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Ms Ramsden, Channing School

Saint Death

'Saint Death' is about two teenagers growing up in a small town on the Mexico-US border. Arturo and Faustino have been friends since they were children but when Faustino starts working for a 'narco' (i.e. drugs) gang they drift apart. The story starts when Faustino turns up on Arturo's door begging him to help him clear a debt of $1000 he owes to the narco gang. Reluctantly, Arturo finds himself agreeing to help his old friend, knowing that he is risking his own life to do so. This gripping and thought-provoking read exposes the cost of illegal drug trafficking in Mexico, including violence, police corruption and almost total breakdown of law and order. Sedgwick writes well, including lots of Spanish colloquialisms, and does not shy away from describing extreme violence (although not in graphic detail). Authorial asides on the cult of Saint Death, loneliness and brotherhood, humanitarian action, immigration and much more add an extra level to the fictional narrative. This ambitious book addresses pressing humanitarian issues in a very powerful way and I'd highly recommend it.

Posted on: 29th March 2018 at 11:18 am

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