Life and Death Inside the Secret World of the Cocaine Cartels
In this ground-breaking and utterly compelling book, Toby Muse draws on 15 years of reporting on the drug war in Colombia, giving readers unprecedented access to the entire cocaine supply chain – perfect for fans of Narconomics, Killing Pablo and Gomorrah
Join the deadly journey of cocaine, from farmer to kingpin.
Meet Jose. Jose doesn’t see himself as a criminal. He’s just a farmer growing a crop he won’t lose money on: coca.
This is Fabian. Fabian calls himself a freedom fighter. But wars cost money. And transporting drugs is the fastest way to raise cash.
Tomas runs a factory. But this factory is hidden deep in the jungle, and the product is cocaine.
And finally, here is Alex. Alex decides where the drug goes next: into Europe or the US. And he wields the power of life and death over everyone around him.
In Kilo, Toby Muse takes us deep into the mechanism of the drug trade, following a kilo of cocaine as it travels by land and sea to its final destination. On the way we will meet druglords, contract killers, drug mules, and submarine pilots, all of whom are trying to get ahead in the best way they know how.
If you want to understand how the drug trade became a multi-billion pound industry whose influence is felt all over the world, then read Muse’s devastating account of the innermost workings of an economic miracle, a killer of millions: cocaine.
“Kilo is surely the best account of the cocaine trade that will be ever be written, as well as the most incredible work of investigative journalist I've read”
Ben Westhoff, author of Fentanyl, Inc
“In fifteen years covering Colombia, this is the best book I've ever read about the cocaine trade”
Matthew Bristow, former Colombia bureau chief, Bloomberg News
“Toby Muse goes beyond stereotypical crutches and achieves an honest and nuanced portrait of Colombia’s cancerous cocaine industry. Muse gradually reveals not just the stakes and the human toll behind every line of cocaine, but also the reasons why freeing Colombia from this deadly industry has proven so difficult. Kilo will prove enlightening even to those who lived first-hand the horrors of the country’s civil war”
Juanita Ceballos, Vice News
“Toby Muse’s tautly written account of his intimate prowl through Colombia’s narco world is both compelling and unforgettable. With Kilo, cocaine now has its own Dispatches”
Jon Lee Anderson
“Kilo explores the trenches of the drug trade like few other books. With vivid writing and deep access to the underworld borne from his decades in the field, Muse has produced a must-read for those trying to understand why decades of bloodshed and billions of dollars haven’t won the war on drugs”
Jim Wyss, Pulitzer Prize winner
“Like other daring foreign correspondents, Sebastian Junger and Chris Hedges among them, Muse has a talent for recognizing the intrinsic humanity in all his subjects, no matter how monstrously they may behave. An unrelentingly tragic yet indispensable exposé of the never-ending war on drugs...An unrelentingly tragic yet indispensable exposé of the never-ending war on drugs.”
“In Muse’s new book, Kilo, he navigates the world of narco-production, trafficking, and consumption through each of those many layers, following one kilo of cocaine from the mountaintops of Colombia, across each state of its half-life. The result is a staggering work of reportage and social analysis.”
“Muse’s beautifully written debut takes a deep dive into the Colombian drug trade… This gripping account will linger in the mind of readers.”
Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)
“A new book by a veteran reporter provides a comprehensive picture of Colombia’s modern-day cocaine trafficking networks and their devastating impact on the society that surrounds them… Muse has a talent for finding compelling material and in unexpected places.”