The Cartel Crusher

Book Two of The Last Enemy Series

Fiction - Action
198 Pages
Reviewed on 06/15/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dan Hendrickson was born in Sheridan Wyoming near the rustic Big Horn mountain range in 1962 to Carl and Helen Hendrickson. Dan went to school in the Sheridan School District graduating from Sheridan High School in 1981. He spent his athletic time participating in boxing, martial arts, wrestling and a little track. His father Carl owned a small eight lane bowling alley that he ran until Dan was 12 years old. After losing the business to the bank he was forced to go back to school and finish his masters in English. Dan picked up on his father’s love of the written word and enrolled in Casper Community College in 1982 majoring in journalism. Although he found that he had an aptitude for investigative reporting he decided that his desires lied in other areas. He went on to do much volunteer Christian ministry work throughout the United States most of his adult life and continues to pursue those endeavors to this day. During that time he gained another degree in Practical Theology and throughout his many ministry assignments work several secular jobs. Most notable were his auto detailing endeavors. He and his wife Cheryl have owned three different detailing businesses throughout the country the last of which they still run to this day. Recently he has returned to his passion of telling stories and has several books in the process of being published.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Marnia Gonzalez is the daughter of the ex-President of Mexico. After she is kidnapped and brutally assaulted by cartel criminals and rescued by the legendary Hero of Cozumel, Commander Jacob Edwards of the U.S. Coast Guard, Marnia makes a decision that will change her life and those of all the people she loves. In The Cartel Crusher by Dan E Hendrickson, Marnia eschews her pampered and privileged lifestyle to serve in the Mexican military, and to risk her life chasing down and destroying the criminal cartels that ruin the lives of everyday Mexicans and have their tentacles in every level of Mexican society. Marnia joins the Anti-Cartel Task Force and is soon recognised for her intelligence and her ability to defeat the most cunning of cartel leaders. The beautiful, yet deadly Marnia is the number one target of the criminals at home in Mexico, but even more so by the absolute elite of criminals who form part of a secret society that rules the world. Her life and her family’s lives are in danger, but she is determined to end the cartels’ relentless power and hold over her people.

One of the real pleasures of being an “indie” book reviewer is being able to watch new and exciting authors emerge and develop as they hone their craft and tighten their narratives. The Cartel Crusher by Dan E Hendrickson is the second book in this series and, having read the first effort, I am thrilled and stunned by the development of this author over the two books. This book is an out and out thriller, with a touch of sweet romance thrown into the mix. I found it “un-put-downable” and read it in virtually a single sitting. Many of the characters I met in the first book reappear, albeit briefly, in this story, but it stands perfectly well as a stand-alone novel in its own right. The author does a magnificent job at refreshing the backstory for those of us who read the first book and introducing it to new readers. The author’s sentence structure and plot coherency have improved markedly between books and he deserves real credit for this. This second book left me intrigued and dying to know where the series will lead us in the third book of the trilogy. If you love action/adventure with real life relevance then you will love The Cartel Crusher – I certainly did.

Christian Sia

The Cartel Crusher by Dan E Hendrickson is an action-packed crime novel with unusually captivating characters. Marnia Gonzalez, the oldest daughter of one of the most respected Mexican presidents, decides to choose a different path from pursuing politics when she is rescued from a rapist and drug lord, Dominik Thrace. She finds a role model in the man who rescues her, Commander Jacob Edwards of the U.S. Coast Guard. She goes to the military academy and, in spite of the fact that she is a woman, she graduates, determined to fight crime in her country. Her focus is on the cartels, which she takes down one after the other. But in the final showdown, the cartels agree to work together to take her out. Does she have what it takes to beat the largest cartel in Mexico?

Dan E Hendrickson is a great storyteller and I enjoyed the prose, the wonderful world building and character development. The novel starts with a dramatic event — the attempted rape. In the moment that Marnia almost gets raped and is rescued, she understands that life can be infinitely fragile. It’s a turning point for her and I enjoyed her journey of transforming herself into a weapon against organized crime. It is also interesting that the protagonist is female and that she operates in a world where men rule. The prose is excellently done, with great dialogues and scenes that are focused. The Cartel Crusher is one of those books readers want to see on screen, pulsating and utterly gripping.

Divine Zape

The Cartel Crusher by Dan E Hendrickson is a fascinating tale of the fight against crime spearheaded by an unusual woman. She could have settled for a comfortable life in the country’s elite circle, but the daughter of a reputable president decides to embrace the life of the military and fight the cartels after Commander Jacob Edwards of the U.S. Coast Guard rescues her from a rapist. She believes her hero has given her a purpose to live — to destroy the cartels. And she has what it takes to bring the cartels to their knees ... until the cartels decide to team up against her. Now, does Marnia Gonzalez have what it takes to bring down the most powerful and ruthless cartel in Mexico?

This is a novel with a great setting, a world of crime akin to Narcos, but then a heroine is born from very unusual circumstances and takes the war right into the enemy’s camp. The elements of the setting come out beautifully in the narrative, right from the first chapter with the birthday celebrations in the Caribbean to the very heart of crime in Mexico City. Dan E Hendrickson knows how to craft scenes with focus and he injects a deep sense of humanity and realism into the writing. I rooted for the protagonist and enjoyed the way she is developed. The reader will appreciate the transformation in Marnia and the source of her inspiration. The conflict isn’t a simple one and it is developed with a lot of cunning, and the way the author builds up the tension is terrific. The Cartel Crusher is gripping, an action-packed story with an explosive denouement.

Lesley Jones

In The Cartel Crusher by Dan E Hendrickson, all Marnia Gonzalez wanted was to follow her father, the President, into a life of politics. That was before, as a teenager, she boarded a fateful cruise ship which was attacked by Caribbean pirates. She was rescued from certain rape and death by Commander Jacob Edwards, who became her hero and mentor, and changed the course of her life. Marnia is determined to fight the cartels whose business involves drug and people trafficking and terrorizing those who go against them. She graduates from the Military Academy in Mexico and becomes one of the most respected officers of the Anti-Cartel Task Force. Marnia agrees to form an unlikely partnership with Jonathan, the son of one of the cartel bosses, and slowly they begin a relationship. Her bravery and success draw the attention of the cartel bosses, who now want her to disappear permanently. Can she stay alive long enough to bring the whole operation crashing down?

From the outset of this story, the action is fast paced and will keep your attention and interest. None of the cartel bosses were clichéd villains but had unique, rich personalities. The strong and confident female protagonist of Marnia was a refreshing change in an action novel. The tension and conflict in the plot were paced perfectly, which made this story a real page-turner. Although this is the second book in a trilogy, the story can stand alone as a great action adventure story. The excellently executed story line will take you on a roller coaster ride of suspense and thrills as this beautiful heroine tackles the most depraved and callous of cartel bosses. The cliffhanger ending was brilliant and the next book in this series, The Last Enemy, will be a definite read for me.

Mamta Madhavan

The Cartel Crusher by Dan E. Hendrickson is the second book in The Last Enemy series and takes readers to Mexico where they are introduced to Marnia Gonzalez, the oldest of the three daughters of the Mexican President Tomar Gonzalez, who ends up being one of the most powerful women in politics. Dominik Thrace is considered to be the most lethal man alive and he molests Marnia when she is on her birthday cruise with her entourage of friends, all belonging to the richest and most powerful families of Latin America. She is saved when U.S. Coast Commander Jacob Edwards foils the pirate attack on the vessel. The downfall of the Jamaican pirate catapults Jacob Edwards to the position of the Hero of Cozumel throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean from that day on. The horror Marnia endured that day changes her perspective on life forever. She does not want to just lead a life of privilege and luxury as the wealthy high society daughter of the President of Mexico. Marnia graduates at the top of her class from the Heroic Military Academy of Mexico and asserts her position as a natural leader and talented military strategist. She feels that is the only way to handle corrupt military officials and the bloodsucking cartels. Two years later, Marnia gets her first assignment as an Anti-Cartel Task Force Field Officer. Will she be able to bring down the biggest cartels of Mexico?

The story will keep readers on the edge of their seats as Marnia goes from strength to strength in trying to bring down the cartels. She rises to fame in Mexico and Central America by rescuing thirteen children from a human trafficking sex slave syndicate owned by the notorious Santiago Cartel. All the cartels want her out of the scene. The story has a lot of action and the author’s fluidity in expressing and narrating the details not only makes it vivid, but also gives a good pace and movement to the plot. There is not a moment of boredom while reading this book and readers will have a sense of urgency to discover the next scene. I like the portrayal of the characters; all of them leave an impact with their personalities and the action as the plot progresses. The way the author has knitted in terror, action, the cartels of Mexico, and the romantic angle with Jonathan masterfully. The open ending sets the scene for the next book and I cannot wait to read it.

Romuald Dzemo

Action-packed, intricately plotted, and featuring compelling characters, The Cartel Crusher is book two in The Last Enemy Series by Dan E Hendrickson. This book follows the story of an exciting character, the daughter of one of the well-known presidents of Mexico. Marnia Gonzalez gets rescued from being raped by the pirate Dominik Thrace. Commander Jacob Edwards of the U.S. Coast Guard, who rescues her and kills her assailant, becomes a role model for her. Now she knows one thing — she is destined to fight criminals and she is determined to take them down, one by one. So after her graduation from Mexico’s Heroic Military Academy, Marnia becomes the nightmare of the cartels, working as an officer in the Anti-Cartel Task Force. She brings them down, one by one, until the cartels decide to work together to bring her down in revenge. The momentum mounts swiftly to fever pitch. Does she have what it takes for the ultimate fight?

This novel was an engrossing read for me and I enjoyed the skillful handling of character. When we encounter the protagonist, she is a delicate creature, vulnerable and guarded with diligence. But a threat to her life and womanhood opens her eyes to the reality of crime in her country and this changes everything. From this moment on, the reader meets a character transformed into an instrument to crush the cartels. The political setting is fantastic and readers get a clear idea of the inner workings of cartels and the dangers they pose to society. Dan E Hendrickson uses suspense like a master, succeeding in holding the attention of the reader from one gripping page to the next. The Cartel Crusher will keep you on your seat for hours and you won’t notice the passing hours. It has a great plot with a strong conflict that escalates quickly to a satisfying denouement. One of those books you read and come back to read again.

Kimberlee J Benart

If you enjoy fast-moving crime thrillers full of “bad guys versus good guys” action, heart-pounding martial arts and military combat scenes, page-turning suspense and adventure, plot and character twists and surprises, a plenitude of violence and corruption, a touch of romance, and a heroine who is both believable and yet bigger than life, The Cartel Crusher: Book Two of The Last Enemy Series by Dan E. Hendrickson is for you. Set primarily in the world of transnational crime cartels operating from Mexico, it follows the rise of Marnia Gonzalez, the young and privileged daughter of the President of Mexico, from a crime victim to a determined and fierce crime fighter.

In The Cartel Crusher, Hendrickson introduces Marnia as the unwitting tool of a powerful Russian assassin-turned-cartel-money-launderer named Boris, who uses Marnia to lure a US Coast Guard officer to her location, so he can kill him. The conflict between Boris and the American officer is a link to the first book in the series; however, you don’t need to read the first book to enjoy or understand the second. It’s the heroism of the American officer, who saves Marnia from rape and murder, which inspires her to give up her rich carefree lifestyle and enter the deadly fight against evil. Through engaging dialog and narrative, Hendrickson leads the reader into the complex and violent world in which the cartels operate, often with the collusion of government personnel at all levels. An entertaining read that will leave you eager for more in The Last Enemy series.

Sefina Hawke

In The Cartel Crusher (The Last Enemy Series Book 2) by Dan E Hendrickson, as the daughter of one of Mexico’s presidents, Marnia Gonzalez’s life was all set for her to become a powerful political figure, but that life plan went out the window when the Hero of Cozumel rescued her from being raped and murdered. The Hero of Cozumel's actions inspired Marnia to fight back with actions instead of words against those that would commit such evil acts. Marnia quickly grows into the woman who becomes known as the Cartel Crusher, but her renown has led to the drug cartels being willing to work together to end her. Does Marnia have what it takes to survive against all the odds and come out on top?

The Cartel Crusher (The Last Enemy Series Book 2) by Dan E Hendrickson is an action adventure tale that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoyed reading the first book in the series - The Good Fight - as well as those who enjoy strong female protagonists. The Cartel Crusher is a very well written story that kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page until the last. This is not one of those slow paced books that would reel me in over time, but is a fast paced thriller that grabbed me tight and refused to let go. I quickly found Marnia Gonzalez to be my favorite character with how she managed to turn herself into a person that could be both a hero and an inspiration to others. I liked the fact that this book is capable of being read as a standalone novel, though I definitely plan to read the first book in the future!

K.C. Finn

The Cartel Crusher is an action novel by author Dan E Hendrickson, and the second book in The Last Enemy Series. With a different heroine to the first book in the series, Hendrickson introduces us to Marnia Gonzalez. She is the eldest daughter of one of the most popular Mexican presidents, and her life path as one of the rich elite in a country stricken by poverty and crime seems set. However, Marnia’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of the world when a modern day Caribbean pirate attempts to rape and murder her. She’s saved by Jacob, a Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard, and the experience inspires her to change her life totally, and devote it to seeking out evil in the world and destroying it.

Dan E Hendrickson presents a strong military hero character who is still also credibly feminine, not an easy task to achieve. This strong heroine still has her vulnerabilities and connections to the past, but it was thrilling to follow her transformation as her eyes open wider to the realities of the world and past the supposed, pre-set limits of her gender. In the Anti-Cartel Task Force, Marnia is met with respect for the work that she does, and the plots she uncovers were fascinating to read about. If you enjoy authentically penned crime stories and modern day action heroes, you won’t be disappointed by The Cartel Crusher. Highly recommended for action fans everywhere, and those new to the genre but seeking kick-ass women to read about.