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Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar, the World's Most Wanted Criminal

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  761 ratings  ·  91 reviews
The explosive memoir of legendary DEA agents and the subject of the hit Netflix series Narcos, Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña

In the decades they spent at the DEA, Javier Peña and Steve Murphy risked their lives hunting large and small drug traffickers. But their biggest challenge was the hunt for Pablo Escobar in Colombia. The partners, who began their careers as small-t
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Hardcover, 346 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Maureen Carden
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña's own version of their hunt for Pablo Escobar begged to be written after Netflix aired the hit series Narcos, their story of the hunt for Pablo Escobar. Although from what Murphy has said, as advisers they were able to keep the Narcos on the rails of accuracy. It’s such an amazing story the Netflix writers didn’t really need to do much enhancement..
Manhunters begins with Steve and Javier writing their alternative chapters of their early lives and then their beginn
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Valerity (Val)
This book recounts the careers of DEA agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena as they learn the job by just being put to work after their training. Eventually they work their way up to the more serious targets, until one day they are going after the big one, Pablo Escobar, when they get assigned to work in Columbia. They find the country in a state of turmoil with the drug lords and cartels killing people to try to prevent themselves from being extradited to the United States and put on trial for al ...more
Vicki Willis
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, z-2019
While the 2 DEA heroes in this book are definitely 5 star, the book was just a 3 star read for me. The writing and details felt rudimentary which made me feel like I was reading cliff notes of the events of that time. I wasn't able to get a real sense of the participants in this dark history of Columbia. All of the different agencies, however, deserve praise and thanks for the sacrifices they made to do their job. ...more
✰  BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰
Copy received from St Martin's Press for an honest review

I have grown up knowing the stories of the Colombian drug cartels, of Pablo Escobar, and I remember the news stories when he was killed.

We always hear the story of the criminal. It gets romanticised for movies, they get turned into "heroes" of sorts, and all their evil doings get pushed to the side.

We see the jackets with the big yellow letters on them across our TV screens, but we never hear about the people wearing them.

Manhunters gives
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Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: December 27th 2020


"Escobar's savagery would end up spelling his own doom."

(view spoiler)
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Eve
Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar...How WE Took Down Pablo Escobar...

I don't know if we read the same thing, but as far as I'm concerned, You. Didn't. Do. Shit.
I'm positive things went a tad differently in real life, I'm sure (or at least I hope) they had more of a role in taking down Escobar, but this was written in a way that lead me to believe they had nothing to do with it, or at least not enough to warrant a bloody book.

Let me set the book out for you so you get a better idea
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Angela Han
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I read this book, the best way to summarize this book is with this statement:

--> "Steve and Javier shares their personal story of how they collaborated with Columbia National Police to take down Pablo Escobar."

First part of the book was boring. But why did I give a five star rating? It included sharing background information on Steve and Javier. This information is expected to be dull.

From second part to epilogue, the story takes off. Reader is able to picture the life of both agents livi
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Erna
Aug 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
this month, i have been obsessed with netflix’s narcos. a friend of mine (whose fault is me watching the show anyway ugh) said that this is a very good book to read afterwards, so i took her word for it.

even though the show is pretty accurate in relating the events of the hunt for escobar, it was still interesting to read about how things actually went down and observe the differences. i enjoyed it 😊. (3.5 ⭐️ i guess but rounded up)
Blood Rose Books
Jan 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
It was a good book but there were times that I wish they would have went into more details about the events that happened. Felt like just when we were getting to the interesting, things I didn’t know before information the topic changed.
Armand Rosamilia
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The backstory of the two very different DEA agents and how they ended up together is worth reading alone, never mind the twists and turns of trying to capture the elusive Escobar. They don't try to act like they were the entire operation, giving props to so many others around them. A thrilling and harrowing story. ...more
Susan The Book Dragon Campton
Welcome back my fellow Book Dragons. It is once again Throwback Thursday. This week we go back to the 1980’s when Cocaine was King and Miami was his Palace. Our Gem this evening is powder white, it’s crystal’s catching the light, it’s veins of red seem to pulse and glitter with each facet. The longer we look at it the more enticing it becomes. Let us remove it from it’s box. It feels heavy and foreboding. The smell, oh what is that smell? Death my friends.. death is in the air around this Gem th ...more
Shell Hunt
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-story, arc
The real story from Season 1 & 2 of Narcos.
When I saw Manhunters on Net Galley, I definitely danced in my seat.
My husband and I love "Narcos" on Netflix and I've been dying to read more about Pena and Miller and their experiences with the Pablo Escobar crisis.
This book did not disappoint.
I enjoyed the format. Each chapter went back and forth between Pena and Miller. Their different perspectives and positions in the DEA and the case provided a more personal and bigger picture of their experien
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Maggie
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you’re a fan of Narcos, or just true crime in general, this book is a definite must read.

I’m usually hesitant to pick up any kind of true crime/non-fiction crime novels, because a lot of them tend to focus heavily on technical details and get a bit too long and wordy to remain interesting to me. But, I’ve seen Narcos — the show based on these men’s work in Colombia — three times over, and as somebody who loves that show a lot (like, a lot a lot), I knew this was a must read as soon as I disc
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Tony Nielsen
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
For decades the name Pablo Escobar was associated with drugs and death, not just in his native Colombia, but throughout South America and the United States. He was the undisputed boss of the drug cartels that ruled pretty much every aspect of life in Colombia and beyond.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, had Pablo Escobar as their number one target. His approach was ruthless, not a second thought was given before having cops and politicians killed if they impeded his business in any
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Diane Hernandez
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Fans of the Netflix series Narcos will be enthralled with this true-life story by the two Escobar Manhunters in their own words.

Working up the Drug Enforcement Agency’s power structure in the 1980s as an undercover agent in Austin and tracking illegal shipments of cocaine in Miami. Javier and Steve, respectively, are soon tasked with rooting out the Medellin Cartel chief, Pedro Escobar, from the depths of Columbia. With hefty bounties on their heads and only the Columbian National Police as thei
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Jamele (BookswithJams)
Apr 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, audiobooks
I love true crime stories, especially ones like this about cartels and how they are taken down. This story focuses on the careers of Steve Murphy and Javier Peña, how they got started and found their way to being DEA agents, going after drug traffickers and then ultimately ending up in Columbia taking down Pablo Escobar. It was a slow build but I was fascinated with how they got started. This is not a career for me personally but one I love to learn about. It was equally fascinating to learn how ...more
Jypsy
Dec 08, 2019 marked it as to-read
Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Manhunters
By: Steve Murphy, Javier F. Pena

*REVIEW* 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Manhunters is the story of how infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar was taken down. It is nothing short of amazing and fascinating. I was totally riveted from beginning to end. I love true stories that read like fiction. Sometimes reality eclipses any story you can possibly imagine. Pablo Escobar was THE guy, like the founder of a mul
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Harris
Sep 01, 2021 added it
Not sure how to rate this, most likely a 3.5/5. It was definitely an exciting read although the first third was a bit slow, as it was largely a retelling the backgrounds of DEA agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena. I suppose it's important to understand their backgrounds, it humanised their personas a lot more.

I was already familiar with the Narcos series, so already came in knowledge (albeit, dramaticised) of Pablo Escobar. This is important because otherwise you're lost. This is a memoir of th
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Ann T
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you St Martin’s Press and Netgalley for this ARC.

I am always interested in reading true crime / Law Enforcement books especially when they bring down the worlds biggest targets. I found this a fascinating read into Columbia, the drug war and how Escobar was finally taken down. A great job by the LEA’s that worked tirelessly for this to happen and thank you to the agents for sharing their story. I cannot imagine the celebrations that occurred after all your hard work.
Susan Graves
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Manhunters follows the thrilling true story of a hunt for a legendary crime lord. This book read like fiction thriller and was fast paced at times but every page kept me wanting more. I am so thankful I was given the chance to read this early. Excellent research and even better storytelling.
leah
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh this was so good!!!! the writing style was a little basic, e.g. not going into much detail, it was kinda like oh yeah and then there was a bomb attack! quite non-descriptive at times which is why I cant give it a five star. although, javier peña *chefs kiss*
William
Apr 17, 2022 rated it liked it
3.67 stars
Rhonda
May 31, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
2.5 - Half the book was background stories for the two DEA agents: Murphy and Peña. "Narcos" may take a lot of liberties with the story telling, but it was far more entertaining than this recounting. ...more
Brian Miller
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book but it turned out just ok for me. Going from one author to the other each chapter didn't really work for me but may work for others. I remember Pablo Escobar and how much he intrigued the world years ago and thought this would translate into a great book but possibly too much time has passed for it to end up being a great page turner. It was well written about an engrossing subject matter but something just didn't work for me.
Thank you Netgalley, Steve Murphy; J
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Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
Manhunters:How We Took Down Pablo Escobar by Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña is published on 12th November with St. Martin’s Press/ Headline.

Having watched the Netflix Narcos series, I was really delighted with the opportunity to read this new memoir from the individuals whose lives became part of mine as I sat completely engrossed in the series. Although the series was partially fictionalised, the underlying story remained the same

Murphy and Peña were lead DEA agents in bringing down the po
...more
Randal White
Excellent reading on the hunt for Pablo Escobar, told through the eyes of two DEA agents assigned to his case. The book switches back and forth between the two agents, Murphy and Pena. I have read other books about Escobar, but this one really resonated with me.
It starts with the background on both men, covering their early careers. This part alone was fascinating reading! Some of the exploits they relate were incredible.
The book then goes into how the authors found themselves in Columbia, and
...more
Kelli (what_kel_reads)
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The full title is Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar by Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña. This was released by St. Martin's Press on November 12, 2019. I was lucky enough to get my copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Y'all. Y'ALL. I finished the audio about 15 minutes before my lunch and I was DYING to write about it. Okay, let's go.

For the first time ever, Murphy and Peña tell true stories from each of their lives, and the events that lead up to their take down of Pablo
...more
Kelsey
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-won
I received an ARC from a Goodreads giveaway and was so excited when I did! I am a huge fan of the Netflix show Narcos, so I knew the basics of Pablo Escobar, Steve Murphy, and Javier Peña. This book made those stories more personal to me and told more of the truths that TV usually exaggerates and changes. The only reason I took away one star is that because of the changing points of view between Murphy and Peña, the timeline sometimes confusingly jumps around and becomes repetitive. But I did li ...more
 ManOfLaBook.com
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar, the World’s Most Wanted Criminal by Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña is a memoir of the two Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents who spent decades hunting drug traffickers. The two authors are the subject of the Netflix show Narcos, which follows their hunt for Pablo Escobar in Colombia.

This is a fascinating look inside the DEA, how they worked this famous case, and their
...more
Kortni
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
On paper, it *appears* like this took me nearly two months to read. But what really happened was that I started it at the end of February, shelved it for all of March and then picked it back up mid-April.

I think this book was just a meeting of bad circumstances for me. I started it in February and enjoyed the 100-ish pages that I read. Didn't touch it for all of March due to my women-author-only month. April comes around and I am DETERMINED to finish this book. But now the quarantine has happene
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