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The Devil: Britain's Most Feared Underworld Taxman [Paperback]

Graham Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Aug 2007

Drug dealers beware. The Devil is coming to get you.

Gangster Stephen French invented the perfect crime: robbing drug barons of their huge fortunes. In SAS-style swoops, French raided their fortified mansions and tortured them with horrifying violence until they paid up. Through 'taxing' the richest and most powerful crimelords in the UK, he netted over £20 million.

French was no ordinary criminal. He was a world-champion fighter, he studied psychology at university to master mind-control techniques, and he used the teachings of Machiavelli and samurai warriors to outwit his enemies. The Devil also reveals French's complex relationship with Curtis Warren, the wealthiest criminal in British history. The two were childhood pals, then partners and finally bitter enemies.

Now a legitimate businessman, French built up a multimillion-pound empire. Having eventually turned his back on his former life, he is now seeking to set the record straight.


Frequently Bought Together

The Devil: Britain's Most Feared Underworld Taxman + Cocky: The Rise and Fall of Curtis Warren, Britain's Biggest Drugs Baron + Powder Wars: The Supergrass who Brought Down Britain's Biggest Drug Dealers
Price For All Three: 17.61

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (2 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845961781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845961787
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Graham Johnson has been a Sunday Mirror journalist since 1996 and the paper's investigations editor since 1999. He is also the author of Powder Wars.

Product Description

Review

"Sensational" (Sunday Sport)

Book Description

A chilling insight into the world of organised crime from a former member of Curtis Warren's cartel

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Facinating and Easy To Read Book 28 Aug 2008
By Stuart
Format:Paperback
Graham Johnson writes this book from the perpective of the man who the book is based on - Stephen French. Having met with Stephen and done hundreds of hours of interviews, the book totaly feels like its being written from the man himself. The author writes the story from Stephens perspective to give a closer feel for the reader. The book reveals many incidents of the life some peopler called "The Devil". The book has so many stories to tell of extrmely dangerous conflict situations between rival gangs, feuds with fellow crew members and the author does not hold back. The author says in the first few pages how he really wanted to get the reader a feeling of Stephens perspective. I really felt I got a very strong sense of the man from this book and read it in 2 days. This guy had many wild encounters for decades. Many people would surely be dead or incarcerated if they were in the same situations. Find out how he survived and how Stephen was able to make changes to his life by turning his back on crime. A facinating read and well written book. Recommend highly especily if you would like to read about real life dangerous encounters or crime. Things thankfully can change
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but tedious 27 Jan 2014
By mc71
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Poetic license appears abundant; French is insanely egotistical and not in the least bit likable, an okay read on the plane but don't expect to be overly stimulated. Better similar books out there - but it could just be that I didn't like the guy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, simply awful 14 Jan 2014
By The JBP
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an awful book. Simply, absolutely and utterly awful. I have to stress from the outset that I'm not a fan of the congratulatory accounts of criminals. I very rarely read the self-justifying biographies of so called "hardmen" and gangsters. But I've read the odd one and although they are all universally bad, this is unrelentingly so. The main problem with Stephen French's account is his sheer lack of self-awareness.

An example? Mr French claims he "studied psychology at university" in order to "master mind control techniques." Really? Well lets look at this. On page 64 of the paperback edition, he writes: "Between having a business to manage, drug dealers to rob and training to do, I found myself too busy to attend any lectures. When it came to my finals, I terrorised the lecturer into telling me what questions would be on the exam: psychological intimidation - the art of fighting without fighting. In 1988, I graduated with a 2:2. Not bad."

Excuse me? Does anyone apart from me see anything glaringly wrong with this account? Allow me to illuminate you Mr French. You don't have a psychology degree and nor are you a psychologist. You cheated, plain and simple. You yourself say you didn't attend lectures so you can't have learnt anything. You admit to bullying the questions out of the lecturer - no better than the child who steals the exam paper out of teachers desk - and therefore your degree is null and void. The point of going to university is not a piece of paper with "degree" written on it, it is to STUDY and LEARN. The paper is meant as proof that you have done so.

Mr French should have just enrolled on one of those dodgy online universities that send you a "degree" for a fee and he would have been just as well off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but glossed up a ittle I feel!! 24 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
This is quite well written and set out. Written as an autobiography (but it is not) you get the feeling the author has adopted the persona of French and writes the book with an adoration of the the man, injecting a little more glamour and awe than may have been so. That said, I really enjoyed the book and you can't help warming to "The Devil" as you read it. Overall if you take "The Facts" with a little scepticism it is a really good book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars betty boop 3 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback
Can I just say I have never really been into "True Crimes" but ordered this book for my hubby as I had heard him mention it.
I have just finished reading it and what a FANTASTIC read it is. After just reading the Preface and Prologue I didn`t want to put this book down.
Its hard to believe that these things really happen as they normally only happen in films.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Bigs
Format:Paperback
I was really angry to read a review saying this was racist and maybe such readers should review their intentions. I am tempted to give this book a lower mark but overall, of the author's books (the author who is white btw), this is the best so far.
Overall I have some annoyances so i will start with these. Stephen says the book was written by Graham Johnson and should not be taken as an autobiography. This is VERY annoying as I want to hear HIS story not the tabloid sensationalist words of Graham Johnson. Secondly, Stephen is quoted as saying he is not a grass yet the book has 3 incidents of police co-operation, one being when he changed his life to become a Christian. I should point out I could not care less if he did or not. The point being be honest, don't lie as it makes others look at you in that light but hey, he without sin. The last problem I have is that, in parts, there seems to be a lot of bravado and machismo but as I said before, he says Graham Johnson wrote the book.

I do overall like the book. I like the fact he apologized for his wrong doing and that he's trying to over come his demons and provide for his family in a manner that is regarded as legitimate. I learnt at a younger age to abhor violence but I don't think you can blame Stephen for using the tools at his disposal. He was imposing and he was highly intellectual. I suspect there was A LOT more violence and somethings are only alluded to when you would like a lot more detail. Also, I would have liked to have had more info on his dealings with some of the Liverpool names you hear about these days in particular the Fitzgibbons, The Showers, Charlie Siega, John Haase (briefly mentioned). Like all "true crime" books, some central characters are given aliases which is particularly annoying. Still, from a personal point of view (which is what you're reading and NOT the words of Graham Johnson) I would recommend this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Bought this for my partner he thought it would be interesting and he enjoyed it, I suppose it depends if you like this sort of thing.
Published 9 days ago by Mel Donnelly
2.0 out of 5 stars Egotistical Rantings of a Sociopath
In the vein of all books about 'hard' men, this book is from start to finish, the self-aggrandising and egotistical boastings of an overgrown playground bully. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars This would make a great film...
Stephen French has an in depth view of the criminal world having associated with some of Britain's richest ever criminals. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr Contentious
5.0 out of 5 stars the devil book
great book and arrived on time im only a few pages in but im already hooked i dont normally read but this is a really interesting read.
Published 4 months ago by david o'sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars A true wonder
After seeing this gentleman on television, who mentioned his book, I was interested to read it. I was gripped from the outset and would highly recommend this book to anyone. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bev Halliday
4.0 out of 5 stars A DARN GOOD READ
This guy is evil personified, a very inteligent calculating man that suprisingly by the end of the book had me both admiring his nerve and the skill at carying out his... Read more
Published 8 months ago by michael gannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Graham Johnson author
An excellent read. Totally scary and so graphic in detail regarding the violence. I was naive before I read this book. I looked the character up online and bought his book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by angie O
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
a good book worth the read but he seems to name drop quiet a few times to make him look even bigger??
Published 12 months ago by J. Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Devil
An excellent book, I loved it!!!
Better than I could have imagined it would be. I'll be reading it again at sometime in the future.
Published 13 months ago by Jason Millman
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!!
I bought this for the second time as the first was chewed by the dog. it just shows i enjoyed it so much i bought it to read again
Published 14 months ago by billy
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