A BBC Radio interview with Stephen Bentley today September 30, 2016
I am talking about the subject of my book Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story and undercover policing in the UK.
There is a second interview of some 40 minutes planned for next week.
These are some of the more recent reviews posted on Amazon:
Fascinating and compelling
Steven Bentley certainly provides a compelling depiction of not only one of the largest drug busts in history, but of the LSD manufacturing and trade in general. Bentley and his partner bravely fight against the drug underworld, police corruption, greed and against their own addictions culminating from the necessity to partake in what they are working so hard to put an end to. The need to step over the line in order to infiltrate the drug gangs, to be part of that world, in order to bring them down, and the resulting fall out, often glossed over or at best romanticized. Not here – Bentley takes it head on, in a realistic portrayal of what that life must be like. Bentley does a great job of laying blame for his addictions where it is due and accepting his own responsibility for the situations without accusations yet shedding light on the incredible toll life undercover extracts, the inevitable crash after the high – in this case the bust.
He demonstrates how essential his work and that of others like him is in the fight to control the manufacturing and distribution of dangerous substances. The book digs into the human physiology of drug interactions, how distribution and smuggling operations are established. All the while he is struggling to maintain his own equilibrium, his personal life, his own since of right and wrong, and find his way back ‘out’ in the end.
I found it a fascinating, straightforward, honest account of an insider who was in truth an outsider. It’s a tale of outrageous greed, lust, violence and the bravery of a few men who had an admirable goal and how they managed it. An insider’s perspective of the LSD trade, told with charm, intelligence, and at times, humor, by a talented man, uniquely qualified to dish the real story, who above all was an honest decent man. Just a plain good read.
I received an advance review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Awesome book, great read
Masterfully told by undercover officer Stephen Bentley, this isn’t a run of the mill sensationalist true crime book. Dive underneath the visible parts of the water and into the murky depths as you are pulled along through not just the operation but the aftermath, both personal and public. A must read for true crime lovers and historians alike. I cannot recommend this book enough. It was a very enjoyable read.
Good guys and bad guys
Good guys and bad guys., September 21, 2016
jack kregasVerified Purchase
This review is from: Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story (Paperback)
Compelling insight to the life, mental make-up and identity confusion of someone deep under cover. Interesting how those in command have no idea
the strain of being undercover and therefore do not provide back-up often necessary. I admire the ability and suffering it takes to readjust to normal life after a long period pretending to be someone else in a way your life depends on it. A job that test your skills and mental fortitude on an hourly basis is exciting reading. I like stories of pushing the limits. A very enjoyable book.
Unflinching memoir that is a fascinating read
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 forget that this is fact, not fiction. As a lover of crime drama, it’s astonishing to see just what is correct and completely missguided when it comes to the outside world, and I look forward to reading more from Bentley – surely there is more to come?
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 the suspects, yet still managing to pass vital information back to his superiors. The book also tells of the time after the ringleaders were arrested, and how Steve unwittingly suffered a kind of post traumatic stress disorder, taking him to rock bottom. The whole book was quite fascinating. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Like – Far out man!
When you are reading a novel, there are instances when you can second guess the outcome of any given situation but a real life account is much more difficult to predict. The author bares all in his memories of “Undercover : Operation Julie” a sense of vulnerability runs throughout, but only within himself. The book is a great read because of his honesty – both in his work and towards himself. Becoming the new character for his undercover role would be filled with apprehension but Steve was “up for it”, if you look at his personality traits it is easy to see why he relished it so much. Post Operation Julie – Steve is an angry man with many issues that can be attributed to his treatment by ” The Force” but the author dealt with it and is now reflecting on the lost chances to build on a successful operation. This book deals with the undercover role Steve played in Operation Julie, but it is much more too. A cracking read and you will not regret purchasing this real life account of a huge drugs operation and the part Steve played as an undercover cop.