Book review: The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff

★★★★☆

Evan Ratliff’s The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. is the true story of Paul Le Roux’s criminal empire. Not content with the hundreds of millions of dollars he was making selling prescription drugs online illegally in the United States, he expanded into more and more dangerous and risky ventures, from importing and selling meth from North Korea, weapons from Iran, smuggling drugs, gold, and money through ships, and having anyone who got in his way killed. It’s a riveting story that ends with the US Drug Enforcement Agency arresting him and turning him into an informant to go after the lower-level employees who once did Le Roux’s bidding. As of the book’s publication last year, and as of today, Le Roux has yet to be sentenced for his crimes but is unlikely to receive much more than the current seven years or so he’s already served in custody. He’ll probably go right back to committing crimes as soon as he’s freed.