novel that's international in scope and significant for its portrayal of an indomitable female heroine who is perfectly at ease presiding over the macho subculture of the drug world.
A reading group guide is available at www.penguin.com.

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