Download At the Devil's Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel Audiobook

At the Devils Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel Audiobook, by William Rempel Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: William C. Rempel, William Rempel Narrator: Fred Sanders Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9780307932365
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (163 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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In this riveting and relentless nonfiction thriller, award-winning investigative reporter William C. Rempel tells the harrowing story of former Cali cartel insider Jorge Salcedo, an ordinary man facing an extraordinary dilemma—a man forced to risk everything to escape the powerful and treacherous Cali crime syndicate.

Colombia in the 1990s is a country in chaos, as a weak government battles guerrilla movements and narco-traffickers, including the notorious Pablo Escobar and his rivals in the Cali cartel. Enter Jorge Salcedo, a part-time soldier, a gifted engineer, a respected businessman and family man—and a man who despises Pablo Escobar for patriotic and deeply personal reasons. He is introduced to the godfathers of the Cali cartel, who are at war with Escobar and desperately want their foe dead. With mixed feelings, Jorge agrees to help them.

Once inside, Jorge rises to become head of security for Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, principal godfather of the $7-billion-a-year Cali drug cartel. Jorge tries to turn a blind eye to the violence, corruption, and brutality that surround him, and he struggles privately to preserve his integrity even as he is drawn deeper into the web of cartel operations. Then comes an order from the godfathers that he can’t obey—but can’t refuse. Jorge realizes that his only way out is to bring down the biggest, richest crime syndicate of all time.

Thus begins a heart-pumping roller-coaster ride of intensifying peril. Secretly aided by a pair of young American DEA agents, Jorge races time and cartel assassins to extract damaging evidence, help capture the fugitive godfather, and save the life of a witness targeted for murder. Through it all, death lurks a single misstep away.

William C. Rempel is the only reporter with access to this story and to Jorge, who remains in hiding somewhere in the United States—even the author doesn’t know where—but has revealed his experience in gripping detail. Salcedo’s is the story of one extraordinary ordinary man forced to risk everything to end a nightmare of his own making. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • This fast-paced, beautifully crafted piece of storytelling is filled with unexpected twists and genuine humanity. Rempel weaves extraordinary access to the ruthless world of the drug cartels into a gripping and elegant work of true crime and redemption. In the hands of a masterful reporter and storyteller, even readers familiar with the forbidden realms of traffickers are in for a thrill-ride of surprises with some of the most intriguing characters in non-fiction. Douglas Frantz, federal investigator and co-author of The Nuclear Jihadist and Fallout
  • A fast-paced, heart-racing nonfiction thriller. Kirkus Reviews
  • In this powerful and riveting work of nonfiction, William Rempel demonstrates the virtues of investigative reporting. Gaining access to the figure that could—and indeed did—spill the secrets that brought down a cartel, Rempel has an extraordinary story to tell. He not only takes the reader inside the hidden world of the drug cartels. He also provides a fascinating character study of a man who must answer a simple harrowing question: Should he risk his life in order to save his soul, or should he keep a pact with the devil? David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
  • Bill Rempel has earned his reputation as one of America's finest investigative reporters the old fashioned way -- by getting people to tell him explosive stories they won't talk about with anyone else. At the Devil's Table brings Rempel's skills to the fore as never before, revealing the graphic details of Colombia's bloody drug wars from the ultimate insider. By the end, you realize that the biggest mystery is how Jorge Salcedo stayed alive long enough to tell Rempel about his amazing life. James Risen, author of State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glenn | 2/10/2014

    " Highly recommended. I am surely biased, having lived in Cali starting right about the time most of this story winds down. But Rempel is a great storyteller. I read these 325+ pages in a period of a little over 24 hours. It really gives a sense of the level of corruption in Colombia, although this is changing and this country has a great future. The other big impression I have is how this history repeats itself - the Medellin and Cali cartels, and now how drug traficking is centered in Mexico. The Cali cartel was relatively benign compared to Medellin and the Mexicans. The success of anti-narcotics authorities will be temporary, as suppression of traficking in one place only moves the activity elsewhere (note how one of the key DEA agents in this story is now the head of the Phoenix office). None of this will end until cocaine is legalized or it somehow falls out of fashion among mostly American and European consumers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 2/10/2014

    " Fast paced with lots of great details. Gives the account of the man who brought down the Cali drug cartel in Columbia. This book is gripping and a page turner. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colette | 2/9/2014

    " Excellent account of the Colombian Cartels' implosion in the 1990s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/1/2014

    " Great insight into the undoing of the Cali Cartel "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christoph | 1/28/2014

    " A pretty interesting story with relatively few surprises. Spoiler alert: cartel leaders make a boatload of cash and kill lots of people. But, an insider perspective is pretty fun to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trey | 1/20/2014

    " Excellent, reads like a thriller. Fascinating stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 BilieS | 12/3/2013

    " the best part of the book is the end of it. The rest of it is fiction and is a desperate effort to make himself look like the good guy... All the details are very fuzzy! and i don't think the cartel had a job description such as security boss!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micky | 11/2/2013

    " Great read a must read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 11/2/2013

    " This book was a super-interesting look at the behind the scenes machine of the Cali cartel and how it was brought down. It is a true (ish?) story and really well told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 10/6/2012

    " Fascinating book - it reads better than any Grisham suspense fiction. The people in this non-fiction book lived in a different universe - the author does a good job of putting all the pieces together in this complex story of the Cali drug cartel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 8/28/2012

    " Utterly fascinating and thrilling account of how an inside man brought down the largest and most lucrative crime syndicate in history. It was so gripping I read it in 3 days. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 4/28/2012

    " Rempel proves in telling this tale about the Columbian cartel security chief who defected that writing should be left to the professionals. All you need to bring to the book is at least a passing interest in the subject matter and a bit of your time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 3/14/2012

    " Incredible story! A look into a lifestyle that most of us can't possibly imagine. And a story of an unbelievably courageous man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Xochitl | 1/8/2012

    " chilling story.. great book, well and friendly written.. I'm scared to say more...that much it impacted me... those who've read it and are familiar with current situation about drug trafficking and organized crime, might be able to guess why...:/ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank | 9/20/2011

    " Starts out like a thriller, but it has the same problem as newspaper articles where they try to use fictional devices to hold your attention. It comes off more like pulp. I haven't finished and probably won't, but the first 100 pages were great. "

About the Narrator

Fred Sanders, an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has received critics’ praise for his audio narrations that range from nonfiction, memoir, and fiction to mystery and suspense. He been seen on Broadway in The Buddy Holly Story, in national tours for Driving Miss Daisy and Big River, and on such television shows as Seinfeld, The West Wing, Will and Grace, Numb3rs,Titus, and Malcolm in the Middle. His films include Sea of Love, The Shadow, and the Oscar-nominated short Culture. He is a native New Yorker and Yale graduate.