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  • Hunting LeRoux

  • The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire
  • Written by: Elaine Shannon
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Hunting LeRoux

Written by: Elaine Shannon
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
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Publisher's Summary

With an introduction by four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Michael Mann.

The story of Paul LeRoux, the twisted genius entrepreneur and cold-blooded killer who brought revolutionary innovation to international crime, and the exclusive inside story of how the DEA’s elite, secretive 960 Group brought him down.

Paul LeRoux was born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa. After a first career as a pioneering cybersecurity entrepreneur, he plunged into the dark side, using his extraordinary talents to develop a disruptive new business model for transnational organized crime. Along the way, he created a mercenary force of ex-US and NATO sharpshooters to carry out contract murders for his own pleasure and profit. The criminal empire he built was Cartel 4.0, utilizing the gig economy and the tools of the digital age: encrypted mobile devices, cloud sharing, and novel money-laundering techniques. LeRoux’s businesses, cyber-linked by his own dark worldwide web, stretched from Southeast Asia across the Middle East and Africa to Brazil; they generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales of arms, drugs, chemicals, bombs, missile technology, and murder. He dealt with rogue nations - Iran and North Korea - as well as the Chinese Triads, Somali pirates, Serb mafia, outlaw bikers, militants, corrupt African and Asian officials, and coup-plotters.

Initially, LeRoux appeared as a ghost image on law enforcement and intelligence radar, an inexplicable presence in the middle of a variety of criminal endeavors. He was Netflix to Blockbuster, Spotify to Tower Records. A bold disruptor, his methods brought international crime into the age of innovation, making his operations barely detectable and LeRoux nearly invisible. But he gained the attention of a small band of bold, unorthodox DEA agents, whose brief was tracking down drug- and arms-trafficking kingpins who contributed to war and global instability. The 960 Group, an element of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, had launched some of the most complex, coordinated, and dangerous operations in the agency’s history. They used unorthodox methods and undercover informants to penetrate LeRoux’s inner circle and bring him down.

For five years, Elaine Shannon immersed herself in LeRoux’s shadowy world. She gained exclusive access to the agents and players, including undercover operatives who looked LeRoux in the eye on a daily basis. Shannon takes us on a shocking tour of this dark frontier, going deep into the operations and the mind of a singularly visionary and frightening figure - Escobar and Victor Bout and Jeff Bezos rolled into one.

Hunting LeRoux introduces a new breed of criminal spawned by the savage, greed-exalting underside of the age of innovation - and a new kind of true-crime story. It is a look into the future - a future that is dark.

©2019 Elaine Shannon (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written real-life international crime. Full of suspense with superb details and perfectly narrated

Not knowing the story prior to listen, I found the book suspenseful like an exciting international espionage and crime novel! It was hard to stop listening “I couldn’t put the “book” down!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good Thriller - Not really a Cyber Thriller

I was drawn to this title due to the nature of the beast that was being tracked. Paul Leroux. He was someone I was unfamiliar with however his back story of being an above average intelligence IT worker with a strong background in IT security and Cryptography interested me.

The story goes in to how he seamlessly delved in to the under world, his narcissism and sociopathic traits driving him to see how far he could go. In the end those traits were his downfall and will be again once he inevitably is finished with his trials.

His character was fascinating however the story was more on the level of a report in to how the 960 group went about getting him. On that level the reader for this Audible version of the book was perfect. Given that the author was unable to interview Paul Leroux explains the lack of detailed insight to the person, something I was hoping for. It might seem odd, but such things are fascinating to me about him like his interesting eating habits (he seemed to prefer very basic simple foods, a Big Mac over an artisan burger, when the option is presented). I also would like to have known more in-depth detail on what type of computer network and infrastructure he employed.

Overall, despite my bias, I feel this is a solid 4 stars rating. It's interesting and if you are into books about catching criminals this will not disappoint. The reading was well done and engaging and deserving of 4 stars for Audible as well.

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