Brett Tompkins's Reviews > No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels

No Angel by Jay Dobyns
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's review
Apr 10, 09

it was amazing
Read in April, 2009

I was so into this story that I finished the book in 2 days. For some reason I have always been facsinated by the Hells Angels and other motorcycle gangs. I can't get enough.
What I found interesting about this story was how different real life is from the movies. I always pictured deep undercover feds as going 100% native with zero contact with the outside for the duration of the investigation. Maybe that happens in other cases, but what intrigued me about this story was that Dobyns was still going home on the weekends, and still making it home for his Son's baseball games a couple times a week. Totally not what I expected when I read the description about an ATF agent going deep undercover and into the inner circles of the Hells Angels. He and his partner were writing reports every night, often meeting at a task force headquarters, and every time they were in a dangerous situation, they had a back up team very near by to intercede if things went bad. All very interesting to someone like me whose extent of knowledge on under cover federal agents comes from TV and movies.
In the very beginning I was impressed that Dobyns stuck to his morals. He would always point out that they were the bad guys and they were going down, and he was going to be the one to take him down. I've read a lot of books about the Hells Angels, and the author usually ends up understanding these guys on a different level and realizing they aren't such bad guys after all. Well, Dobyns started off strong, but eventually started entering a very dark period in his life, and actually caring about these guys that he was working to bust. It was very interesting to watch the transformation of this upper middle class suburban dad, into a dark and careless Hells Angel. Great book.

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