by Silvia Meave*
Imagine: A pharmaceutical scientist dies in a car accident, and his closest workmate —a young lady— begins to investigate the tragedy after finding out a possible evidence of a murder, while she was poking through the man's belongings at his office.
Simultaneously, the woman crosses paths to a former prosecutor, who's going to become a dear friend, her lover and her key contact to solve the mysterious crash which took place in a suburban area of Chicago.
"The Drug Lords" is an exciting novel, written by Joel W. Barrows (the second book in his literary career), which has the power to make the reader sweat cold and jump from his/her seat on the end of every chapter, being eager to reach the final page to know who is behind a chain of disturbing events in the erstwhile peaceful lives of the protagonists.
Barrows explores for his novel the dark side of the pharmaceutical industry: Patent theft, greed over the greater good, the hidden side effects of drugs, and some other unethical business practices that are great ingredients in an explosive thriller book full of romance.
The author’s fluent prose style offers an amazing, vivid, and detailed description of the pharma executives’ way of life, as well as the law enforcement officials’ human side. The reader easily makes empathetic connection with the main characters, Karen Tobin and John Bristol, who are charming personalities with a strong sense of justice.
Moreover, Barrows introduces a classic character of the crime books in his story: the private detective; however, he reinvents his role in the plot.
Definitely, "The Drug Lords" is one of the best books of 2017 due to the addressed subject, and the original way the author narrates a love story emerged in the middle of stressful criminal events.