The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler
One of the world's most beautiful endangered species, butterflies are as lucrative as gorillas, pandas, and rhinos on the black market.
And in this cutthroat $200 million business, no one made more money than—or posed as great an ecological danger as—Yoshi Kojima, the kingpin of butterfly smugglers.
Determined to capture Kojima, rookie U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Ed Newcomer became close to the smuggler, posing as a young apprentice eager to learn the smuggling trade. But twice the agent's inexperience allowed this criminal, with a nearly supernatural sense of survival and an overwhelming sense of paranoia, to get away.
Just when it seemed Kojima was out of reach, Newcomer was given one last chance to reel him in. Somewhere in the hunt, Kojima had become obsessed with the agent. This obsession, along with his continued mania for butterflies, could finally spell the downfall of the untouchable smuggler.
But the story doesn't end there. Working under-cover to research this book, Jessica Speart befriended Kojima as well. Like Newcomer, she was going to betray Kojima. What she didn't know was that this cagey smuggler was planning to turn the tables and use her as a patsy for continuing his illegal butterfly trade.
“A true thriller about an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent hunting for the ‘human vacuum cleaner’ of the insect world.”
“Reads like a suspense thriller.”
Butterfly smugglers? Who knew? Journalist Jessica Speart chases down the butterfly world’s most elusive criminal, the notorious Yoshi Kojima, in her fantastic new book. It’s a journey with the twists and turns of a taut thriller like The Orchid Thief, only with wings.
Meet the Hannibal Lecter of the conservation world... this expose reads like a thriller and proves once again that truth is stranger than fiction.
Winged Obsession is an unputdownable thriller.... I loved this book!
Winged Obsession offers a fascinating glimpse into the illegal market in exotic and endangered butterflies....By the end of Winged Obsession, I was rooting for creatures I didn’t know existed before I read the book.
In the tradition of The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean comes Winged Obsession—a gripping, real-life thriller that exposes the seedy underbelly of illegal butterfly trading. An acclaimed mystery writer and respected journalist specializing in wildlife issues, author Jessica Speart tells an extraordinary but true tale of greed, obsession, and sexual temptation, masterfully chronicling the downfall of the “Indiana Jones of insects” through the determined efforts of a rookie Fish and Wildlife agent who put his life on the line to stop him.