Nine times out of 10, a piece of travel writing will be an encouragement to go where the writer has gone. Not this time. This week, I’m publishing an extract from The Beast by Óscar Martínez (Verso), his searing account of the journey made through Mexico every year by hundreds of thousands of Central Americans intent on una vida mejor — a better life — in the United States. For many, that journey ends in death. I’ve already reviewed Martínez’s book, which is an exceptionally courageous piece of reporting and extremely well written. Read the extract and, if you’re as impressed as I was, buy the book (preferably from an independent bookseller).