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The Shadow Catcher: A U.S. Agent Infiltrates Mexico's Deadly Crime Cartels Hardcover – April 17, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hipolito Acosta's world has been one of shadows and danger of a kind seldom seen or even imagined by the average American." --Hugh Aynesworth, Washington Times

“A gut-wrenching law-enforcement yarn, simultaneously frightening and uplifting.” –Kirkus Reviews

"Acosta's account of his undercover activities is not only an exciting read but also a strong refutation of those who see illegal immigration as a victimless crime. He is a true American hero with a great story to tell." --Jeff Davidow, Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico

"For much of its history, America's doors have been guarded by quiet heroes. Poli's story provides an unparalleled glimpse of their world from the front lines of the border wars. It was an honor to have seen his work in real time and to understand his work with the benefit of this book twenty years later. It is both timely and timeless in its lessons." --Former U.S. Attorney, Ira Raphaelson

"Acosta’s rare glimpse into international organized crime from a federal undercover agent’s point of view reads like an action thriller jammed with shady characters and dreamers. Where’s the sequel?" --El Paso Times

"Hipolito gives an insightful look into a world in which few people are allowed to witness. His stories gives us an eye opening account of the harsh realities that many undocumented immigrants encounter while trying to reach the United States. " --Jose M. Hernandez, Former NASA Astronaut

"The Shadow Catcher is a page turner for our time. You will not think of the immigration the same after reading it."--Tony Diaz, author and founder of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say

"An interesting and often gripping glimpse of the seamiest aspects of an ongoing problem that both the U.S. and Mexico must confront." --Booklist

"The Shadow Catcher is a heroic narrative in which you not only find yourself infiltrating the immigrant- smuggling rings side by side with Acosta, but you also operate deep undercover to capture the criminals."--Texas Monthly

About the Author

Hipolito Acosta is the most highly decorated officer in the history of the U.S. Immigration and Nationalization Service. The son of Mexican-American migrant workers, Acosta rose through the ranks from Border Patrol Agent to a key position in the Department of Homeland Security. Acosta and his wife live in Texas.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451632878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451632873
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all I consider the Author Hipolito Acosta a friend. I am also a retired Agent from the old INS, have spent nearly 27 years as a Border Patrol Agent and Special Agent. Mr. Acosta's book brought back many, many memories or cases I too had worked on. However, I never had the occasion to go undercover like he did and put my life at further risk. From start to finish I was almost unable to put the book down. His descriptions about how things worked in the old INS, how cases were run OR not run, was very very accurate. Only somebody who had been there and done it like him could relate to many of those situations. This book is very, very factual and accurate. There is no "sugar-coating" of anything in order to be more politically correct or to make it a better story. He pulled no punches when he talked about political in-fighting between the Border Patrol,INS Investigations and U.S. Customs. One of his best qualities as a writer, in my opinion, is that while he may have been the person going undercover, and in the greatest danger, he went to great lengths to praise and thank his partners who helped to back him up and keep him and others safe. Many people would have downplayed the parts of others, but not this author.

Not only is Hipolito Acosta is a true hero as far as I am concerned for having done the things he did, he is a gentleman and a wonderful person too. In nearly 27 years I never met anybody like him. And now, he is a great author!
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Format: Hardcover
With so much focused on the "bigger picture", it's historically fascinating to see the point-of-view of an agent on the ground.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Acosta is a master in telling his life story in a credible manner. I know... I worked him..

This book is masterfully written.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a very well written book. Keeps a person interested in every detail of the cases Mr. Acosta solved. Can not wait for a movie to come out of this book so much suspense in it. It is a very good book to read. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Great Book Hipolito (Poli) Acosta. Nothing has changed in all the years I've known you as you continue to excel in whatever you do regardless of any obstacles placed in your path. Your intelligence, personality and natural abilities have served you well working undercover allowing you to get close to many crooks who would not have given most UC's a second glance. As to the officers in your career who turned a cold shoulder to a "brother" in need, they should be ashamed and regret it for the rest of their lives.
Congratulations Poli and good luck on your next book!
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By Becky on April 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
To begin the book was non-stop action and suspense. It kept me in tuned through the entire book and was hard to put down. Never having been in a life threatening situation that Acosta has, but my heart was beating fast when his undercover cases got scary and he had no help. His work was unbelievable and I am thankful that he was able to live to tell about it. The way that Acosta places you in the moment is so vivid that you can smell the chili con carne and see multiple illegal's run for the border in the dark. The upsetting parts were that you could see all the hard work that he was putting into his undercover operations for such a small sentence for some of these criminals or the non-cooperation from other agencies. You can't help it, but to get frustrated along with Acosta. He keeps you grasping for more, keeps the book interesting and I am waiting on more to come. He truly is an inspiration and his work should be treasured in a book to have forever.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book that's about shooting this is not for you,
There is some shooting but this is all about the facts and put together very well.

The author is one brave man, he was a undercover agent who dealt in everything from catching illegals of course but his main talent was capturing forged ID's, social security cards, birth certificates and Millions of counterfeit American money bills of all denominations

You name the demoniation and he would find them.
The book is a detailed clear and consise record of what's happening on our Southern Mexican Border that goes all the way to Chicago and cities all over America.

He had to have details to make the arrests of some big time American citizens and iIlegals who were profiting primarily on phony ID's and money.....and then also robbing Mexicans who paid them thousands to get in this Country only to be left broke, alive or dead along the trail.

This man had balls of iron, he put himself in harms way so often and lived with the them and was considered to be part of their gang,
He gave up so much for America and time with his family to arrests these pukes. A true American......

It's a tell all that will shock you. Of course few arrests are made as so many Americans and Mexicans are willing to sell their souls and the freedoms of others out for the almighty dollar.

He is a well Decoracted CIA and DEA Agent that sadly in the end did not complete as much as he wanted because of the dishonest people working in the American Government. But he did his best.

What he did accomplish is amazing and how he did it is even more amazing.
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