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The Dead Women Of Juárez

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  48 reviews
A visceral crime novel based on the true story of mass murder in a Mexican border town

In the last twenty years, over 3000 women have disappeared from Ciudad Juárez, on the border between Mexico and the USA. Sam Hawken takes this story of mass murder and abduction and around it weaves the story of Kelly Courter, a washed up boxer from Texas, who doesn't mind playing the sto
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 6th 2011)
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Hector Acosta
I picked up this book largely due to the title. As a previous resident of both Juarez and El Paso, I have always wished that both cities were used in fiction more often.

I have to say that the author knocked it out of the park with this book. I really enjoyed all the characters in the book. Both Kelly and Sevilla can be considered hardboiled archetypes-both men are broken down shells of what they once were, and both are weighted down by a past that is slowly revealed as the book goes on. Hawken
Two stars means "it was ok", and that's what I felt on turning the last page of this novel. I wondered if the author had become bored with both the subject and the characters he has created as he wrote this novel? While the first half concentrates on an ex-boxer trying to find his missing fiancée, the second half sidelines him to pivot the story around an elderly detective who then picks up the trail. In the same way, supporting characters seem to be half-developed and then dropped from the scen ...more
Elizabeth A.
Once a promising boxer, American Kelly Courter found himself in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico after his dance with drugs and alcohol resulted in a horrific accident he chose to flee from rather than face the consequences. He still boxes, though now it’s his job to play the role of human punching bag for up-and-coming young Mexican fighters in unsanctioned smoker fights. He also makes a little money on the side by helping his friend Estéban sell marijuana and repackaged prescription pills bought dirt che ...more
Jemera Rone
This was a really good book, although I was misled by my first impression that this was a non-fiction account of what we already know is feminicide in northern Mexico.
But it is fiction, although based on this shameful situation. It stars a police detective, of course; a drug dealer and his sister, who is also a drug dealer involved with our American hero, a past junkie and current pot dealer who dried out in Juarez and remains there. Perhaps the American is actually the hero, come to think of it
Brian Southworth
This was a dark, seedy novel that kept me very engrossed. I loved it! it actually made my skin crawl.After the completion of reading it all I could do was lay down sucking my thumb. Sam Hawken has created a gripping and at times disturbing novel that transported me to Juarez. Love his writing style and will definitely be reading everything he writes.
Holly West
Trust me, just read it. I expect this book to be one of my favorites of the year.
Ian Mapp
I hate books that show early promise and then collapse from under theirselves. This is a classic case of a book that shows early promise, struggles in the middle section and by the end, you cannot give a damn.

Starts off well enough, as we have a washed up american boxer who has ended up in a mexican border town. So far, no dead women.

His story is grimm and unflinchingly told. Carefully, his backstory is revealed and then he ends up in the hands of the police following the murder of his partner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Die toten Frauen von Juárez" von Sam Hawken ist, wie der Autor selbst betont, eine fiktive Geschichte, die allerings auf einer realen Grundlage basiert. In der Ciudad Juárez im Norden Mexikos, unmittelbar an der US-amerikanischen Grenze, gab es in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten hunderte vermisste oder tot aufgefundene Frauen. Diesen Kriminalfall wählt der Autor als Grundlage seiner Geschichte, die auch ansonsten durch realitätsnahe und oft ernüchternde Schilderungen menschlicher Schicksale glänzt ...more
Ciudad Juárez, mexikanische Grenzstadt gegenüber von El Paso, hält die Spitzenposition in der Verbrechensstatistik. Laut Wikipedia werden dort jeden Tag im Schnitt 7 Menschen ermordet, am berühmt-berüchtigsten ist die Stadt aber durch eine Verbrechensserie, die nie richtig aufgeklärt wurde und bis heute nicht gestoppt werden konnte: Im Zeitraum von 1993 bis 2005 wurden 370 Frauenleichen gefunden, teilweise mit Spuren sexueller Gewalt und oft so entstellt, dass man sie nicht identifizieren konnt. ...more
Nov 02, 2012 Colin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
In a land dominated by Scandinavian crime, Sam Hawken's book is a breath of fresh air! It's extremely dark and gritty, more than any book I can remember. Yet it is written very sincerely and the fact it touches upon elements of real life locations and happenings, make it hit home all the more.

If the idea of a dark crime book set in Mexico remotely interests you, look no further. Just the setting of the book makes for a nice change but you'll find the story itself turns out to be very interesting
Ross Cumming
Really enjoyed this book as it brought to my attention the plight of Mexican families whose female relatives go missing, presumed murdered, but whose bodies are never found and also of the Mexican authorities who do little to investigate these crimes as they are too busy fighting the 'Drug Wars'.
The story follows kelly a washed up American who makes his living from boxing and dealing drugs to American tourists. The story starts out at quite a slow pace but builds momentum as the story reaches i
I quite liked this, liked that it started with a down and out white boxer in Juarez but then sidelines him to let the cool old mexican detective take over, liked the stuff about the women fighting back -- I wanted more of that.
Shawn Davis
People are dying in Juarez, and the discovered bodies of dead women have ignited outrage.

People should be outraged at murder, but is the outrage selective? And what about the dead men of Juarez?

Hawkin does a brilliant job of laying out research, research he put together while actually living in a town that looms large in the current discussion of the drug wars. His writing is not only readable, but actively engages the reader. Although he really gives no actual new information, he brings it toge
Hawken's novel is gritty, visceral and all too real. Unlike some reviews have mentioned, I don’t think The Dead Women of Juarez slowed down at all in the last half. True, it was a shade less violent and more of a slow burner, but the build up to the ending was pretty intense and emotional. I found myself flying through the last twenty or so pages on a sweltering bus and ended up staying on after my stop was long gone just to finish. A brilliant novel with violence that’ll make your stomach turn ...more
Brucus Scriptus

Sam Hawken (2011) The Dead Women of Juarez. London, Serpent’s Tail.

Perfect first novel, reportedly by a historian who researched the appalling number of femicides in Juarez – under-reported due to drug wars in Mexico. Wish Norman Mailer’s (1987) Tough Guys Don’t Dance, or Robert Stone’s (1981) A Flag for Sunrise had been this transparent, honest and good.

Hawken shows less is more. Compared to Jay McInerney’s (1984) Bright Lights, Big City it feels so painfully real that you will share any and a
Doreen Dickinson
A suspenseful whodunit that you cannot out down. however it is not for the feint of heart. The crime drama part of the novel is entertaining and keeps you guessing. The city of Juarez that we hear so much about in the news, was even more interesting to me. Life in the most brutal border cities has always intrigued me. The book did not disappoint and it will stay with me for years to come. The heroes are damaged by violence and drugs in a city where life itself is not respected. Couple that with ...more
John Bartlett
I kept putting my copy of this book down when I came to the last few chapters. I could hardly bear to be a witness to a man struggling to do one honourable thing, despite his fear of being killed.
I'm in admiration of the way Hawken can tell this story. It's brutal and cruel but poetic and compassionate at the same time.

There’s nothing clichéd about his stories. His characters are flawed but they struggle against the odds and his plots are indeed thrilling in the true sense. There’s plenty of ten
I came upon this book by accident/mistake.....(aren't those the best finds !!!) and I truly enjoyed all the mystery, felt like I was actually walking the streets of Juarez. Easy read and very entertaining edge of you seat stuff !!!

Also, the backdrop of the story is real, there are women disappearing, some as young as 13 year old girls....this is till happening and at the end, some websites are given as to places for more research on this sad topic. The drug trafficking also, very real too.
Nik Korpon
This book killed me. It was recommended as a good pairing with Ben Whitmer's PIKE, and the rec did not steer me wrong. As brutal and unforgiving as the titular Mexican border town, the book does not hesitate to kill off any character it needs, something that speaks highly of the confidence and talent of the author, Hawken.

I highly recommend this novel for any fans of gritty, heartfelt fiction. It's the perfect way to fill the space between Breaking Bad seasons.
Hawken's debut novel is based on the feminicidios – more than 3,000 murders of women in the past 20 years – that are committed in the Mexican border city of Juárez. Young women disappear and turn up dead (if at all) bearing the marks of rape and abuse and this true fact was definitely the reason for this novel. It's certainly a heartfelt book, but at the same time brutal, unforgiving and a page turner.
David Marshall
This is a powerful thriller, pacy and full of elegantly constructed prose. I'm slightly less convinced the author should be this obsessed with the crime rate in Juarez but that does not detract from a fine debut novel.
Wifenotlodger Sunflower
This is a thriller based on a horrific truth...the 'lost women'. You never get chance to feel comfortable in the facts or who is 'good' and I enjoyed that edge-of-the- seat tension which had me hooked, graphic violence and cruelty painted a Mexico far from the 'all-inclusive' holiday brochures.
Kit Fox
Some gritty and atmospheric recent crime fiction that draws attention to a societal ill—the unexplained disappearances of hundred of women on the drug-war-embattled streets of Jurez, Mexico—and tells an engaging tale. Will look into Sam Hawken more for sure.
Rebecca Jones
Fascinating story which although not written in a page-turner way is unpredictable and atmospheric
Catharine Braithwaite
a strange yet compelling book. I really couldn't second guess what was going to happen either.
Um es kurz zu machen – für mich war das Lesen des Buches eine einzige Enttäuschung.
Eine angeblich wahre Geschichte um Frauen, die an der Grenze zwischen den USA und Mexiko verschwinden, soll gemäß Klappentext „als Rahmen für die Story von Kelly Courter, einem gescheiterten Boxer, der alles daransetzt, die Wahrheit herauszufinden“ dienen. Nicht davon ist der Fall.
Die Geschichte der verschwundenen Frauen wird in dem Buch überhaupt nicht angemessen beleuchtet und dargestellt. Es bleibt vollkommen u
Der Autor Sam Hawken entführt den Leser mit deinem Kriminalroman Die toten Frauen von Juárez nach Mexiko in die Näher der amerikanischen Grenze. Die Geschichte beruft sich hierbei auf Tatsachen, denn in Ciudad Juárez wurden in den letzten 20 Jahren über 370 Frauen ermordet und 400 gelten als vermisst. Viele Familien wissen bis heute nicht, was mit ihren Töchtern geschehen ist. Natürlich ist ein Buch, dass sich mit einem solchen Thema befasst, sehr ernsthaft und ich habe mich darauf vorbereitet, ...more
A gritty book that is certainly not for everyone. It is sad that people live as described in the book but unfortunately true. The "good" guys in the book could, at best, be described as bad, the "bad" guys were horrible. The woman were pathetic. I thought the book was well written. It moved along well and certainly described a world outside of my experience. Very very violent!! Yet, unforgettable.
Hawken's motivation for this book is admirable and he has produced an entertaining novel.
It is a novel of two parts. The first is a modern day "On the Waterfront" with Kelly in the role of flawed hero - the boxer, past his best, manipulated into powerful criminal figures.
The second part is a police investigation that shows up police brutality, corruption and downright depraved human behaviour.
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Sam Hawken is the best-selling and Crime Writers Association Dagger-nominated author of The Borderland Trilogy. His latest novel, The Night Charter, begins the Camaro Espinoza series and releases December 2015.

He makes his home in Maryland with his wife and son
More about Sam Hawken...

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