The Queen of the South Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Queen of the South

Teresa Mendoza, the young girlfriend of Mexican pilot Guero Davila, goes on the run when he is killed by rivals or former friends in the drug trade. Sent away to the south of Spain, she begins to rebuild her life and hooks up with another transporter of illicit substances, Santiago Fisterra, who collects hashish from the African coast and moves it across the Strait of Gibralter to Spain.
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After Fisterra's violent death in a race with a police helicopter, the badly-injured Teresa recuperates in prison, where she meets a tough girl from a wealthy family named Patricia O'Farrell. When they are both out of prison, the two women go into business together. Mostly, Teresa manages the drug transport while Patty spends her share of the profits on drugs and women.

This 2002 story by the best-selling Spanish writer, translated into English in 2004, gives a look at the drug trade (and government corruption that accompanies it on both sides of the Atlantic), but is ultimately a romantic fantasy -- sort of a highbrow summer beach novel.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Putnam, Jun 2004,
ISBN: 0399151850

Mexican drug-running pilot Guero Davila warned his girlfriend that if the cell phone he gave her ever rings, she must flee because he is dead and she is next. When the call came, the voice calmly told her that “They wasted Guero”, killed his cousin, and she was high on the clean up list. Listening to the voice of Guero in her head, the panicked Teresa Mendoza runs for her life.

Teresa knows that they will find her eventually so she must change from the innocent upbeat girl who a coke delivery pilot rescued from poverty to a major player. She chooses Spain to start out, but she is raped and incarcerated for her efforts. However, over the next dozen years, Teresa learns and begins to rise through the ranks until she becomes Narco's QUEEN OF THE SOUTH with a confrontation awaiting her with the Don of Mexican druglords.

Readers receive a look at drug trafficking through the exploits of the protagonist. The story line actually plays out along two plots with the main theme being the rise to power of Teresa; the other subplot focuses on a reporter doing research into Teresa's life by interviewing felons and law enforcement officials who have known her.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Queen of the South

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 15%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 15% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   criminal's rise in a crime organization Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   drug dealers If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   accused criminal Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   Hispanic


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Spain The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Mexico Misc setting    -   prison

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   actual description of sex Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Arturo Pérez-Reverte Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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