Killing Pablo is a book about the life and slaying of Pablo Escobar. This book is authored by award winning investigative journalist Mark Bowden. Bowden has a journalistic knack of enlivening this tale. His prose is articulate and the opening passage is especially riveting.
A few pages in the narrative becomes pedestrian. The particulars of Pablo’s early life are skimmed over. So much is reported in a way that is bland. There is very little by way of quotation. This tome is principally concerned with the death of the world’s most infamous drug lord. Therefore is will come as no surprise that the bulk of the book is about Escobar’s last 18 months on earth. This is when the Search Block hunted their quarry.
There are plenty of lively characters in the book. They are described physically as well as in terms of their personalities.
This book is a good expose of a world otherwise notorious for its opacity. This is not just the drug kingpins but also the security services.
Escobar is portrayed as the vain, avaricious mass killer he was. His more attractive side is also presented. Some surprising detail about him is revealed. He was oddly soft spoken and sometimes sentimental. This is not to say he comes out as 50-50 good and bad. He was an incredibly ruthless and wicked man. Make no mistake.
This is a stimulating and informative book. It would have been a better read especially in the earlier part where the story is more impressionistic.