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Under and Alone | [William Queen]

Under and Alone

In 1998, William Queen was a veteran law-enforcement agent with a lifelong love of motorcycles and a lack of patience with paperwork. When a "confidential informant" made contact with his boss at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, offering to take an agent inside the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols (the scourge of Southern California, and one of the most dangerous gangs in America), Queen jumped at the chance.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1998, William Queen was a veteran law-enforcement agent with a lifelong love of motorcycles and a lack of patience with paperwork. When a "confidential informant" made contact with his boss at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, offering to take an agent inside the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols (the scourge of Southern California, and one of the most dangerous gangs in America), Queen jumped at the chance - not realizing that he was kicking-starting the most extensive undercover operation inside an outlaw motorcycle gang in the history of American law enforcement.

Nor did Queen suspect that he would penetrate the gang so successfully that he would become a fully "patched-in" member, eventually rising through their ranks to the office of treasurer, where he had unprecedented access to evidence of their criminal activity. After Queen spent 28 months as "Billy St. John", the bearded, beer-swilling, Harley-riding gang-banger, the truth of his identity became blurry, even to himself.

From Queen's first sleight of hand with a line of methamphetamine in front of him and a knife at his throat, to the fearsome face-off with their decades-old enemy, the Hell's Angels (a brawl that left three bikers dead), to the heartbreaking scene of a father ostracized at Parents' Night because his deranged-outlaw appearance precluded any interaction with regular citizens, Under and Alone is a breathless, adrenaline-charged listen. It will put you on the street with some of the most dangerous men in America and with the law enforcement agents who risk everything to bring them in.

©2005 William Queen; (P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"His story is tight, suspenseful, and unstoppable." (Bookmarks Magazine)
"[A] harrowing, turbocharged account of undercover life....The strength and white-hot intensity of the writing make this read like a movie." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (331 )
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4.3 (150 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Irmo, SC, USA 02-14-07
    Richard Irmo, SC, USA 02-14-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen"

    This is one of my favorites so far. Instead of the narrator sounding like he is reading a book, it gives you the feeling that it is happening at that moment. The author gives enough detail so that you feel what he went through without boring you with a lot of useless facts. Some people won't like the book because of some of the language, but this is about a hardcore motorcycle gang so you have to expect the language if you want to get the true experience.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. L. Robertson Southern California 03-22-08
    E. L. Robertson Southern California 03-22-08 Member Since 2004

    TourOnly

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    "Fantastic"

    I wish I could give this book 6 stars. I loved it and wasn't expecting to get so engrossed. This book makes Donnie Brasco look like Mr. Rogers. If you have ever heard the expression of "unbelievable but true", this book fits the bill. I listened to this non-stop and couldn't wait to hear more. The main character is constantly in true fear for his life and surrounded by the most violent group of Mongul motorcycle gang members in Los Angeles. I was totally intrigued and right there with him in all of the drama.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Long Beach, CA, United States 02-08-08
    Patricia Long Beach, CA, United States 02-08-08
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    "Fascinating!"

    This book was very captivating from the beginning. It was very well written and well read. It had an edgy feel that kept me interested, always expecting things to blow up. A real character study - it reminds us that there is a degree of humanity in all people, even those whom we dehumanize. This story shows the conflicting emotions felt by undercover officers who cannot help but to be drawn in by the people they meet. It shows his constant struggle to retain parts of himself as he got further and further into character. As he got to know and like these bikers, Billy had to keep reminding himself these were dangerous men who would kill him as soon as look at him, and when he stopped reminding himself, something would happen to shake him back to reality. I would have liked to hear more about the 'afterwards', however I think we get some of the picture on the extreme sacrifice this man made for his job and his own convictions. I do hope he was well rewarded for his efforts!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon 10-17-07
    Brandon 10-17-07
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    "Excellent"

    This book is well written and really grabs you and holds on. The narrator did a fantastic job and is able to transistion between the characters so well that it's like they are sitting with you telling you the story.

    If you listen while commuting you find yourself not wanting to get out of the car.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy NEWPORT NEWS, VA, United States 04-22-13
    Tommy NEWPORT NEWS, VA, United States 04-22-13 Member Since 2012

    I want to feel good when I complete a story & am a little harsh on depressing ones. There are a few sad ones that I love but not many.

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    "How can it be done"

    This is a crazy story that I got hooked on quickly. It is hard to explain but I had some really mixed feeling about what Mr Queen went through. Great story and lots of respect for a heck of a job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Kerrville, United States Minor Outlying Islands 01-23-12
    Richard Kerrville, United States Minor Outlying Islands 01-23-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Highly entertaining and suspenseful"
    Where does Under and Alone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 3


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Under and Alone?

    When a thug from another biker gang tries to cut/stab Queen and a Mongol


    What about Don Leslie’s performance did you like?

    Great voice, expressive, almost like you're seeing it happen instead of someone reading a story. Talks like you think the u/c hero would talk.


    If you could give Under and Alone a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How an Anglo undercover cop infiltrated the Mongols, the most violent biker gang, rose to the top and brought them down and lived to tell the story


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron New York, NY, United States 05-07-09
    Ron New York, NY, United States 05-07-09 Member Since 2004
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    "Worth the cost of admission"

    This is a worthy addition to the true crime genre, though I would have wished for more details about, perhaps, fewer characters. The book also ends very abruptly and rather shapelessly. I don't need to know details about Queen's life, but I do want to know more about how he reintegrated over time.

    Also - and this isn't giving anything away - high-ranking Mongols are suspicious of "Billy" from the start. We're shown how he gets in with them, but we never hear why they were so suspicious, whether other prospects face the same scrutiny, nor what their reactions are when the undercover operation is over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina whittier, CA, USA 02-26-09
    Christina whittier, CA, USA 02-26-09
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    "Couldn't Put Down!"

    William Queen took me right there with him and I could actually feel his anxiety as his undercover role as Billy St. John. I truly admire and appreciate the lengths this man went through for justice. This experience changed his life and compromised his closests relationships. My only objection to this story was that it seemed very coincidental that every time he was put in a situation where he would come close to either being made by the Mongols, or was nearly forced to give up his identity in the name of his oath, he somehow was able to avoid the situation. There was a lot of that happening in the story. The follow up in the end was detailed and satisfying to me as the reader. I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-03-07
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-03-07 Member Since 2005

    A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why Cycle Gangs Are Bad For You"

    I am from Greensboro, the author's hometown and I heard Mel Gibson bought the movie rights... It is a great nonfiction story. Real undercover work, as related in the book, is not pretty or even attractive to the hero wannabees in all of us.

    There are many tragic tales within this book, but one I can't seem to get over is the monumental sacrifices an undercover agent makes to protect us. If this was a work of fiction, I'd rate it a 3- because while it is an heroic tale, it is disturbing to read about.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader From Aus 10-17-14

    A tad action, mix in some history, throw in some battle & a sprinkle of mystery. A dash narration with added heart & a novel can become art

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    "Unabridged is the only way to go"
    What did you love best about Under and Alone?

    Inside look at the clubs, the people, the structure and the crimes.


    Any additional comments?

    I had overall mixed feelings about this book and law enforcement as a whole.

    We have quite alot of trouble with bikie gangs here, so it was great to see inside one of these (mongols have only just moved to Aus which will cause tension with very violent existing gangs), however i was somewhat struck by the ATFs intention in some cases to avoid involment in a crime (which i understand) but not to attempt to prevent the crime itself. An example of this was the 3 strippers that were the centre of a plan by the bikies.

    I was also interested in the ability of officers to become corrupted through the indoctrination of the club, to view it as a brotherhood and almost be reluctant to testify.

    Despite mixed emotions I am glad I read it, as it was as educational as it was a great yarn. I am glad that there are still those out there who can avoid corruption and stand up to do the right thing and sacrifice nearly their entire life in the process - definition of a hero.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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