Son of Escobar, First Born - Roberto Sendoya Escobar

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

Pablo Escobar was the most notorious drug lord the world has ever seen. He became one of the ten richest men on the planet and controlled 80 per cent of the global cocaine trade before he was shot dead in 1993.
This is the long-awaited autobiography of his eldest son, Roberto Sendoya Escobar.
His story opens with two helicopter gunships, filled with heavily armed Colombian Special forces personnel led by an MI6 agent, flying into a small village on the outskirts of Bogota in Colombia. The secret mission to recover a stolen cash hoard, culminates in a bloody shoot-out with a group of young Pablo Escobar's violent gangsters. Several of the men escape, including the young Escobar. As the dust settles in the house, only a little baby is left alive. His distressing cries can be heard as his young mother lies dead beside him. That baby is the author, Roberto Sendoya Escobar. In a bizarre twist of fate, the top MI6 agent who led the mission, takes pity on the child and, eventually, ends up adopting him.
Over the years, during his rise to prominence as the most powerful drug lord the world has ever known, Pablo Escobar tries, repeatedly, to kidnap his son. Flanked by his trusty bodyguards, the child, unaware of his true identity, is allowed regular meetings with Escobar and it becomes apparent that the British government is working covertly with the gangster in an attempt to control the money laundering and drug trades.
Life becomes so dangerous, however, that the author is packed off from the family mansion in Bogota to an English public school. Many years later in England, as Roberto's adopted father lies dying in hospital, he hands his son a coded piece of paper which, he says, reveals the secret hiding place of the 'Escobar Missing millions' the world has been searching for!
The code is published in this book for the first time.

My Thoughts:

I was really surprised when I stumbled across this book on NetGalley, I thought after having watched Narcos and doing some follow-up research, I knew all the main points to Pablo Escobar’s life. However, learning there is a prologue of sorts I was desperate to read it.
This book is recounting everything that leads up to Escobar being as notorious as he was and is also introducing his firstborn son and his fate.
I wasn’t entirely convinced on the style of writing, at times it jumped all over the place and others the timeline was fluid. I also got lost a little bit with the technicalities of what was happening.
It was very frustrating when Roberto/Phillip was asking for clarification but then said ‘I didn’t find this out for years to come’, but he didn’t give us, the reader, the outcome. It may have come at the end, but by then I’d forgotten what I’d wanted to know 100 pages earlier! So the young boy may not have known then, but we could have been filled in. This is really my only major gripe with the book.
It was very gripping, and it was great to get more of Pablo Escobar’s story and even to find out more about Columbia. It doesn’t just focus on Escobar’s escapades but the bigger picture of how everything developed.
Once I’d settled down into the book and was used to the writing style, I was utterly fascinated by this true story. The ending is very sombre and heartbreaking, but I’m glad we got to see everyone’s fates. I really felt invested in what was happening with Roberto/Phillip and wanted to know how his life panned out.
A great read and an excellent addition and prelude to the Narcos series that I have watched.

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Son of Escobar, First Born
by Roberto Sendoya Escobar
Date Started
1st August 2020
Date Finished
4th August 2020
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