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Undercover: Operation Julie - The Inside Story

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  52 reviews
In a Liverpool night club, the Canadian mobster said, "Are you guys cops?"

Steve Jackson heard him. His blood ran cold.

Jackson wasn't his real name. He was an undercover cop.

Ever wondered about the life of an undercover cop?

What it takes to infiltrate a worldwide drugs gang?

What it feels like to live a double life? To live a lie.

Read this gripping true story of Britain's
Paperback, 298 pages
Published September 18th 2019 by Hendry Publishing
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Valerity (Val)
Undercover: Operation Julie The Inside Story

This book goes well for reading now, after having recently read and reviewed Busted by journalist Eddie Laxton and cop Martyn Pritchard who was also in Operation Julie. This one is by Stephen Bentley, who happens to have the undercover name thats the same as one of our true crime writers here in the US, Steve Jackson, which is kinda cool. He talks some about what the case did to his life after, and how he feels about the other books on it that are out
Donna Backshall
Undercover: Operation Julie - The Inside Story is a gritty, first-hand and factual account of how dangerous and stressful deep undercover work can be. (FWIW, the reality is nothing nearly as righteous and seductive as Hollywood would have you think.) We follow Stephen Bentley and Eric Wright as they immerse, and almost lose, themselves in vital roles in the largest LSD investigation and bust in the UK. We hear the unflinching police officer's side of it, for sure, but we also feel the harrowing ...more
Michael Compton
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This account of an historic police investigation that led to the breakup of a massive LSD manufacturing and distribution operation in 1970s Britain is told in brilliant, first-hand detail by author Stephen Bentley, one of the undercover cops who lived it. Operation Julie, as it was called, was a 2-1/2-year investigation that culminated in 1977 with the breakup of two drug rings, 120 arrests in France and the UK, and the confiscation of a £100 million worth of LSD. For readers who tend to think ...more
Emily Murdoch
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This unflinching memoir by Stephen Bentley opens up a world of drugs, crime, passion, and fear in a way that no other book has ever been able to do: because it's true. It's fascinating to wander through his life, as though perched on his shoulder, and it's astounding to believe that the events that unfold actually happened. Bentley's sympathetic and yet tough view on those that he met and the people that both helped and hindered him is gripping, and his narrative sweep can sometimes make you ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed for Mystery Thriller Week

I am a huge fan of real life crime stories, it fascinates me hearing of the motive that people have in committing the crimes that they do, but what I enjoy even more is hearing about the build up to arrests and the impressions left on the law enforcers involved. I guess its that element of observation, of studying the suspects and drawing conclusions based on ones own understanding of human nature that draws me the most. Naturally I was immediately
Stevie Turner
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steve has written something I like to read - a true story. He tells of events nearly 40 years ago when he and a fellow detective went undercover in deepest Wales for their part in the drugs bust 'Operation Julie', in order to seek out the ringleaders manufacturing huge amounts of LSD. Over a period of several months he suppressed his normal persona and took on the guise of Steve Jackson, a 'ducker and diver' living in a hippie van and able to consume vast amounts of alcohol and cannabis to fool ...more
Robbie Cheadle
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio book of Undercover: Operation Julie. The narrator did a good job of telling this story and had a pleasant and smooth reading style. I would certainly recommend the audio book to people who like to listen to, rather than read, stories.

This book is an autobiography of a period in the author's life when he was an undercover cop in a historic police investigation that led to the breakup of a huge LSD manufacturing and distribution operation in Great Britain. The story is set
Joshua Grant
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Undercover by Stephen Bentley is a truly fascinating inside look at a real life drug bust. This memoir about the famed Operation Julie was both informative and reads well. It was like being there in the moment trying to infiltrate a dangerous drug ring. This is a great one for any true crime lovers and I cant wait to read more from Bentley! ...more
Gisela Hausmann
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coincidentally, between 1987-2002, I lived in Key Largo, FL, which used to be a sleepy village till the mid-Nineties. Key Largo, FL is an hour away from Miami, FL, a city author Steve Bentley mentions seven times in his book.
Living in the Florida Keys in the eighties, one learned quickly. If one spotted a 30+ feet cigarette boat in a tiny, maybe even shabby marina, one did not step closer to have ones picture taken with that boat. The issue was obvious. What kind of proud owner of such a vessel
Diane Lynch
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a cop! A man who found his calling in fighting crime. A true encounter of life in the late 1970's when undercover cops didn't exist. This is a ground breaking story which the reader should keep in mind.

LSD was big then. A plan was hatched for the first time to infiltrate and end this in the U.K. Many were involved in this undertaking. Stephen Bentley was 1 of 3 deep undercover cops. They lived the life. This is detailed reenactment based on memory and daily reports made at
Julian Anderson
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once in a while I like to surprise myself by buying a book without knowing what it is about. Undercover turned out to a complete surprise. From the briefest glance at the cover I was expecting a crime fiction. What I got was a factual account of a major news story I recall from my teenage years.

This is an extremely well narrated, compelling and personal view of the events and individuals involved in Operation Julie. It exquisitely captures the very essence of mid-1970s Britain, but for me, what
Victoria Haugen
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was very intense, I was drawn into this world and feel like I just got hit by a semi truck after. What a ride, indeed.
Riveting account of 1978's Operation Julie, one of the biggest British undercover operations of our time. 15 different defendants were imprisoned for a total of nearly 125 years.

This is the story of Stephen Bentley, one of the undercover detectives who lived it. I have little to no knowledge of the ins and outs of police procedure - well, only from TV, and Joe Kenda
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received the audiobook free for an honest review.

I'm not sure what I expected from this memoir. The beginning started out dry, setting the stage for the bulk of the book, a true story about an undercover detective in Britain, helping take down the drug lords.

It starts out with him setting the stage of how he becomes a police officer, a bit of the atmosphere in Britain in the 1970s and how he got into the drug squad and from there to be an undercover officer; it also touches on the mental
Kay Castaneda
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Undercover: Operation Julie-The Inside Story is Stephen Bentley's memoir about his life as a detective in the U. K. Bentley was part of a sting to infiltrate an organization making LSD in rural Wales in the 1970s. He writes about undergoing a transformation from clean-cut policeman to the long-haired hippie Steve Jackson. He lived out of a beat- up old van with his partner Eric as they observed the activities of a house believed to be the location of a secret drug lab. Bentley is honest about ...more
( Format : Audiobook )
"When does acting become living the part?"
Operation Julie was a two and an half year investigation in the UK into the production and distribution of LSD in the second half of the 1970s which culminated in the arrest and conviction of 15 defendants and the confiscation of vast quantities of the drug, believed to total 90° of the total available at that time. It was headline news in Britain. Undercover is the autobiographical story of one of the four policemen who secured
Irene Pylypec
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A raw, captivating account of the life of an undercover detective in 1970s UK.

Stephen Bentley is an undercover cop. Steve Jackson is a hippie drug dealer or is he? In order to infiltrate a global drug ring - the characters manufacturing and distributing LSD in the UK, a clandestine group of detectives need to live a double life. This raw, captivating account of working deep undercover in 1970s UK is told by a detective who lived it.

This true story describes not only the intricacies of an
Sandy Grant
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent look into the United Kingdom's drug life during the 1970's and the undercover team that worked to try and bring it down.

The author not only relays what happened but makes you feel his pain, despair and at times laughter and giddiness.

As an American reading this book I was amazed at how different some procedures are especially the lack of guns and the vast importance pubs played in the meetings and lifestyle of both the drug pins and the enforcement officers that the author and his
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got lost in this book at the beginning. But had a second wind this side of the summer and I have to say I enjoyed the ride. The story of Operation Julie is riveting as told by Stephen from what feels like his voice in his early risk taking years. There is a touch of nostalgia for that period and for what feels like literally a discovery of his own self and boundaries through the eyes of his adopted undercover persona. It must have been thrilling to be part of this drugs bust operations, and ...more
Rob Burton
This is a great story about cops undercover and one has to respect that sort of dedication (obviously we have also seen the news where similar operations have gone tits up and the operators are now facing legal challenges about their behaviour while undercover). My main gripe is the writing style. Short staccato sentences make the whole thing read like notes from this coppers note book. Please do spend some money and get a good editor in on the job to sort it all out and you will have a cracking ...more
Aryea Hunt
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the entire thing in one evening and was not disappointed. Really changed my perception on what real undercover work was and I recommend it for anyone who is interested in a real world view of law enforcement. So often the work of these brave individuals is overly glamorized by Hollywood or goes unnoticed by the very people they are working to protect. Such courage, perseverance and intelligence should definitely be remembered. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Stephen and for ...more
Inferna  Fire
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read but you must remember it is a memoir. I read this book in one sitting and truly enjoyed it. This is a true story, told with all the gritty details....NOT Hollywood glamor!!!!
I highly recommend this book to crime readers. It is a fantastic story written by one of the undercover officers many years after the actual event. It will make mind blowing movie.

I received an ARC of this book and am very happy to give an honest review. This was my first read by this author but it will not be
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Top notch book about real life events based around drug production. One mans experience from his own mouth and mind! Being undercover, the excitement, complexities and the possibilites of danger around every corner. Friendships forged and the wistfullness of its loss as the case is brought to a close.
Steve i really hope you get the justice you deserve one day and i only have one question? Who the fk are you?
Brilliant read and a big fat five star's 😁
Marc Rainer
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very self-aware autobiography

A valuable insight into the life of a cop who was thrust - without training for the role - into an eight-month deep cover assignment, and who ended up playing a crucial role in the largest investigation and seizure of LSD in the history of the UK. Worth reading for purposes of police management and a debate on national drug policies.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GREAT book!!
This book is detailed and interesting!!
There is a bit of humour which adds to this book being a page turner.
This is a another Great book from a Great Author!!
Allen Henderson
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blockbuster of a read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to any readers who enjoy true crime and undercover operative books, I couldn't put it down 👍
Jon Guenther
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hard, unflinching, tough look at what it's like to be an undercover police officer in one of the largest drug busts ever. Not only does Mr. Bentley write a riveting tale, he humanizes it with the personal costs that can come from being undercover so long. Not for the faint of heart or squeamish, this is a riveting story told in a blunt, straightforward style that is rough but entertaining for fans of true crime works.
Jamie Peterson
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review and it will be the longest, most heartfelt review that Ive written for any book.

SO many thoughts and emotions went through my mind with this book. The beginning was a little hard for me to be fully focused, I think mostly due to the fact that I am located in the Western USA and being unfamiliar with how the UK police force works and unfamiliar with any of the locations discussed as the author discusses the beginning of his
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgallery
Undercover: Operation Julie, the inside story is the personal story of Stephen Bentley one of three undercover detectives in Operation Julie, a UK police investigation that took place during the 1970s. The investigation was UK wide and aimed to bring down a number of LSD drugs rings. From a personal point of view despite being a fan of true crimes Ive never heard or read about anything relating to the operation, so I appreciated the overview of other books given.

We begin after the operation and
Peter Green
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A true crime story with a message

Stephen Bentley, a former British police officer and undercover agent, reveals the untold story of his volunteer undercover assignment in Wales in the early 1970s: to ill infiltrate the drug supply trade in Wales and bring down the operation. Set in a rural community which had become the British refuge of the peace and love movement, the tale unveils the flower children and their drug culture as unknowing victims of an increasing web of greed, intrigue and
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This brutally honest memoir recounts a time in the seventies where life was completely different. I was only a young child at the time and don't remember Operation Julie, even though it was talked about on the TV and in the papers. But the story is very interesting nonetheless, and gives an insight to police work that is more realistic than anything you'll see on TV. There's no hype, no glorification, no exaggeration of facts - just one man's story, as he remembers it, and as it is written in ...more
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Stephen is a former UK Detective Sergeant, undercover cop and barrister (trial attorney). Now a writer, author and occasional contributor to Huffington Post UK on undercover policing and mental health issues.

Stephen's memoir Undercover: Operation Julie - The Inside Story was first published in September 2016 and rapidly became an Amazon UK #1 Best Seller in two categories. It has since topped the

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