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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Debut!
This is a remarkable debut novel that heralds an exciting new talent to hit the crime writing scene. For just over 300 pages of gripping storytelling it quite simply doesn't put a foot wrong.

The two leads; Kelly the boxer and Sevilla, the emotionally battered old cop are hugely sympathetic and draw the reader into the tale effortlessly. They each have their...
Published on 23 July 2012 by Mr. Michael Malone

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good start, middle, but the end???
Good start to the book, intriguing set-up, good middle, very interesting, then, well the author seemed to have not known what to do with the plot. Having built a believable set of characters and a depressingly real landscape, the detective seems to lose the plot and then it's all wrapped up in such a neat way it's almost farcical, maybe it's just me but I was very...
Published on 26 Mar. 2012 by Mr. N. D. White


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Debut!, 23 July 2012
By 
Mr. Michael Malone (Ayr, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dead Women of Juárez (Paperback)
This is a remarkable debut novel that heralds an exciting new talent to hit the crime writing scene. For just over 300 pages of gripping storytelling it quite simply doesn't put a foot wrong.

The two leads; Kelly the boxer and Sevilla, the emotionally battered old cop are hugely sympathetic and draw the reader into the tale effortlessly. They each have their own personal tragedy they wear like a cloak, but Hawken being the talented storyteller he is doesn't give us all of the relevant information up front. Instead he allows this to inform the characters actions and motivations while doling out portions of the truth like a miser with his coin.

The real-life victims of the crimes that pervade this city are in the background, their tragedy highlighted by the simple but effective ploy of showing the effect that their deaths have had on the people left behind. Time and again we see them draped in black, crushed under the weight of their grief: a much more effective device than a passage of torture.

This really is quality writing and a top drawer novel.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and dangerous, 16 May 2012
This review is from: The Dead Women of Juárez (Paperback)
Brilliant read, the story is set in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez. The author paints a harsh and stark portrayal of an American boxer escaping his demons in Juarez, and how his life which appears to be on the up suddenly spirals chaotically out of control. The setting is bleak and it pulls you into the squalor and depravity of the dark underbelly of the rich and privileged who can turn the hand of the local police.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleak and Brilliant, 18 Mar. 2011
By 
D. Moore (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the darkest, bleakest, most brilliant books I've ever read. Kelly Courter is a jaded, worn-out boxer. Drugs, drink, and a series of fights where he's basically used as a punching bag, are a far cry from his previous successful career in Texas. The one bright spot in his life is his girlfriend Paloma - a volunteer at an organisation trying to get justice for the hundreds of women who have disappeared in Juarez in recent years. Many of them have been found murdered. Some have never been found. Senseless brutality, poverty, fear, hopelessness and desperation soak the pages of this book. I felt utterly sad and drained after I'd finished it. It's only January, but I already know it will be on my best of 2011 list. It's really stunning in an 'oh my god, tell me that didn't just happen' sort of way. This book is so dark and gritty and hard-boiled that you feel as though somebody's locked you in a cellar and thrown seven tons of coal down on top of you before boiling you so hard you need a pickaxe to get out. Sorry, that was a very forced metaphor. It's bloody dark, OK?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, intriguing and thought-provoking., 14 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Dead Women of Juárez (Paperback)
Briefly, The Dead Women of Juarez is about a washed-up American boxer who is scraping a living in the Mexican border town of Juarez. His Mexican girlfriend works for an organisation that seeks justice for Juarez's many female kidnappings and homicides, and it's through this angle that the book gets darker and more intriguing. Once the washed-up boxer falls foul of the criminals and corrupt police of Juarez after his girlfriend is raped and murdered, it falls to an equally washed-up cop to find out what is going on.

This book is well written and thought-provoking, dark but engaging at the same time, which is no mean feat. The chapters are short and choppy, lending themselves perfectly to the cinematic pace and feel of the novel. I read a review that suggested it would make a really good basis for a film, and would have to agree. It's dirty and washed out, just like the Mexican town in which it is set. The novel has just the right amount of moral observation to make it thought-provoking without being too dictatorial, but overall it ticks all the right boxes for me in terms of pace and style. Bits of it reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's writing, probably the border-land setting and economical prose. I also liked the fact that not all the loose ends are tied up, it had the right amount of conclusion without feeling the need to make it `happyily ever after' - as such an ending would simply feel wrong.

I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eyeopening account of a life in Mexico, 29 Jan. 2012
By 
Harry Warren "tom-andrews" (London, England, UK, Europe, The World) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dead Women of Juárez (Paperback)
Sam Hawken has written a harrowing account of life on the wrong side of the US / Mexican border. The story of Kelly Courter a flawed American boxer, alcoholic and heroin addict and Raefel Sevilla a policeman and father of a missing daughter. Set in Ciudad Juaewz, home to officially 500 missing women (though locals claim as many as 5,000) the story exposes the dark consequences of of a poor society living cheek by jowl with America. Hawken describes a city of working poor, struggling in factories producing consumer goods for American firms and sex and drugs industry serving tourists from across the border. A chilling account of revenge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars South of the border noir with a social conscience, 8 Nov. 2012
By 
J. H. Bretts "jerard1" - See all my reviews
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This is the first novel from Texan historian Sam Hawken but I'm sure we're going to hear a lot more from him. The Dead Women of Juarez is a formidable, well crafted and atmospheric crime novel, featuring a young American boxer and an ageing Mexican policeman , both tragically caught up in the disappearance of women from the beautifully evoked border town. There is a quite a lot of violence but it is never gratuitous, and as the author makes clear in his afterword, the story is very much based on real events.Highly recommended for fans of writers like Cormac McCarthy and George Pelecanos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Startling; a good read., 2 Sept. 2012
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What was great about his book was that you really got to know the characters, and you saw the ordinariness and the struggle of their lives, so you cared what happened to them. It opened my eyes to the plight of the disappeared in Mexico without being preachy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead Women of Juárez, 24 Nov. 2013
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What can I say that has not already been said by other reviewers? Well this book is different to your run of the mill crime thrillers and it opens your eyes as to what is happening and how much damage drugs and alcohol are doing to society. This book will open the readers eyes to the sub-culture that is happening not just in Mexico but all over the world.

The three main characters are well created and it has enough twists to keep the reader occupied throughout the book.The author Sam Hawken does not let his story slip into sentimentality and do not expect heroes to ride over the border from the USA and solve all the problems that they are most likely more than culpable for.

I loved the way that the book told the story from a damaged character, the washed up American boxer and did not pull any punches (if you will pardon the pun).

It is a book that make the reader think and I for one wanted to find out more about the missing women from Juárez, I would also ask that if you are concerned by the atrocities that are being allowed to happen in this country. Enjoy this book and then Join Amnesty International and help with the campaign to stop this.

Frankieg56, Belfast
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dead women, 11 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Dead Women of Juárez (Paperback)
an unusual book, unusual hero ? much enjoyed following recommendation from sunday times reviewer. shall add authors name to list of those to look out for in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read, 4 Sept. 2012
By 
R. Froes (UK) - See all my reviews
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When I first bought this book I wasn't sure whether I would like it. I did! It is a very interesting and well written book. Highly recommended.
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The Dead Women of Juárez
The Dead Women of Juárez by Sam Hawken (Paperback - 3 Nov. 2011)
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