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Angels Gate

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  26 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
THE LARGEST HEIST IN HISTORY NEVER TOLD In 1983 the rapidly growing city of LA and beachfront communities were active in the illicit drug trade, successfully operating through Angels Gate Lighthouse, and LAX, the gate to the City of Angels. This true story is a recounting of the largest monetary heist in history, carried out by four local surfers, and August Taracina, a su ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Outskirts Press
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Aug 19, 2012 Mayra rated it it was amazing

It’s 1983. Four local surfers who work in the luggage department of Los Angeles Airport devise an ingenious plan to smuggle drugs. Their goal? To make quick, easy money in order to fullfill their dreams and open a hotel in Costa Rica. They partner with a rich, successful marijuana smuggler named August Taracina and soon they put their plan into action. Eventually they run into an unexpected problem, an event that, to their surprise, turns out more profitable than ever.

You may ask yourself how au
Sep 17, 2012 Darla rated it it was amazing
I don’t give out five stars very often and I wavered a bit on this one because I felt there were definitely some parts that dragged and didn’t feel necessary. However, at the end of the day I have to give it the highest praise (5 stars), because this is one of the best stories I’ve read all year (and I read a LOT!) The level of intimate details, the wide –ranging plotline, the building suspense and tension, and the overall authentic, gritty feel of the portrayal of the drug life was downright im ...more
Sep 08, 2012 Jesse rated it really liked it
"Angels Gate” by Andrew Rafkin and Louis Pagano is a fascinating and compelling look into the seedy underside of Los Angeles drug trade in the 80’s. I feel like this book should be made into a movie! It had it all! The story tells of four friends who want to move to Costa Rica, so they embark on a risky operation of smuggling drugs. They do that for a bit then move on to something bigger…much bigger. But in order to accomplish the heist they must navigate through some pretty tricky landmines in ...more
Sep 11, 2012 Stacy rated it it was amazing
This was a truly great story. Hands down. Right off the bat we are swept into the world of the local surfers Randy, Scott, Terry, and Jeff, who have a dream about building a hotel in Costa Rica. So of course they need money…lots of it. At first they try selling drugs, but after a while they are forced to find other avenues of cash flow. With their unique positions of working at an airline, the boys devise a plan that exceeds even their wildest expectations. And then the real trouble starts. I li ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Carla rated it really liked it
Four friends decide that they want to move to Costa Rica, so they decide to start smuggling in drugs (naturally). But it doesn’t stop there…they soon become unwitting recipients of what could be a windfall worth billions…problem is it isn’t as cash, but bonds that need to be laundered at a loss. But they will still make out like bandits if they are successful and if they can get away with it with the FBI hot on their trail. The main guy August is probably the most interesting character and he is ...more
Sep 08, 2012 Claire rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect when starting this book, only that the premise sounded fascinating (and a little like “Point Break” at first glance). Well, it was that and so much more…kinda like “Point Break” meets “Blow” meets “Pulp Fiction”. It was awesome! The character of August was my favorite – he is one cool cat. This book definitely held my attention from start to finish, and I loved all the details that were put in as the story unfolded – like talking about other events at the time and ho ...more
Sep 20, 2012 Cale rated it really liked it
Apparently, “Angel’s Gate” by Andrew J. Rafkin is based on a true story…well, I don’t know if that is true or not, but nevertheless it is a darn fine book! Of course having the element of it being “true” definitely adds some panache to the story. The plot, one of some ordinary Joes pulling off a HUGE financial heist is one we all can relate to. But what made this book really special in my mind was the various narration tracts the author used, showing different perspectives of the characters and ...more
Steph Coleman
Sep 30, 2012 Steph Coleman rated it it was amazing
"Angels Gate” starts off by bringing us up to speed about socio-economic conditions of Los Angeles, and how the drug trade was booming. There are four surfer buddies(Randy, Terry, Jeff, Scott) and a drug smuggler (August), who participate in the “greatest heist—never told”. Well, its been told now, so the cat is out of the bag! But it was a whirlwind of action from start to finish, with one complication after another that kept me on the edge of my seat dying to know what would happen. I loved th ...more
Ann Smith
Aug 30, 2013 Ann Smith rated it it was amazing
After reading this book I feel like I need a strong drink! I was so emotionally invested in the characters and what was going on, it almost reminded me of Ocean's 11...which is a movie, but you know how it goes!

This is the story of four friends who have bigger dreams than pockets. Since they work in airport security they decide to smuggle in drugs. They get the biggest baddest gangster around town involved and things take off from there!

This is listed as a true crime, and almost a *conspiracy th
Sep 23, 2012 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Angels Gate is amazing…I read it in one sitting! It was so realistic, its like you are actually THERE as all this is happening. The dialogue was authentic, and even though some of the things that happen are pretty unbelievable, as they say - truth is stranger than fiction. Its almost a little creepy how the author knows so many details about this heist, and I assume that some of the narrative is fictionalized. But that doesn’t make it any less awesome! I love true crime books and thrillers and t ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Sam rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of what happened in 1983 in L.A. of one of the largest monetary heist in history. The culprits 4 surfers and August Taracina, a successful marijuana smuggler. The only problem was once the job was over they discovered the only thing they had was financial instruments that they can't cash.

You find yourself so drawn into this story it's hard to believe that its true. Page after page of thrills and you can't wait to fin dout the ending and when you do you wish for a few more
Tammy Hall
Dec 10, 2012 Tammy Hall rated it it was amazing
If any one would have told me when I started reading Angels Gate that I would end up rooting for the "bad guys" in this story I would have laughed. That is exactly what I did I found myself wanting them to get away with it. I thought Angels Gate was an amazing book. I felt like I was right in the middle of all the action. My eyes hung on every word from page to page. This book was fast paced action packed goodness! I honestly was surprised by how much I truly enjoyed reading it. Angels Gate is o ...more
Book Princess Sophia
This book was amazing! I am always interested in books based on real events, but so often they read dry and boring. Not with “Angels Gate!” I was pulled into the story right away, and thought the writing was easy to follow. I really felt like I was a part of the action as it took place…I almost felt like I was part of the capers myself! This was a real birds eye look into a criminal heist carried out by some seeming ordinary surfer dudes (and a drug dealer). I was engrossed from start to finish ...more
Feb 10, 2013 angelofmine1974 rated it it was ok
I received this book for free from Members Giveaway. The premise seemed interesting. The true story of one of the largest heists that ever happened. I'm going to say first what I didn't like about the book. Too much detail!! I don't care what streets they turned in L.A. nor do I care the explicit sexual activities of August or what he named his penis. Too much information!

For the rest of my review, visit my book blog at:
Karen *ReaderGirl*
Sep 04, 2012 Karen *ReaderGirl* rated it it was amazing
I read this book in 2 nights…it was that good! Totally captivating and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next, and if August and crew would be successful in their endeavors. It was kinda funny to be rooting for the “bad guys” but I totally was, as the characters were so relatable and likeable! The fact that this is based on a true story is even more awesome. I’d never heard of this before, and am glad I read about it now. What an adventure!!
Melissa Hammond
Aug 24, 2013 Melissa Hammond rated it it was amazing
I wonder how many other events like this happened without our knowledge?

This exciting tale revolves around a Drug Lord and four friends. Together they smuggle large amounts of marijuana through airport security.

When that venture is thwarted they come up with a different plan to make money. However, that venture turns out to be less than fruitful...or is it?

What they end up doing to stay out of trouble was clever and entertaining.
Loved it!
Emily (Heinlen) Davis
Jun 02, 2012 Emily (Heinlen) Davis rated it it was amazing
I really liked the story in this book. The characters and locations had great descriptions that helped the story come alive. In addition, the author's writing style made the story just fly by. While I didn't like what the characters were doing, I did find the story to be enjoyable.
Mar 04, 2013 Carol rated it liked it
OK, I finished it. It was marginally interesting. The dialog was so elementary, not realistic. Very repetitive. There was a good story there just not well written.
Mar 24, 2013 DeDe rated it liked it
The dad of a friend from high school wrote this book. I can't wait to read it!
Allen Ells
Allen Ells marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Connie marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2015
Jon Evers
Jon Evers marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2015
Kay Gibaldi
Kay Gibaldi rated it did not like it
Jun 17, 2015
Cheryl Orlowski
Cheryl Orlowski marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2015
Deborah Mitton
Deborah Mitton marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2015
Adelle Seibert
Adelle Seibert marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2014
Bekki Fowell
Bekki Fowell rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2014
Dorothy Mercer
Dorothy Mercer rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2014
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Virtual Writers: Free download on Kindle 2/27 - 3/1 3 11 Feb 28, 2013 05:58AM  
Andrew J. Rafkin, was born in 1946 in San Pedro, California, grew up in a commercial fishing family. Through high school, he worked on sportfishing boats, and at seventeen went commercial fishing with his father, captain of a large Purse Seiner, during summer vacation. Two years later, he worked aboard a ninety-foot fishing boat, which was caught in a hurricane force storm where Andrew almost lost ...more
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