Book reviews, True Crime

No Angels by Steve Jackson – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A little before midnight on May 30, 1997, fourteen-year-old Brandy DuVall waited at a bus stop in the Denver area for a ride back to her grandparents’ home after spending the evening at a friend’s home. She was wearing a bright-red Chicago Bulls jersey bearing the number of her favorite player, Michael Jordan.

It was the shirt, a favorite of the Bloods gang, that attracted the five young gang members in the car that circled the block and came back to where she stood. Why Brandy got in the car that night would remain an unanswered question. Was it voluntary? Was she abducted?

Whatever the answer, the consequence was an unimaginable nightmare of torture, rape and murder at the hands of a vicious Denver street gang, particularly “Pancho,” a violent psychopath, and other members of the Deuce-Seven. The crime, the investigation, the betrayals and deals cut with the devil, and the subsequent court cases, including four murder trials and two death penalty hearings, tore apart families, and affected all who were caught up in the brutal crime and its aftermath.

Now, twenty years after he first wrote about this horrific true crime, New York Times bestselling author Steve Jackson returns with NO ANGELS, a gripping narrative delving into the circumstances that would forever change the fate of Brandy, two previously inseparable brothers, and the mothers who sat on opposite sides of the courtroom and yet shared a common grief.

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MY REVIEW 

Brandaline (Brandy) Rose DuVall was 14 when she died. She had been raped, tortured and stabbed multiple times. Those responsible were members of a street gang in Denver.

This is the true story of an horrific murder, but it’s also the story of the effects this horrific and brutal murder had on Brandy’s family and friends, and the families of the young men responsible. 

No Angels tells of these gang members’ early lives and how they got drawn in to gang culture.

The excellent writing by Steve Jackson really brings to light just how many people are affected by this violent crime and its aftermath. It gives an emotive depth to a true crime story. 

Thank you to Natalie at Wild Blue Press for an acopy of No Angels. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, True Crime

From Innocence To Arrogance by Ezekiel King – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From Innocence to Arrogance is the most authentic British crime novel on the market today. This book takes the reader on the journey in first person as Cyrus Johnson lives his day-to-day life.

Every 15-year-old is somewhat the same, what makes Cyrus so different is his mentality and decision-making. Read this! It will open your eyes to a world you never knew existed right under your nose. The information to live this life is here, but after having it, would you still want to?

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MY REVIEW 

Set in Coventry, this is the tale of Cyrus, a young man living on a council estate in a, let’s say, less than wealthy area. He’s fed up and bored of this life and he wants more, to have cash in his pocket and a little respect.

So, he decides to be a drug dealer.

He ‘employs’ friends and even family to help and quickly becomes successful. Cy is quite naive and trusting at first, but he gradually becomes more wary, harder and arrogant. He has the money, cars, girls and the lifestyle he so sorely wanted, but at what cost?

This really is a glimpse into a world many of us never see (thankfully) but a world many young men get drawn into by the idea of easy money, the glamour and respect. But it’s a violent world too and so many become victims of it.  Ezekiel King knows this world and has eloquently shown both sides in this eye opening fictional tale. It’s honest, gritty and clearly heartfelt as it shows the consequences of this lifestyle…….it will not end well. I found this to be utterly absorbing from start to finish and I’m hoping to read more of Cy and what happens in his life. 

Thank you to the author, Ezekiel King for the opportunity to read From Innocence To Arrogance for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Audiobook, Book reviews, Thriller, True Crime

Bleak Alley by Shane Dunphy – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

True crime within the dark heart of Irish gangs. Featuring original Irish folksongs written and performed by the author, Shane Dunphy.

He seems like a typical 16-year-old boy except that Mikey is walking the knife edge of crime. He’s tough and good with his fists, but when journalist Shane Dunphy is offered the chance to write his story, he discovers a lost, vulnerable child, in danger and desperate for help.

Shane descends into the perilous underworld of organised crime and discovers that the glamour of gangland life is riven with brutality and murder. Far from providing a means of survival for boys from broken families, the price they pay is often with their life.

With skill and empathy, and no little courage, Shane attempts to rescue Mikey from the clutches of warring gangland leaders and to restore the love and harmony of Mikey’s family which has been shattered by poverty and bad blood.

For fans of Peaky Blinders, Bleak Alley is the first in a series of true crime stories from the heart of Irish gangland life. The author provides extensive historical analysis of the rise of Irish street gangs and their outlaw Celtic culture, as well as original Irish folksongs.

Bleak Alley examines serious issues of social deprivation, state indifference and lawlessness with the pace and intrigue of a high-class thriller.

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MY REVIEW

This audiobook, Bleak Alley is the true crime story of 16 year old Mikey, a young man from a troubled background. His mum is a schizophrenic and his alcoholic dad beats them both regularly. Mikey becomes caught up in a gang. 

Shane, a journalist wants to write about Mikey and wants to try to help him realise that being in a gang, heading for a life of violence and crime isn’t his only option.

This is not a tale for the faint hearted, it’s a gritty look at the reality of gang culture, the violence and exploitation of young vulnerable men in this lawless part of Irish gangland society. Very well read by Shane Dunphy and along with the Irish folk songs make this an unforgettable listen. 

Thank you to Ben at Midas PR for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Only available from Audible