Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World

Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World, by Jorge Zepeda Patterson - 9781632061256.jpg
Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World, by Jorge Zepeda Patterson - 9781632061256.jpg

Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World


By Jorge Zepeda Patterson

Translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West

Winner of the Premio Planeta—the Spanish-speaking world’s richest literary prize

“The spirit of Stieg Larsson visits Mexico City" (Kirkus)Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World is a pulse-pounding international political thriller about sex, power, and information—and the extreme lengths people go to get them.

Book Details

Paperback List Price: $18.99 • ISBN: 9781632061256 • Pub: 5/2/17 • 5.5” x 8.25” • 448 pages • Fiction: Political Thriller / Sex Trafficking / Mexico • Territory: World English • eBook ISBN: 9781632061263

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About the Book

After Milena’s lover and protector Rosendo Franco dies in her arms, she must go on the run from the human-trafficking ring that once kidnapped her from her Croatian village and forced her into prostitution. Soon, three old friends from Mexico City are after her as well—but for different reasons. Newspaper columnist Tomás Arizmendi seeks to retrieve Milena’s little black book that could bring down the media empire he inherited from Franco, while dubious intelligence expert Jaime Lemus wants to use the sensitive information it contains about the crimes of the world’s power elite to further his political puppeteering. The noblest of the trio, politician Amelia Navarro simply wants to carry out her mission to protect women and children from the abuses of men in power.

Told with a sly humor and journalistic detail, Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World traces in its romp across Europe and the Americas the vast networks of capital, information, and crime that bind together today’s globalized world. In the beautiful and mysterious Milena we encounter an unforgettable woman who reminds us that the survivors of modernity’s ills are not mere statistics but living, breathing, tenacious individuals.



“A breathtakingly savage thriller… For all of its darkness, Milena is a novel that holds attention through to its satisfying—if not ultimately very hopeful—end, shining necessary light on an industry that is more pervasive, and powerful, than most would like to consider.”

Foreword Reviews (5 heart review)


“The spirit of Stieg Larsson visits Mexico City…. an exposé of human trafficking and the global sex trade… and the details are damning.”

Kirkus Reviews


“An ambitious thriller… Patterson weaves in stories of the men who use women like Milena and her stories of such men, as well as examining international complicity in trafficking and the particular conditions that make Mexico a prime conduit. Milena is a memorable pawn unconsciously trying to reach the transformative eighth rank in this densely plotted crime novel.”

Publishers Weekly


“This is a book that moves quickly and keeps the reader turning pages. There is wonderful humor here but there also serious issues such as the very large networks of capital, data, crime, and coerced labor. We are reminded that the survivors of the darker facets of modernity are not just numbers but living people. Writer Patterson’s prose is vivid and we can actually picture what we read but it is also complex and it makes us aware that corruption and power can be partners. I am sure that the author did intensive research to write this book— everything is based upon facts that he collected.”

—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen



“An effective prose style… A proven vision as complex as that of a Le Carré novel.… [Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World] is an elaborate report on a world in which corruption is intrinsic to power and assigned to the sinister millionaire classes.”

El País


“Zepeda has done serious research and relies on real data, but this information hardly taints the text. The author seeks to engage the entire public… and move every reader.”

El Mundo


About the Author

Economist and sociologist Jorge Zepeda Patterson was born in Mazatlán, México, in 1952. He received a masters degree from the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales and a doctorate in political science from The Sorbonne. After his journalistic training at El País, he was the founding editor of the newspapers Siglo 21 and Público in Guadalajara, and was later editor-in-chief of El Universal. He has authored numerous books on political analysis, and his weekly column appears in over twenty newspapers in Mexico. He currently edits the news website


About the Translator

Adrian Nathan West is the author of the novel The Aesthetics of Degradation and translator of numerous works of contemporary European literature. He lives between Spain and the United States with the cinema critic Beatriz Leal Riesco.


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