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The Takedown: A Suburban Mom, A Coal Miner's Son, and The Unlikely Demise of Colombia's Brutal Norte Valle Cartel Hardcover – August 2, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312612389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312612382
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,220,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A gripping end-of-summer read. "
--Daily Beast (This Weeks Must Read - 9/2/11)

"A real-life Law & Order... the narrative crackles with authenticity."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"A tribute to Robinson's storytelling..."
-- Publishers Weekly

"A fascinating, behind-the-scenes look."
-- Booklist

About the Author

JEFFREY ROBINSON is the international best-selling author of more than two dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction. A recognized expert on organized crime and money laundering, The Takedown is his fifth investigative true crime exposé. He lives in New York.

More About the Author

Jeffrey Robinson

Official website:

Jeffrey Robinson (born 1945) is a native New Yorker who lived in Europe from 1970-2007. The international bestselling author of 26 books, Robinson is a recognized expert on organized crime, fraud and money laundering, and has been labeled, by the British Bankers' Association, "the world's most important financial crime journalist."

Born in Long Beach, Robinson is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia (1967). While still at school, he wrote for television and radio, including a popular weekly children's show and was on the writing staff of The Mike Douglas Show, a nationally televised daily talk show. He continued working in the media during his four year stint as an officer in the United States Air Force. Charged with running a press and public relations office for five generals at the height of the Vietnam War, he hosted a weekly talk show, scripted and directed several film projects, wrote short stories for national magazines and moonlighted as a disc jockey on local radio.

When his military obligation was completed at the end of 1970, he took up residence in a small village in the south of France. Using that as his base, he vagabonded around the world, writing articles and short stories for leading North American and British periodicals. His magazine credits include Playboy, McCalls, Barron's, Gourmet, True, Ambassador, Mademoiselle, Reader's Digest and TV Guide; his newspaper credits include The Washington Post, The San Francisco Examiner, The Christian Science Monitor and The International Herald Tribune (for which he was a major contributor of features during the 1970s). In Britain his feature journalism has appeared in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Independent and the Mail on Sunday, among others.

He moved to the UK in 1982, with more than 600 published stories and articles to his credit, to concentrate on writing books. In 2007, he returned to New York and now divides his time between the US and the UK.

Robinson is internationally known for his 1995 investigative tour de force, The Laundrymen, in which he reveals how hundreds of billions of dirty dollars, derived mainly from the drug trade, is reinvested throughout the world by otherwise legitimate businessmen, lawyers, accountants and bankers. Considered the definitive book on the subject, and now used in universities and law schools as a text, Business Week described it as "[a]n indictment of governments and banks".

A headline-maker in 14 countries around the world, Robinson scripted and hosted several television documentaries on the back of The Laundrymen, including one for the BBC, and another for Arte in France and Germany. Both have been shown in the United States.

In 1998, he published a sequel to The Laundrymen, titled The Merger - How Organized Crime is Taking Over The World. Robinson describes the shocking and disturbing lengths that transnational organized criminals go in order to build multi-national corporations and become the most powerful special interest group on the planet.

Five years later he published yet another book in this series: The Sink, exposing crime, terrorism and dirty money in the offshore world.

Between 1986-1994, he published three major best-selling biographies: Yamani - The Inside Story, described by the Wall Street Journal as the best book ever written about the oil industry; Rainier & Grace (now titled Grace of Monaco), the only legitimate biography ever written about, and with the cooperation of, Monaco's sovereign family; and Bardot - Two Lives, also unique in that it was written with the cooperation of French icon, Brigitte Bardot.

His other non-fiction titles include: The Risk Takers (his first UK best seller) which highlighted the high-fliers of City finance, recounting their tales of money, ego and power; The Minus Millionaires, the off-beat sequel to The Risk Takers, in which he told stories about 'risk takers' who had lost fortunes; The End of the American Century, for which Robinson gained access to secret archives in the former Soviet Union to reveal the hidden agendas of the Cold War; The Hotel, stories gathered over five months as a fly on the wall in what is, arguably, the best hotel in the world; The Manipulators - A Conspiracy to Make Us Buy, exposing the marketing world's "hidden persuaders" 40 years after Vance Packard; and Prescription Games, an insider's view of the global pharmaceutical industry, where science and marketing are deliberately kept apart and where, all too often, profit dictates who lives and who dies.

In 2005, he wrote his first "as told to" with an old college friend, Joseph Petro. It is Petro's autobiography, Standing Next to History - An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service. Two years later he ghost-wrote Ronnie Wood's autobiography, documenting Wood's years as a member of the most famous band in the world, The Rolling Stones. And two years after that, he published his third "as told to," written with the last of the great British tycoons, billionaire Gerald Ronson. It is titled, "Leading From The Front."

His latest non-fiction book, documenting the unlikely demise of the most violent cocaine cartel in Colombia, is called "The Takedown."

Jeffrey Robinson has also written six much-praised novels: Pietrov and Other Games ("A fast-paced, yet marvelously complex story" - Nelson DeMille); The Ginger Jar ("A gripping spy thriller" - Richard Condon); The Margin of the Bulls ("Disgracefully entertaining" - Daily Mail); The Monk's Disciples ("A warmly funny, richly human novel crammed with great characters and wonderful digressions. It's like going out to dinner with your most entertaining friend and ending up talking till dawn because the company's so good" - Val McDermid); and, currently under film option, A True and Perfect Knight ("An audaciously plotted comedy of errors with a far-from-heroic protagonist, and a comic thriller of considerable skill. The dialogue, too, is a pleasure, with wisecracks to equal Elmore Leonard at his most mordant" - Barry Forshaw). His latest novel is "Trump Tower": "A world of luxury, glamour, sex, lust and power. But at Trump Tower, nothing is quite what it seems to be."

A frequent guest on TV and radio on both sides of the Atlantic - appearances over the past few years include NBC News, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, BBC Breakfast, BBC Newsnight, ITN, Channel 4 News, CBC, CNBC, Sky News, BBC World, NBC's The Today Show, Al Jazeera and Bloomberg.

He continues to write for radio and television and is a popular after-dinner speaker in Europe and North America. In 1990, he won the coveted Benedictine Award, "After-Dinner Speaker of the Year".


* The Takedown (2011)
* There's A Sucker Born Every Minute (2010)
* The Sink - Crime, Terror And Dirty Money In The Offshore World (2003)
* Prescription Games - Money, Ego And Power Inside The Global Pharmaceutical Industry (2001)
* The Merger - The Conglomeration Of International Organized Crime (1998)
* The Manipulators - A Conspiracy To Make Us Buy (1997)
* The Hotel - Upstairs, Downstairs In A Secret World (1996)
* The Laundrymen (1995)
* Bardot - Two Lives (1994)
* The End of the American Century (1992)
* The Risk Takers - Five Years On (1991)
* Rainier & Grace (1988) (Now called Grace of Monaco (2014))
* Yamani - The Inside Story (1987)
* Minus Millionaires (1986)
* The Risk Takers - Portraits Of Money, Ego And Power (1985)
* Teamwork - Comedy Teams in the Movies (1983)
* Bette Davis - A Filmography (1982)

As Told To:
* Gerald Ronson: Leading From The Front - My Story (2009)
* Ronnie Wood: Ronnie - The Autobiography" (Life As A Rolling
Stone) (2007)
* Joseph Petro: Standing Next to History - An Agent's Life Inside
the Secret Service (2005)


* Trump Tower (2012)
* A True and Perfect Knight (1999)
* The Monk's Disciples (1997)
* The Margin of the Bulls (1995)
* The Ginger Jar (1986)
* Pietrov and Other Games (1985)

Screenplays, teleplays and radio plays

* The Wake (2008)
* I Je t'Aime You (2008)
* Other Arrangements (2007)
* The Confession (2007)
* Notice of Claim (2005)
* Bardot (2005)
* Sister Banjo (2002)
* Tightrope (2002)
* Rossum's Cyber Café (2000)
* Les Blanchisseurs (1998)
* The Laundrymen (1997)

eBooks - Available in Kindle and Nook Formats:

* Grace of Monaco - (Revised version of Rainier & Grace - 30 Years After The
Death Of Princess Grace)
* Jeffrey Robinson's Criminal Intent: Following the Money
* Jeffrey Robinson's Criminal Intent: The Swiss Wash Whiter
* Bardot - Two Lives
* A True and Perfect Knight
* Margin of the Bulls
* The Monk's Disciples
* The Laundrymen
* The Merger
* The Sink
* The Manipulators
* The Takedown
* Yamani - The Inside Story
* Standing Next to History, with Joseph Petro

Journalism and short stories

More than 700 of Robinson's published articles and short stories have appeared in major periodicals. Newspaper journalism, specifically for the period 1970-1983 includes 250 feature articles, notably for The International Herald Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post and the San Francisco Examiner.

Jeffrey Robinson on You Tube

Jeffrey Robinson's official website:

Twitter: @writingfactory

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By john f. on August 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a world where fiction defines criminal investigations, this book sets the real record straight. It is the true story of two unlikely people that form a team and eventually bring down the brutal Norte Valle Cartel. For those in law enforcement you will see yourselves or colleagues, for those not in law enforcement you will have a fun and exciting time seeing how successful operations are actual done - by perseverance, a bit of luck and a lot of help. Congratulations to the author, the coal miner's son and a suburban mom on a great job.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By good cook on August 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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I think this book is well written and interesting if you have read about the whereabouts and key figures of the Norte DEL Valle Cartel (there is no "Norte Valle" in Colombia by the way) because it assumes you know who they are. Its comments about Mexican and Colombian cities and society is very poorly sourced, untrue and biased indicating the author is somewhat ignorant and has never set foot in latin america, or at least not recently. Aside from that, its a good book, easy to read and with interesting point of views.
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