Evan Ratliff

The Mastermind
  • The Mastermind

  • ‘Meth, murder and pirates: the coder who became a crime boss. A world that lurks just outside of our everyday perception, in the dark corners of the internet we never visit’ – Wired

    The Mastermind tells the incredible true story of Paul Le Roux, the frighteningly powerful creator of a twenty-first century cartel, and the decade-long global manhunt that finally brought his empire to its knees.

    Le Roux’s business evolved from an online prescription drug network into a sprawling multinational conglomerate engaged in almost every conceivable aspect of criminal mayhem. All tied together with encryption programs so advanced that government agencies were unable to break them.

    Tracing Le Roux’s vast wealth and his shadowy henchmen around the world, award-winning journalist Evan Ratliff spent four years piecing together this intricate network. His investigation reveals a dark parable of ambition and greed, and exposes a new age of crime in which a reclusive entrepreneur can build an empire in the shadows of our networked world.

RELEASED 16/04/2020

Evan Ratliff is an award-winning journalist and the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Atavist Magazine. As a longtime contributor to Wired, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Outside, and other magazines, he has reported from around the globe on transnational crime, science and technology, the environment, terrorism, and corruption. He is a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards, and his writing has been selected for numerous Best American collections. His 2009 Wired story “Vanish,” about his attempt to disappear and the public’s effort to find him, was selected by the magazine as one of the twenty best stories in its history. He also cohosts the acclaimed Longform podcast and was a founding editor of Pop-Up Magazine, a live journalism event that tours the United States. He is the co-author of Safe: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World, about innovation and counterterrorism, and the editor of the collection Love and Ruin: Tales of Obsession, Danger, and Heartbreak.