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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    10

Performance

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  • 4 Stars
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    32
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    9
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • Long Beach, CA, United States
  • 02-08-08

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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

guts and valor

Queen stands tall. Intelligence took over badass MC in international club in world, I used to be a ding a ling,, visited Oakland chapter,San Francisco, Richmond and tried Baditos in Tejas could get affiliated..I had a bad ass firebreating dragon.But I wanted to be a hamc This book is 5 stars could you image riding 80 choppers at 100 mph down the road? These guys did it.Great read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book makes his undercover work all worth it.

The adrenaline never stopped. Everything was tricky where the slightest clue could have blown Queen's cover and got him beaten to death.

I think Don Leslie, one of my favorite narrators, carried the book. Leslie tells the story in terms of chapters and paragraphs, and he gets into the author's psyche to the point where the listener can feel it physically. You can't listen to a narrator like this and ever go back again to the ones who put the same brand of emphasis on each sentence without any discernment.

The thing about the Mongols is they were/are crazy brawlers with little to no regard for life. One naturally feels afraid of them, and several innocent guys made the mistake of being in their way at one point or another when Queen was a Mongol.

One of the stories within the story was Queen's relationship to his kids. Too bad for Queen, he seems to have sacrificed family for the undercover life. People should appreciate the long-term affects of undercover work on the detective. Queen made huge sacrifices.

At the end, I understood that the convictions were not the most important fruits of the investigation behind Queen. I'm not even sure the convictions matter much at all. Rather, it's the understanding of how these biker gangs/clubs operate that is valuable. That's all in the book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

Really enjoyed the book and I knew where I thought I knew how bad any gang could be but this just took me to another level how human beings could be so downright horrible trying to keep this review clean very well read I would definitely read another book and by the narrator who did a great job

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intense and Engaging from start to finish.

This book grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. I hated to turn it off when I had to because I was so enthralled in the story. The story is fascinating with a great flow and rythym to it, and the narrator did a great job. The only negative I have is the ending, it just fizzled out and disappointed me a bit. I was expecting the ending to have more story to it, instead he gave us an abrupt, quick, and dry finish that left me wondering if I had somehow missed a chapter. I can't say more as it will ruin the book for someone that hasn't read it. That being said, I still highly recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tommy
  • NEWPORT NEWS, VA, United States
  • 04-22-13

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