Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hell Hath No Angel like Jay Dobyns

No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels by Jay Dobyns

My review

A Raw, Real and Riveting Memoir

Captivating from the first page, No Angel thrusts the reader into the inner world of the outlaw motorcycle gang, the Hells Angels. This is the story of an obsessed man, who with the all-or-nothing mentality in his makeup becomes the first undercover law enforcement agent to penetrate this notorious group.

The story is conveyed with brutal honesty. Jay Dobyns, using the alias "Bird" relies not only on his memories of the two year ATF case known as "Black Biscuit," but also on surveillance tapes and transcripts. They help provide detailed dialog between the operatives and their suspects. He puts you in the dark rooms, smoke-filled clubhouses, beer-soaked bars and inky tattoo parlors as you witness his transformation from a sandy-haired football star and all-American dad to a scary looking dude with a braided goatee. He becomes Bird.

He also becomes a patched Hells Angel, sacrificing everything dear to him in the process: his family, his friends, and nearly his soul. In a moment, however, just before the case shuts down, he experiences a revelation. It's not merely about the good and evil among the Hells Angels or in himself, it was the basic understanding this "brotherhood" was "nothing more than a support group for misunderstood loners held together by hate and money." Immersed in this HATE for so long, he ultimately casts it aside for everything he LOVES, and expresses this personal epiphany with tremendous humility. In spite of a disappointing outcome for Black Biscuit and his exposure as an undercover agent, this makes Jay a hero, and makes No Angel a story worth reading.

There are many characters on both sides of the law and a slew of unfamiliar terminology and acronyms, but photos, glossaries maps and lists are provided to guide the reader. Very well done.

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3 comments:

James said...
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Betty said...

Oh! don't you hate spam!!! [i'm assuming James is a spammer, sorry if he's not]

I'm going to pick this book up. Last fall I read Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief. Sounds like a similar read and I LOVED that book. :) Thanks for sharing.

mike said...

"the rush of riding in a pack of gangsters at 85 miles per hour, only 18 inches apart. That's a rush that even catching a pass in front of 70,000 people in a stadium can't match."

Dobyns said this in an interview and made me want to read this book.