Juarez (A Novel)

ABOUT Scott Bonasso

Scott Bonasso
I am a professional musician and writer living in Houston, TX.  I love story-telling in all its forms: music, movies, books...



LA CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO: currently the most dangerous city on the planet.  Since the early 1990's there have been 600 documented "femicides" and 3000 missing women presumed dead.  Escalating turf wars between the city's two rival drug cartels have led to increasingly brutal violence in the city since 2005.  In the year before August 2009, Juarez's murder rate was the highest reported in the world, exceeding the holders of the second and third highest rates by more than 25%.  The rate of 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants has led business groups in Juarez to call for UN intervention. Journalist Charles Bowden, in an August 2008 GQ article, wrote that multiple factors, including drug violence, government corruption and poverty have led to a dispirited and disorderly atmosphere that now permeates the city. The violence has forced the residents of Ciudad Juarez to change their daily routine; many now stay home in the evening, and the fear of kidnapping or random violence has curtailed public life. 

La Ciudad Juarez is just across the Rio Grande River from El Paso, Texas, USA.

JUAREZ, A Novel, by Scott Bonasso, is inspired by true events and people.  It tells the story of ten-year-old, Marco Espinoza, a boy living a life of poverty in the dark heart of Juarez, tied to the deadly drug industry through his father's employment for the all-powerful Leon cartel.  When Marco's father is killed in what appears to be a turf war between Juarez's rival cartels, Marco's mother, Marcela, is forced to work as a drug smuggler for El Leon.  Marcela soon finds herself on the wrong side of the cartel's vicious general, El Mago, where death is just a misstep away.

John Teague lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife, Anastasia, although the marriage has disintegrated since the tragic death of their three-year-old son, Devon, two years earlier.  Hooked to cocaine and at the brink of suicide, John leaves his wife and house and drives across Texas on a self-destructive quest to experience "the world of the flesh."  When a stash-house he visits in El Paso is raided by the police, John flees across the border to Juarez.

John Teague and Marco Espinoza's paths will cross and inextricably unite in Juarez and together they will forge a bond strong enough to give them the courage to stand up to the corrupt cartel-government complex that has brought a city of 1.3 million people to its knees.  Their new quest: to evade Juarez's policia-narconet and find another, better life back across the border in the USA.

JUAREZ is a crime drama; an international thriller; a human story.  Inspired by actuality, it shows a very human side to the violence in the titular city while giving the reader an authentic glimpse into this brutal, anarchic culture that exists disturbingly close to home.