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Paperback No Angel : My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels Book

ISBN: 0307405869

ISBN13: 9780307405869

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

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Book Overview

Here, from Jay Dobyns, the first federal agent to infiltrate the inner circle of the outlaw Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, is the inside story of the twenty-one-month operation that almost cost him his family, his sanity, and his life. Getting shot in the chest as a rookie agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 mph, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols--these...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Accurate portrayal of a colossal waste of tax dollars

This is a good book written from the first person perspective of undercover ATF Agent Jay Dobyns. The operation "Black Biscuit" was a lengthy and vastly expensive attempt to infiltrate the Hells Angels in Arizona. The operation was a success from the operative's perspective, but in reality it was a huge waste of tax dollars, which became evident when the case fell apart during prosecution. The most interesting aspect of the book was the internal struggle within Dobyn's life as he tries to balance his undercover role with that of a career law enforcement officer and family man. Dobyns also struggles with the fact that he identifies with and truly likes many of the Hells Angels he is targeting and deceiving everyday. Dobyns does not try to paint himself as a hero and admits to many mistakes, which gives the book credibility.

Fascinating Story

I have not read the other authors other reviewers discuss, so have no comparison. This was my first foray into this genre of reading. I found the story to be well written and fascinating. The authors did a good job of sifting through a very large amount of information and turning it into a readable story. I will probably read other books available regarding the motorcycle gangs, mainly to learn a new perspective. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about the underworld of motorcycle gangs.

Hard To Put Down

This was a great book as a first person inner turmoil and a good dissection of the Hells Angels members and leadership on the West Coast. I would the book to hit more on individual cases instead of a chronological study of the case. I think it could have more depth there. I couldn't put this book down. The authors do a great job in all and it reads very well and is a polished work. I would recommend this book to anyone as I'm sure it with the Hells Angels not be be decimated by the undercover ATF agents again. I think this would also be a great book for someone in or going into law enforcement.

Not the Definitive Case History, but Still a Darn-Good Tale

I remember thinking, years ago, when I first heard about this case, "Man, that'd make a heck of a good book!" And it did. I'm not going to rehash the plot line, several of the other reviews have covered that nicely. What I will say is that the book holds your attention through every page, only slowing down as you realize that the case is coming to an end. I read the whole thing during one Saturday spent waiting for my daughter to finish her dance lessons - it is that interesting a book. What always amazes me in these true stories (I'm in the middle of reading William Queen's Under and Alone) is how these hyper-paranoid outlaws are repeatedly infiltrated by guys who, essentially, just show up and hang around. If I were looking to setup an OMC (outlaw motorcycle club) I'd have a hard-rule: you must commit a serious felony in our presence - one arranged by the club. They'd still get infiltrated, it'd just be a little harder. And another point it's not always clear to me is what exactly the 81's are doing that amounts to serious big time crime. I understand that they're violent, use drugs, work hard at being social outcasts, etc., but in this story, most of the crimes depicted amount to selling one or two guns at a time, some drugs and random acts of violence. After having read of the massive and profitable drug operations mounted by the Hells Angels' Canadian chapters I'd expected some of that here. This is not the complete story of this interesting case: It's Jay Dobyns' story and the other case agents, his family, and ATF supervisors are less real that Jay Bird and his Red & White targets. There are some serious tales to be told by people in this book who make appearances and fade away, props used as set decoration where Jay is definitely the star. Jay Dobyns is a fascinating guy. In the media blitz surrounding the release of this book, I've listened to hours of interviews on podcasts and late night talk radio and he's interesting and very articulate. Given that the book is about a third profanity (okay, I'm exaggerating) I hadn't expected that. He's also incredibly patient. I was listening to one pod-cast interview where the interviewer was slow, rambling, interrupted and generally irritated the heck out of me. Dobyns answered with patience and serious consideration to even the weirdest utterances by the host. Personally, I wanted to check the guy's pupils. In the book, Jay is brutally honest particularly about himself and his failures to his family and friends. As I read it there were parts where I wondered if he understood that his wife might also read this book! He must have at some point, because his interaction with his undercover "girlfriend", Jenna "JJ" Maguire, is glossed over to the point of almost non-existence. It's in those interviews that you get to hear about the aftermath of Operation Black Biscuit and I urge Dobyns to write the other half of the story: the prosecution that fell apart and, more ominously

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. Michele Cozzens is the author of It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club.
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