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The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York's Bloods and Crips

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The Linden Triangle: Linden Avenue and Linden Place, Hempstead, Long Island. At this blighted intersection, seemingly forgotten by the middle and upper class communities that surround it, the dream of suburban comfort and safety has devolved into a nightmare of flying bullets and bloodshed. Here, a war between the Bloods and Crips has torn a once-peaceful neighborhood apar ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Lyons Press (first published December 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Mikey B.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The author was on the street with Blood and Crips gangs in Hempstead, Long Island, a suburb of New York City. One usually doesn’t associate Long Island with gangs and violence – but Hempstead is only one example of the spread of the violent drug selling subculture to suburban areas.

This is a very brutal book and sad. Young men are drawn into this nether world by their friends and sometimes family. They get a sense of belonging and comradeship. They are troops on the front-line. And of course the
Mar 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book sucks...where do I start?

"The Triangle" is a reporter's 'first hand' account of a year in the lives of Crips and Bloods gang members in the community of Hempstead, Long Island, NY. Both gangs, long associated with the urban center of NYC, have now moved out into the suburbs. Priced out of their former boroughs through gentrification, the suburbs of Long Island and its surrounding towns are now the setting of murders and gang warfare, as well as open air drug markets run by both gangs.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having worked in Hempstead for the past 8 years, I felt I had to read this book once I heard about it. This is a true account of the Bloods and the Crips war played out on the streets of Hempstead, known as the "Triangle". This particular "war" took place between 2012-2014 but is it shocking to learn about the prevalence of gang activity on Long Island and throughout the country.

"At 45 years and counting, the nationwide Bloods-Crips conflict has gone on longer than any war in the history of the
Nick Ueber
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A terrific, well researched and well written chronicle of the madness that is the drug fueled war between Bloods and Crips in one American city and how it affects the lives of gangsters and law abiding citizens. Hard to believe that this lifestyle and this philosophy can be seen in our cities. America has it's own Sunni v. Shi'ite style war right on its own streets. It is amazing that this whole Black Lives Matter uproar over a few police killings of black men takes media precedent over covering ...more
Kim Hampton
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. From the first page, I was hooked. Of course I had heard about gangs and seen things on TV, but reading an account from someone who actually followed two gangs around for a year and witnessed their every day lives was still eye-opening.
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed Kevin Deutsch's "Pill City" and decided to read this because I spent most of the 90s living on Long Island for my middle and high school years. Where I lived it was rare to see a police car, hear a siren, know someone charged with a crime or someone who was the victim of a crime. In hindsight, it seems like a rather privileged upbringing although I'd never consider myself privileged. During a couple of summers during college (2002 and 2003) I worked at a law firm in East Meadow and my ...more
Dan Downing
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Numbers: Bodies. Dollars. Kilos. Arrests. Drugs. Towns, cities, villages. Mr. Deutsch explores the national problem by living in the pockets of two warring gangs---Bloods and Crips---in an NYC suburb. He does so for two years. Then adds reams of research and published it all in 2014. Being a few years out of date doesn't matter. It only means more misconceptions and myths have built up, like crud on the bottom of a boat. And more bodies.
With all his expertise we are given no sure-fire, workable
Toby Mustill
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York’s Bloods and Crips is an in-depth account of the war between the rival groups. It provides details and insights regarding the war and ways to bring peace. Most importantly it outlines the Terrace-Bedell initiative which talks about “...Support for the dealers is offered...simultaneously, heavy police resources are called in to close down the drug market” which may be the best way to address the issue.

The first hand accounts and insights into the
Jason Morrison
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Many years ago I read Do or Die by Leon Bing, which I was completely fascinated by. This book is very similar in experiences, but provides almost a blow by blow account of one extremely violent year in the life of New York Bloods and Crips. The author had very unique access to both sides of the war and the accounts provided reflected such. There were a few chapters that became difficult to read, mainly due to some of the tactics employed by gangs against their enemies. The light at the end of th ...more
Randall DeVallance
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
The author of this book spent a full year on the ground covering, and getting to know the players involved in, a war between the Bloods and Crips for control of "The Triangle", a lucrative intersection for drugs in Hempstead, NY, on Long Island. Maybe a little heavy on "names and dates" at the expense of creating an emotional attachment to the people involved, it's still meticulously reported and shows the effects of the drug war at street level. ...more
Marianne Sweeney Colson
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very well written but very disturbing and sad
Martin Kilkenny
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow, who knew all this was happening just a few miles from where I live. Scarey.
Vince Darcangelo

For a harrowing year, journalist Kevin The TriangleDeutsch shadowed the gang-bangers of Hempstead, Long Island, in a place known as the Linden Triangle—ground zero of a 2012 turf war that turned an already rough neighborhood into a slaughterhouse. Forget the stereotypes of suburban Long Island. Think The Warriors rather than The Great Gatsby.

Dramatically reconstructed from interviews, legal records and first-hand experience, The Triangle is as fast-paced a
Omar Nunez
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a really good book but it’s different in it’s own way, but with this type of way the book was told there is no main character, it goes on between two different gangs, bloods and crips. This book is told from someone who interviewed some of the gangsters, residents, and the police. The book takes place in Hempstead, New York. In Hempstead, there is a gang territory, the worst place in the city, in the triangle gangsters sell drugs, shoot enemies, rape women, beat people, and stab peo ...more
Feb 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
So this book. made me so angry. In a nut shell it's by a journalist who followed the Bloods and the Crips for a year in Hempstead and then told their story. First off I have to say I was impressed by the way these gangs operate their businesses. They are running multi-million dollar operations like precision military units. That's not to say that I condone the whole dealing illegal drugs, killing people aspect of their businesses, just that if you could put them in legal settings you w ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, crime
We are a country at war. Yes, I know the troops are returning home from the Middle East and terrorists are afoot, but this conflict has been raging within our borders for decades and the body count is horrendous. And these soldiers do not get pensions or much PTSD care, though communities often pay for their physical rehabilitation after they are wounded. And there seems little hope of cessation of hostilities. Scarily, while reports of mass killings south of the border garner headlines, one won ...more
patrick Lorelli
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
This story takes place in Long Island, Hempstead. The streets are Linden Avenue, and Linden Place. These make a triangle that the two street gangs the Bloods, and the Crips, have turned into a drugged infested war zone between these two gangs. The author give you a behind the scenes look at the people living in the neighborhood who can’t leave and the pain it has caused them in their lives. He also talks to a returning vet who with his PTSD, feels like he is still in the war especially after his ...more
Howard Pavane
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating true story - almost in the style of Hunter Thompson - in that the author actually was very involved with befriending two of the most viscous gangs, the Crips and Bloods. The decades long war between these gangs is deadly. The author pretty much put himself in the line of fire. He spent a year investigating "The Triangle", a poor neighborhood in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, Long Island, NY, and not all that far from my bucolic suburb in the Town of North Hempstead.

The violen
Dec 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Informative, revealing, but it seems like a prelude to the real deal (The Corner is about 500 pages).

I admire the author's courage, in immersing himself in this subculture, befriending the people of these rival sets at great risk to himself. My impression after reading the book and author's note is that he could have easily been shot at any time, for so much as a wrong look. That said, I felt like the book disappoints its sources and material. Gang members on both sides of this conflict die thro
David Lamb
I won a copy of this book through a goodreads giveaway. While I think the content of this book may be insightful and well researched, I struggled with the tone/style of the book. Much, if not most, of the action in the book takes place as dialogue. At the end of the book, the author mentions that 40-50% of the events described were witnessed first-hand, though the dialogue is not necessarily exact. This leaves 50-60% of the dialogue inferred or constructed, which I feel takes away from the authe ...more
Kel Munger
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Into the streets

The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York’s Bloods and Crips by Kevin Deutsch (Lyons Press/Globe Pequot, $16.95).

Kevin Deutsch is an experienced criminal justice reporter with Newsday, and The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York’s Bloods and Crips is the outgrowth of some long-term reporting he did on street gangs.

The Triangle is an area in Hempstead, Long Island; once a very nice neighborhood, it’s gone far beyond “blighted” as drug-running gangs shoot it out f
Rachel Blom
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I've never read much about gang wars, so this book about the gang war between the Bloods and the Crips in Hempstead was an eye opener for me. The professional level at which these crews run their drug operation, the level of violence, the honor and stupidity it takes to keep this endless cycle going, it's mind-blowing. I admire the author's courage to spend so much time with these dangerous gangs and I question his sanity at the same time.

However, considering the access he had, the book is kind
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I wasn't the only sheltered person who read this book and immediately began thinking "the Wire." There's a blurb on the jacket with another reference to the beloved HBO drama.

I don't know what to say about this book other than it involved a lot of emotions, none of them good. It's amazing we have ignored this war going on inside our borders that claims the lives of so many young people. It's just incredible...the things happening within these pages are so far from my experience that it
David Ward
The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York's Bloods and Crips by Kevin Deutsch (Lyons Press 2014) (364.1066). The Linden Triangle in Hempstead, New York is one of the poorest, the most forgotten, and the most blighted areas of Long Island. Two drug-dealing street gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, are at war for control over the corner territories, and these teams fight to the death. Crack cocaine is the medicine that drives the train and the market; author Kevin Deutsch spent a year slowly ...more
Nov 27, 2014 rated it liked it
A disturbing look at gangland drug culture - it's hopeless! There was a lot of rough language in this book, entirely because when quoting Crips and Bloods every third word is profane. The takeaway message for me was that drugs and gangs will never stop, because there is so much easy money in that world. Why sacrifice and work hard to get an education when you can make exponentially more standing on a corner pushing crack? Yes, it's dangerous, and once you're in it's almost impossible to get out, ...more
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
The author, a reporter, does a deep investigation of the gang war taking place between the Bloods and Crips on Long Island. It was a fine book, but at least for me who has read any number of other similar books it felt very much like a retread. Deautsh reports on some of the history of the Bloods and Crips and how they became entrenched in this area of Long Island. He introduces you to some of the key players in each gang and details the gang war that they are currently fighting over drug corner ...more
Tyler Knight
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Prior to reading this book, I had no idea how bad things are in places like Hempstead. The Triangle revealed this to me. We all hear about the Bloods and Crips and how they hate each-other, but most of the time, it's just left at that. Kevin Deutsch does a great job at detailing the ins and outs of these gangs and how they work. This book is not for everyone, especially for the faint of heart, but I would recommend it to most people, so that they recognize this terrible war that is happening in ...more
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I won a copy on Goodreads but I would've looked for it online or a bookstore if I wouldn't have won a copy. Even though I knew some of the men in the book might not make it to the end, I found myself saddened more than I usually do when reading a book. I'm glad I got "to know" the "characters and I would like to know what's happened in the Triangle since. A very well written book that will make you look around corners and become aware of your surroundings. ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and disturbing look at life on the triangle; a section in Hempstead, Long Island where the Crips and Bloods battle for control. Written by a journalist who spent a year with both factors, the area resembles a war zone with the youths of these gangs as its soldiers, seeing so much bloodshed they become hardened and accept that they will probably die before they reach their twenties.

Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
An incredibly interesting and disturbing look into a war rarely heard about, one fought on America's streets over territory, drugs, women, and reputation. Deutsch does an excellent job as a journalist putting the human face on the drug war waging on forgotten blocks in American cities.

Highly Recommend
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KEVIN DEUTSCH is an award-winning writer, host of the true crime podcast “A Dark Turn,” and author of Pill City: How Two Honor Roll Students Foiled the Feds and Built a Drug Empire, as well as The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York's Bloods and Crips. He works at the local nonprofit journalism site Bronx Justice News, and previously worked on staff at Newsday, the New York Daily News, Th ...more

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