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Angels of Death: Inside the Bikers' Global Crime Empire Hardcover – 8 May 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (8 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340898305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340898307
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 573,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"* 'A true crime book that reads like a fiction thriller' - Canadian Press * 'An investigative tour-de-force... a riveting look inside the most powerful organized crime syndicate in Canada' - The Edmonton Journal"

Book Description

A terrifying journey to the criminal heart of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club - the most infamous biker group in the world.

'Brilliant and highly readable ... an investigative tour-de-force. This is the first book to lift the lid on the real Hells' Angels.' TONY THOMPSON, author of the bestselling GANGS

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Money on 29 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
The rise of the HA from its West Coast USA origins to almost global motorcycle club supremacy should have been a fascinating read. Mr Marsden makes a stab at covering the HA presence across the world, but his main sources are in the US and the European biker scene gets a relatively brief overview.

Don't read this book and expect to learn anything new about the HA. In truth the text is more useful as a description of an inept and ultimately futile law enforcement attempt to portray the HA as a 2-wheeled Cosa Nostra. Clearly there have been some violent men within the club, and it's not hard to accept that, for those who reject society's norms, crime provides a more lucrative income than a straight 9-5 job.

However the author uncritically accepts the law enforcement versions of events, and in doing so he paints the entire outlaw biker community as thugs, pushers, and murderers. I just can't accept that good PR and a few toy runs would cancel out the kind of vile reputation that any wholly criminal gang would have.

Authorial bias oozes from every paragraph, undermining the facts and affecting this reader's initial open mind. An example - the reckless murder of a Gypsy Joker by a retired senior Austalian policeman, and the subsequent massive official cover-up is downplayed in a way that would never have happened if the victim and perpetrator had been reversed.

The title suggests some insight into the closed world of the HA, but this is just a list of crimes and alledged events garnished with brief and facile comments from ATF and FBI infiltrators.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kentspur VINE VOICE on 24 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this book, which isn't small, in about a day, which is testament to how easily readable it is and how gripping.

The authors, Canadians who have done a previous book on the infamous Hells Angels Motorcyle club, pick out stories from around the world that demonstrate the nature of the gang and how far they are prepared to go in their criminality.

The narrative is jerky as we leap from Arizona, to Australia, to Holland and back to California, but each story is very engrossing and within a page of starting a new thread, you have lost that 'awww, I wanted that to go on' feeling about the previous tale.

There is no doubt that the authors feel the Hells Angels are a 'bad thing' and the sharp contrast between the public image of the HA - toy runs, rebels, Sonny Barger being an American icon - and the reality - drug dealing, murders and brutal internal discipline - gets a lot of attention. There are also a couple of interesting points about how the HA attracts the most live-in-the-moment type of guys, ones that don't hold back, that have no idea of deferred gratification. The most extreme example of this was a Dutch leader who went into a drug deal with a bunch of Colombians and then just kept everything for himself. Utterly brazen. You want your drugs or your money? Tough. He gets killed, of course, but there is something so on-the-edge about such behaviour, it's entrancing.

Small criticism would be that many of these stories, notably the ATF infiltration of the Arizona HA scene, deserve their own books. Some of them already have - such as the Billy Queen exposee on the Mongols.

However this is a very good introduction to the Hells Angels and outlaw motorcylce gangs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. Cole on 27 Aug. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Usual stuff,not a lot new although for the first time that i know of the author has stepped out if america and canada and discovered there are HAMC chapters in other countries as well which makes it a more than interesting read as its something different to the usual 'run of the mill,lets bring out a new book worded differently to the last but telling the same story' stuff that we are used to! Lets have some more on our European and United Kingdom bikers please!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Money on 31 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you already subscribe to the tabloid view of the HAMC then this book will be right up your alley.

Marsden uncritically reels off the experiences of undercover ATF agents to 'demonstrate' that all outlaw bikers are thugs, dealers and murderers. The author's sources are primarily US based and he gives the HAMC in the rest of the world a brief run down rather than an indepth analysis.

However he fails to convince that the HAMC has a Global Crime Empire, in much the same way that the long and expensive ATF 'investigation' failed to convince the US Courts of the same. Strangely, Mr Marsden makes little mention of the total failure of the ATF to convict more than a handful of angels from this 'global criminal conspiracy'.

This complex and interesting subject deserves a better and more impartial analysis than this.
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Format: Paperback
A good read, very informative, if a little sensationalised.
I dont know about bias as the other reviewer comments, but if you like the many hooligan style books out there, then you might find this different angle of interest.
It's mostly focused on the USA but England, Australia, Holland & Norway are also heavily featured.
Obviously very painstakingly researched and I remember a BBC2 documentary, from around 2004, on Outlaw Biker Gangs that is very closely related to this.
Recommended if you enjoyed the Mad Max/Stone Cold style of movies and are interested in the factual side of all this - It's fairly gruesome at times so be warned!
These are the LAST people you would ever want to cross.
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