On September 20, 1998, a Cuban-born former Red Army lieutenant named Jose Vigoa launched a series of raids on the Las Vegas Strip. During a 16-month spree, Vigoa robbed five world-class hotels, three armored cars, and one department store. The casinos hit were the MGM; the Desert Inn; the New York, New York; the Mandalay Bay; and the Bellagio.
Lieutenant John Alamshaw, a 23-year-old veteran in charge of robbery detectives, was ordered to stop the robberies at all costs. He knew he was up against a mastermind. What he didn't know was that he was running out of time.
©2008 John Huddy; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"This debut is a must for true-crime enthusiasts." (Publishers Weekly)
This book was really good. How could anyone actually hit the major casinos in Vegas? Jose Vigoa did with ruthless abandon. The author went into the background of the gang members, the key policemen, the armed car guards and the families. This book not only tells you how the robberies were conducted, it tells you about all of the lives that were affected. Bravo to the writer and the editor of a great listen.
This book is non-fiction yet it reads better than most fiction crime or thriller books. The story of how a gang led by a Cuban commando can rob Las Vegas hotels and armored cars is amazing and would not be believable, except it really happened. The author did an excellent job of developing and weaving the stories of the many characters, into what would be a great fiction book, but it is non-fiction. Even the extensive Author's Notes following the book are an interesting listen. They tell how this information was obtained and the effect of this information being published. The reader also did an excellent job with the Cuban accent for the main character. Our friend from Bakersfield needs to download this again and have some more patience while the characters are developed.
What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas – until crime reporter John Huddy decides to reveal it. In his “Storming Las Vegas”, Huddy details how a Cuban risked life and limb to come to Florida and ultimately took down Las Vegas hotels, armored cars and millions of US dollars. Little was published in the national press at the time by design, but Huddy recounts, blow by blow, what took place. This is an amazing story of violence, robbery, and public relations. After reading this “Blue Velvet” book, you’ll never look at a trip to the strip in the same way. The writing is okay – it reads like a news reporter’s work. The story is informative and entertaining. The reading of Stefan Rudnicki is very good.
This is an entertaining story and worth the listen, but it could have benefited from further editing. I usually appreciate and enjoy infodumps, but Huddy includes a good bit of information that is not only irrelevant to the story but simply boring, such as the complete mailing address of a house where one of the accomplices lived years before any of the events described took place. Nothing actually HAPPENED there, but we are told in minute detail where it is anyway. It's fairly clear the author's view was "I spent years researching this book and I want everybody to see how thorough I was." Mission accomplished, but it seriously bogs down and distracts from the narrative in places.
He also seems to ascribe emotions and thought processes to some people that it seems doubtful he could have derived from interviews long after the fact, particularly those who were killed before Huddy even began his research.
As always, Stefan Rudnicki's narration is excellent.
This is a great book, investigative journalism at its finest. Chock full of detailed accounts of the events that took place, in-depth background analysis of the people involved, all delivered in a gripping narrative.
I really enjoyed this book and even went on extra walks just to have more time to listen to it. It is a true-crime drama with all of the elements of a Hollywood action flick.
The author spends a great deal of time taking us through the preparations of each robbery, the lives of the victims, and the aftermath.
I grew up in and live in Vegas so I enjoyed this book for obvious reasons. As a local I remember these crimes that put terror in the hearts of those that live in this valley. Vegas is still a small city and so these crimes and killings hit home with a certain rawness.
John Huddy did excellent research in preparing for this gripping account and takes the listener on a wild ride through the Vegas suburbs as well as right down the strip and inside the world of big casino security.
The narrator also did a great job of moving the story right along. Something I always appreciate from a narrator.
This is a great book. I can't believe I have never feard of this in Las Vegas, but than I guess they really don't want this getting out. I would recommend this to anyone and I guarantee they will like it.
For any book to be considered good, I must learn from it. Within this account you will gain insights into casino security, marketing, police practices, criminal tactics and revolutionary Cuba (... yes, I said revolutionary Cuba.)
Sure, I like exciting non-fiction that is well researched and presented. Prose and fact combine for great entertainment and learning.
Yes, it inspired me to never try robbing major Casinos and armored vehicles with assault weapons.
The author presents insights into this 2-year crime spree by helping us understand just who the players were. It is more than descriptions of crimes, it provides views into some men's souls.
I have ties to Las Vegas and had never heard of this story in the press before. So my curiosity got me to listen. The book grabbed me at the start. But then, in chapter 3, the story went to places other than Las Vegas and I thought I had bought the wrong book, based on the description. I later found out that this back story was very important and, like a flywheel, discharged energy into the story when it returns to Las Vegas. The narration is the best I've ever heard. Rudnicki's general narration is fantastic, but when he impersonates the voices of the characters' quotes (and there are a whole lot of characters in this story) I was really impressed. This is, it turns out, the story of the real Tony Montana (characterized in the movie Scarface). I couldn't wait until I could find an opportunity to listen to the next chapter and didn't want it to end. I was left thinking that if Vigoa, the main character in the story, were CEO of a mid-size company, he would have been on the cover of Fortune magazine.
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