The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff

The Mastermind

The incredible true story of the decade-long quest to bring down Paul Le Roux—the creator of a frighteningly powerful Internet-enabled cartel who merged the ruthlessness of a drug lord with the technological savvy of a Silicon Valley entrepreneurIt all started as an online prescription drug network, supplying hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of painkillers to American customers. It would not stop there. Before long, the business had turne...

Details The Mastermind

TitleThe Mastermind
Release DateJan 29th, 2019
PublisherRandom House
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, History, Mystery

Reviews The Mastermind

  • Murtaza
    Very strange and dark story about a man, Paul Leroux, who used his coding knowledge to eventually set himself up as some kind of barbarian drug kingpin. I am impressed at the massive amount of reporting that went into this story over several years. Despite that, it was not really my favorite. There is lots of blow-by-blow of this complicated and disturbing criminal plot but not much reflection on what it all means for our society and the human co...
  • Bonnie Brody
    What does the murder of a female realtor in the Philippines, shot by a 22 under each eye, have to do with small pharmacies all over the United States that are filling prescriptions over the internet? In addition, what does the foregoing have to do with hitmen, international arms dealers, the smuggling and selling of cocaine and meth, and other international crimes? If you want to know, read this book which is an investigative reporter's dream (or...
  • Randal White
    An amazing story! Reads like a Vince Flynn or James Bond type thriller. Who would ever have believed that there was actually a "super-villain", who manipulated events world-wide, all the while staying hidden behind the scenes? I couldn't put it down!
  • Victoria
    Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for the advanced copy of this upcoming true crime work. I requested it because I knew I had read something about the main character (the Mastermind) but I couldn’t remember where or when. After finishing the book, I determined from the author’s notes that it was long form articles by the same author that I had read in The Atavist. This book expands on those articles about an international criminal and poss...
  • Jamma
    Thanks to Random House via NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. It’s hard to believe this is not fiction. The story of Paul LeRoux is just so incredible. One can only wonder what may have happened had he put his considerable talents and smarts to something legitimate. Evan Ratliff spent four years researching this book and it certainly shows in the details he gives us. And I wasn’t bogged down by these details - I found th...
  • Steve
    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in return for a review as part of GoodReads' First Reads program.The Mastermind is the story of Paul Calder Le Roux, one of the biggest, most deadly and most evil drug kingpins you never heard of. Born in Rhodesia (no Zimbabwe) and growing up in South Africa, he began in software, writing a program called Encryption for the Masses (E4M), which became the core of the program TrueCrypt. Disappointed that h...
  • Nan Williams
    This non-fiction book is about the extraordinary rise to power of Paul Le Roux who became a drug lord of international consequence without ever producing anything. His expertise was in encrypting software so that legal pharmaceuticals could be bought and sold over the internet. In the beginning all the drug sales were entirely legal. He contracted with small town US pharmacies with good reputations and also contracted with doctors of good repute....
  • Steve Aberle
    The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal by Evan Ratliff is so out there that if it were fiction you would say that the story was impossible. But that is what makes great non – fiction. A story too crazy to be believed. As the saying goes; the truth is stranger than fiction. And after reading The Mastermind, you will believe that saying.A realtor is killed, and pharmacies are filling scripts over the internet. Hit men, arms deals, coke, ...
  • Linda S.
    I received a copy of this book for free from netgallery in return for a review. First, I will start by saying that the title of the book is so appropriate! Paul Le Roux is definitely a brilliant man, albeit a twisted one. Ratliff does a great job detailing all of the various ventures that Le Roux was working, and believe me...there are many! In some ways, the level of detail is overwhelming, but I think that’s a necessary evil in a story this c...
  • Jessica Johnson
    This book took the criminal world and the virtual world and made them into one. The story has your violence from betrayal that is brought front and center as it happens, but it doesn't shy away from what is the true crime. The true scheme, doctors, pharmacies, drugs; not just local either - from the tiniest cities in Minnesota to beautiful South Africa, to the poorest areas of the Philippines. Evan Ratliff has really done his research with this o...
  • Ava Huang
    This book is RIVETING. I finished it over the course of an evening. It feels like a thriller, but Paul Le Roux is an odder character than you'd think fiction could produce and the strangeness of what unfolds just keeps going on and on until the size and complexity of the criminal organization he runs completely exceeds plausibility. There's just an incredible amount of absolutely bonkers material. Reality as surrealism, basically. You'll be glued...
  • Susan Wright
    Wow. I was captivated within the first several pages of this work and had to keep reminding myself that this is a factual account. The amount of work that Ratcliff put into his research and compilation is remarkable. One has to respect Le Roux's intelligence and drive to create such a mind boggling criminal enterprise; imagine if that knowledge and energy to a more prosocial endeavor.Thank you Goodreads for the opportunity to read an advanced cop...
  • Paul
    A bit like an action movie, this is a well-written thriller smartly told by a talented writer. It complex and taught and great for someone who like tech. I read Cliff Stoll's Cuckoo's Egg many years ago when it first came out, and although quite different for many reasons, I liked this one even more. The fact people work on taking down someone for ten years in itself is pretty amazing. Kudos to the author on such great research and for bringing i...
  • Sarahbscc
    I wanted to like this book so much because Ilove true crime. Unfortunately, it was too slow for my taste. There were a lot of good details and I liked that the author was writing from his perspective and experience, but it just dragged on for me. I think it went into too much detail and the story ended up getting lost because there were so many moving pieces and people. I think it’s a very detailed, long novel, that I usually enjoy but it didn...
  • Cristy Emmnm
    2019 Read Harder Challenge: A book of nonviolent true crime
  • Jennifer Rico
    Loved this book. True crime isn't my usual genre, but it flowed so well. The writing style was great. The only downfall to this book was the slow start. I like to be gripped from page one.Thank you #NetGalley for an early copy of #TheMastermind