Gringo: My Life on the Edge is a true, larger than life adventure of a fugitive on the run. Dan “Tito” Davis’ life begins in rural South Dakota with a very normal childhood, doing what kids of his age would do – playing, hunting, fishing, and helping out his family. Well, everything changes for him when he leaves home in 1974 to join the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he creates a multimillion-dollar business manufacturing and selling drugs. After being caught and serving a sentence of five years, Dan goes back to smuggling drugs and is eventually set up by his friend resulting into a life-sentence. This is where Gringo really begins, catches pace.

This book is more engaging than many memoirs I have come across. It takes you inside the American drug circuit and you remain overwhelmed at the events that unfold. The book follows Dan through different geographies of Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mumbai giving glimpses into their cultures. His life is nothing short of an action-packed movie; there is everything from money, airplanes, women, to gambling, revenge, kidnapping, bureaucrats, and more. And the idea of such a life lived by Dan is completely unfathomable, exciting, and heartbreaking at the same time. You will find yourself sympathizing with Dan as you engage deeper into his life’s happiness and disappointments.

Peter Conti is a great story-teller, and he has done a brilliant job with giving shape to Dan Davis’ story. His writing is crisp and packed with action – nothing fancy or distracting. Every sentence in the book transfers an electrifying energy into reader’s minds, taking them on a wild ride through the drug trafficking world. Gringo could have been even more enjoyable with pictures from the places where Dan spent his time and a little lesser hasty ending. I am curious to know more about his life after captivity.

Gringo is an unbelievable story, more dramatic than a fiction could be! This book is a page-turner that should not be missed.

Reviewed By: Meghna Hulsure

Seattle Book Review