THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH
Readers of Pérez-Reverte's sixth thriller won't be able to turn the pages fast enough: the author of The Club Dumas , The Seville Communion and other literary adventure novels now tackles the gritty world of drug trafficking in Mexico, southern Spain and Morocco, offering a frightening, fascinating look at the international business of transporting cocaine and hashish as well as a portrait of a smart, fast, daring and lucky woman, Teresa Mendoza. As the novel opens, Teresa's phone rings. She doesn't have to answer it: the phone is a special one given to her by her boyfriend, drug runner and expert Cessna pilot Güero Dávila. He has warned her that if a call ever came, it meant he was dead, and that she had to run for her own life. On the lam, Teresa leaves Mexico for Morocco, where she keeps a low profile transporting drug shipments with her new lover. But after a terrible accident and a brief stint in prison, Teresa's on her own again. She manages to find her way, but Teresa is no mere survivor: gaining knowledge in every endeavor she becomes involved in and using her own head for numbers and brilliant intuition, she eventually winds up heading one of the biggest drug traffic rings in the Mediterranean. Spanning 12 years and introducing a host of intriguing, scary characters, from Teresa's drug-addicted prison comrade to her former assassin turned bodyguard, the novel tells the gripping tale of "a woman thriving in a world of dangerous men." Agent, Howard Morhaim. (June)
Forecast: Like Pérez-Reverte's previous novels, this one is an international bestseller. It should hit big here too, released in a 100,000 printing and backed by an author tour.