This book had risen to very popular status before I bought it and there were 57 holds on one copy at our library!! I wasn't disappointed. From the opening page, the reader is thrust into the scary "life is cheap" world of a Mexican population which has been subjected to the prolonged, horrific violence of the cartels. Mix in the corrupt officials and the parasites who operate in the middle levels, and the plight of the main characters becomes a desperate struggle to survive. The lengths to which a mother will go for her son, the horrors of mass murder, the absolute despair, and the triumph of love and determination are the basis of the well written novel. Very thought provoking. A recommended read.