Charles Bowden is one of the most important voices writing today and is a voice that needs to be heard. His prose is poetic yet devastating. I have read other books about the current situation in Mexico but none have had such an impact as Murder City. It's written from the heart. It's true journalism.
I found this book to be repetitively dull and lacking any depth-it's basically a tedious listing of people murdered in the sphere of drug trafficking in one city.It lacks continuity;I was looking for a some factual insight for the huge number of killings.It's vague and repetitive,and although the details of the deaths are relentless we never get an insight into the why's and wherefores.We have to wait until page 148 where an interview with a sicarrio(assassin) takes place and this is interesting but everything else prior and post is not. The gist of the book is the police were taking backhanders from the drug lords,then they were ousted by the army and all with the backing of the government. I might have made an intelligent guess at that before picking up the book. I read on hoping it would improve but I was disappointed.
Bowden strives so hard for literary power that he forgets that he is essentially a journalist - he doesn't let the protagonists of this tragic story speak for themselves. I think AManuboy has hit the nail on the head in his review. This book could have been redeemed -partially at least - by many more interviews.