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Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,919 Ratings  ·  302 Reviews
In 1998, William Queen was a veteran law enforcement agent with a lifelong love of motorcycles and a lack of patience with paperwork. When a “confidential informant” made contact with his boss at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, offering to take an agent inside the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols (the scourge of Southern California, and one of the most dang ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Fawcett (first published 2005)
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10th out of 42 books — 23 voters
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Community Reviews

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Aug 02, 2008 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime buffs
"Shooting pool is a mainstay of the biker lifestyle. So is getting shitfaced on Jack Daniels and being an asshole, but I decided to try pool first."

Memoir by a federal Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent who spent two years undercover in the Mongols, a motorcycle gang less famous than (but probably even more deadly than) the Hells Angels.

I figured that anybody who joined a biker gang would feel contempt for rules of any kind. Then I read this book and found out that the Mongols, a motorcycle ga
Kaje Harper
Feb 26, 2015 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-nonfic
I had the privilege of hearing William Queen speak and teach last year. He told us this story, the fascinating account of his two years posing as an outlaw in one of America's most dangerous biker gangs, the Mongols. It was a constant balancing act, not only to maintain his cover, with the unrelenting fear of exposure, but also to maintain who he was. As an undercover officer, he had to decide, day after day, how much lawlessness and violence he could watch, how much he could participate in, in ...more
Jun 12, 2009 Dayna rated it really liked it
This is such a amazing story that it completely didn't matter that the actual writing was terrible. This undercover cop (who became a patched-in member of the biker Mongol gang) has more than a book-full of interesting and dangerous stories to tell about his 2-year undercover assignment.

The author is not the articulate type and even admitted in his book that he hates writing. I'm sure there was a ghost writer or a zealous editor who put a lot of work into turning the author's raw notes into thi
Brett Tompkins
I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as Dobyns No Angel I don't know if it's because I read Dobyns book first or what; I can't quite put my finger on it. It was still a very good story, and Queen's undercover work paid a lot more dividends than Dobyns in terms of convictions and the number of bad guys that went to prison. This story was similar to Dobyns story in the way that they both started sympathizing with their suspects, and really started feeling like family with them. I thought it ...more
Peter Derk
Jun 14, 2010 Peter Derk rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
So this dude basically goes undercover to bust some bad bad folks in a motorcycle club. But then he ends up getting a little deeper in than he really planned.

It's a quick read, and if you know nothing about motorcycle clubs, it's not a bad place to start. You'll end up learning a lot about this subculture that is still running strong today, and in Colorado no less. That's the good stuff.

The bad stuff is that the book tends towards the real-crime genre in that it tries to horrify you with the dif
Tony Evans
May 23, 2013 Tony Evans rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting book. You really get to understand the emotions he was feeling as he was navigating his way through the undercover role. For example: At one point his mother dies and he has to leave his undercover work for some time. He tells the biker gang that his mother just died and he will be gone for a few days. When he gets back none of the ATF agents ask him about his mother or tell him that they are sorry to hear about it. But when he goes back into his undercover role every ...more
Jun 17, 2014 Ru rated it really liked it
A very "truth can be stranger than fiction", real-life account of Federal Agent William Queen's deep-undercover life with the Mongols Motorcycle Club. To say that the Mongols have a storied, crime-ridden history would be an understatement; if you can think of it, they've probably done it. Their most modern incarnation may be clean now - I'm not sure (and it's not really relevant) - but the events Queen recounts during his time with them are troubling, to say the least.

Life in and among a "one-pe
Aug 01, 2011 Dachokie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gangs
Talk about Courage ..., July 3, 2008

As with most books I've read, there is always something I see or hear that piques my interest in a topic/subject matter creating a domino effect that leads to obsessive reading. This seems to be the case here: "Gimme Shelter" led to Sonny Barger's "Hell's Angel" which led to the "Gangland" television series and then to searching for books about outlaw biker clubs, starting with "Under and Alone".

The first chapter of this book was such an effective
Mar 17, 2009 Shivesh rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bikers, thugs, mongols
Shelves: criminal
Of all the criminal elements in this world, biker gangs are possibly the quintessential American product. In other countries you have urban gangs, the mafia, government goons, weapon runners and drug smugglers. But at the heart of those enterprises is the desire for money and power. Traditional gangsters engaged in gangster shit as a job, a way to earn some scratch. However, every organized crime group had a guy who would be variously known as 'Crazy Joe Spinolli', or 'Loco Lopez' - a hardcore i ...more
Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D. Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D.
Besides keeping you interested until the end, this book does one other thing - it teaches you bravery. I know you know what bravery is, but do you know what bravery is?

In this day and age when a word like that can only make sense when associated with far away lands of Arabic speaking people, deserts and terrorist actions, this book will bring you back to American soil, to the cities we live in, to the streets we walk on, the roads we drive on, our own back yard. Bravery exists here and is made
Mar 16, 2015 Felicia rated it really liked it
Very quick fast paced action packed full of great information on MC's. A great peek into what a real MC is like.
Kit Fox
Jul 22, 2011 Kit Fox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing first eye glimpse into the daily workings of one the nastiest biker gangs to ever emerge from the flames of hell. These desperadoes aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but they're certainly the most dangerous. I liked how the copy I checked out of the library had portions where the author explains certain ingenious acts of criminality underlined. Like, did you know that if you remove a car's air filter, you've just created a perfect spot to stash a handgun or two? Well, now you do, an ...more
Mar 20, 2016 Sasha rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, nonfiction
Ya know what, this book was a little out of the box for me, in that I don't usually read non-fiction, but it was 100% exactly what I wanted. This is about an ATF agent who went undercover with the Mongols for two years. Outlaw bikers are fucking crazy and I don't understand why they don't get more attention. They have a beautiful way with names (for their gangs: Mongols, Sons of Silence, Hells Angels; for their hangouts: The Place). They are totally in this whole crime thing for violence, not ma ...more
Eric Plume
Aug 21, 2015 Eric Plume rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Authors, Crime Fiction Fans
Shelves: r-and-d
A fascinating trip into the world of working undercover.

William Queen, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is given what begins as a simple assignment; go undercover and hang out with members of the Mongols MC to learn about their drug-dealing and gunrunning activities. It soon becomes clear to Queen and his superiors that to learn anything of value, Queen will have to go deeper than simply hanging around with outlaws. A lot deeper.

Under and Alone is the story of a
Bob Lamothe
Aug 04, 2015 Bob Lamothe rated it really liked it
Billy Queen assumes the identity of Billy St. John, a rough and tough biker prospect for the Mongols, one of America's biggest and baddest motorcycle clubs. Queen is the first undercover agent to become a fully patched member of a 1% outlaw MC club. This is his story as he tries to walk the fine line between outlaw and lawman knowing all along that if his true identity were to be discovered his life would end.

Under and Alone is a compelling tale, a thrill ride from cover to cover giving the read
Sep 02, 2014 Joe rated it really liked it
What’s it like living in the midst of the Mongols, the outlaw motorcycle gang the ATF dubbed the “most vicious”? William Queen goes undercover, and while he comes out the other side with enough warrants to shake the club, he also takes away some of the camaraderie that pulls men together and holds them bonded by a common passion. In fact, Queen is later heard commenting that he was tempted to quit government service and join the gang. Senseless violence? Yes. Drug trafficking, extortion, and mon ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Tinika rated it really liked it
Under and Alone is non-fiction that reads like fiction. It gives some background on outlaw motorcycle gangs but it is mainly a memoir. For over two years, ATF agent William Queen went undercover to infiltrate the San Fernando Valley chapter of the Outlaws motorcycle gang, walking a tightrope between staying within the law and passing all the tests the bikers required of him. He was phenomenally successful, not just becoming a full-patch member but an officer in the club. Many times, his life was ...more
Gabriel Zeck
Aug 22, 2012 Gabriel Zeck rated it really liked it
Fascinating portrait of a criminal subculture. Mr. Queen treats his subjects evenhandedly, given his law enforcement background. The story is gripping. The author does a fantastic job highlighting the perils of his position and the circumstances he often found himself in.

I would recommend this book to anyone with even a passive interest in criminology, subcultures and law enforcement. Thumbs up!
Aug 25, 2009 Chad rated it really liked it
Well written account of an ATF agent infiltrating the Mongols motorcycle gang and his 2.5 years undercover with the gang. You really feel how an undercover agent can become torn, in one respect he is doing a job, in another respect he becomes friends with all these guys, plus some heart-rending scenes where the author becomes detached from his family with unintended consequences. Recommended
Apr 10, 2016 Skyqi rated it really liked it
This is a great story about an ATF agent that infiltrates the outlaw motorcycle gang, the Mongols. Assuming the fake identity of Billy St. John, the agent hangs out in the Mongols' biker bars, meets members and becomes a prospect for the gang, eventually reaching the level of treasurer in order to gather evidence about the gang's criminal activities. As Billy gets closer to the gang members, it was fascinating seeing the challenges he faces trying to become a member and the individual lives of t ...more
Feb 19, 2016 MaRanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was kind of a crazy little read. The whole time I'm thinking, no way did this happen... but you get to the end and realize, yep it all happened!

This was an intense read, I can't imagine how it would feel to be immersed in the lifestyle and not come out a totally different person. Leading a life of crime, drugs being around and then have the criminals you hang around with be the only ones to say that they care. I just don't know. This whole story has kind of boggled my brain.

How scary t
Tom Schulte
Jan 22, 2015 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have seen cable show overviews of this amazing feat of undercover policework done by Queen of the ATF, right up there with Joe Pistone's Donnie Brasco stunt (1976–1981) against the Mafia. Ably narrated by Don Leslie with all the F-bombs of frustration delivered forcibly and the pangs of regret against bringing down some of the "brothers" made comes across well. It is amazing to hear the details on how even two decades ago the Mongols were a tribe so well-populated with psychopaths and configur ...more
R.M. Gilmore
Feb 20, 2012 R.M. Gilmore rated it really liked it
Not usually what I would choose to read but I LOVED it!! I knew someone had to survive and write the "based on reality" novel, but I was still on the edge of my seat. I was so scared something horrible would happen! Great read!
Benjamin Rothman
Apr 15, 2014 Benjamin Rothman rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
A quick read. It shines an interesting light on some of the inner workings of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMG) as criminal organizations. Moreover, it also shows some of the dilemma's involved with being undercover long-term; with the disruption to your normal life and, in particular, the psychological bonding that happens with the people you have to befriend to eventually testify against. Queen covers it pretty well, but that element could have been taken deeper, as could the details of the OM ...more
Feb 11, 2015 Jon rated it liked it
Even if some of Queen's claims seem a bit far-fetched -- he hung out with the drug-soaked Mongols Motorcycle Club for two years and was never coerced into so much as a little sniff? -- the man has definitely been on a helluva ride.

That said, it seems that Queen has given an awful lot of personal quid -- family, health, his life in hiding now -- for damn little law enforcement quo.

The Mongols, not surprisingly, allege exaggeration and outright fabrication. Check Honor Few, Fear None: The Life an
Jan 21, 2016 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one gripping book and a real look into one of the most deadly outlaw motorcycle club's, the Mongols. The clubs motto, "Respect Few, Fear None", sums it all up.

As a follower of the television series, "Sons of Anarchy", a show about a fictitious motorcycle club, and a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I was anxious to read this book. It turned out to be one exciting book on steroids. My only regret was that it had to end.

I highly, highly, recommend this book to anyone interested in outlaw moto
Robert Gene Rosero
May 29, 2015 Robert Gene Rosero rated it it was amazing
Amazing true story that left me fearful for the author even tho the sheer act that he wrote the book is evidence that he makes it out okay. Torn between loyalty to the badge and brotherhood to his 1% (biker slang for a biker outlaw) his journey through the most vicious outlaw motorcycle club is worth the read. Especially if you ever enjoyed an episode of sons of anarchy. I watched a few seasons of the show and couldn't help think about it as I read the book, which personally I think made the rea ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Christie rated it really liked it
The telling of William Queen's story and how he helped to put away some of the most ruthless criminals in society holds a special place in my heart. It is men like Queen who are the true heroes; men who lay down their lives for America to help ensure we all have a safer future. Queen is an amazing speaker who shows how he was affected over time and shows how he saw himself starting to go down a path he knew he couldn't stay on for the sake of his sanity. He fought hard to bring justice to the st ...more
Feb 18, 2015 Gabe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-yet-finished
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2014 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: paper
Pretty solid read. ATF agent William Queen spent more than 2 years undercover as "Billy St. John" with the Mongols motorcycle gang in California. He worked his way up to "full patch" status, meaning he was a full-fledged member of the gang. He gained their trust, even serving as treasurer for their chapter. Along the way he was exposed to a multitude of criminal activities, and documented them for future prosecution.

Over time, Queen comes to feel bad about his actions, particularly when his aunt
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“He loved a shadow I'd created in his mind.” 1 likes
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