El Patron by Michele Scott
I freely admit to being sucked into Michele Scott's El Patron (2010) by the cover and the following synopsis:
What began as an innocent love affair for one young woman, Marta Peña, in Costa Careyes, Mexico in 1969, sets in motion a series of events that spans the next thirty years. This is the story of South American drug lords Antonio Espinoza and Javier Rodriguez, and their violent quest for power. In a sweeping family saga, we meet the women who love them and the children they vow to protect at any cost. With a complex web of interconnected families, this gritty novel delves into the lives of a power hungry clan, following the rise of their business, the destructive path of their torrid and erotic love affairs, and the struggle to balance intense greed with devout family loyalty. Strong women face tragedies that test their will and their commitment to the men they passionately desire. As young girls grow into women, their traumatic pasts will drive their actions and force them to make gut-wrenching decisions. With murder, drug trafficking, dirty politics, illegal gambling, prostitution, obsessive love affairs, and family strife, El Patrón is a whirlwind in the vein of Mario Puzo's The Godfather.
I can summarize my entire feelings about the book in one tip: Read The Godfather instead.
From the very beginning, when you pretty much know in advance what Antonio's teenage brother is going to see when he decides to spy on his older brother, to Marta's pregnancy from her "innocent love affair" with a married Antonio, there isn't much in the way of what I can classify as a surprise in this book.
I kept reading until the very end, hoping I might find something worth reporting as a positive about the book, and I didn't find one. If you've read El Patron and disagree, please let me know.
My overall personal rating of El Patron is a D.