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Publisher's Summary

April 28, 2015, West Baltimore, Maryland: ground zero in America's Opiate Wars.

In this crime-plagued section of the city, the death of Freddie Gray has triggered the worst domestic rioting since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and created a terrifying new breed of criminal entrepreneur.

Here, as looters and arsonists lay waste to already blighted parts of Baltimore, two of the city's brightest students are helping to carry out a historic drug robbery spree - one that will flood the city with highly addictive pain pills and heroin. The teens' plan: to use their gang connections and computer programming skills to set up a high-tech drug delivery service and Dark Web marketplace. The result: the boys became America's youngest drug lords, in the process sparking bloody gang warfare and a nationwide wave of addiction and murder. Now mixing in deadly circles, Brick and Wax soon found their own lives were on the line.

In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism, Newsday criminal justice reporter Kevin Deutsch chronicles the rise of these gangland upstarts as they help steal $100 million worth of high-powered opiates and build a national narcotics empire from scratch.

As gripping and compulsive as a thriller, Pill City takes listeners into the heat of the action as Brick and Wax outwit the FBI and DEA, as gang members like Damage and Lyric live and die by their own brutal code, as the cops battle to stop the carnage, and as a high school coach risks a bullet to get addicts into rehab. A gritty, hard-hitting story of gangland survival, Pill City will open the world's eyes to the plague of drug-related killings rocking America and reveal the deadly cost of the Baltimore riots.

©2017 Kevin Deutsch (P)2017 Blackstone Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fiction

This book has me thinking it was real. After doing some research I found this book did not provide any resources or real law enforcement officials. Which makes it fiction.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Fake

It appears that this book is a work of fiction. When I attempted to confirm some of the stories I came across concerns that nobody can confirm the stories. In addition, the detailed descriptions of conversations (with exact quotes) is suspicious.

I believe very little of this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating and heartbreaking

Brilliantly researched and written. As heartbreaking a story as it is, I couldn't stop listening.

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Good story...baaad narration ugh!

I almost didn’t listen to this book because the narrator was horrible. Enunciating every syllable in every word was super annoying. I had to tune him out to enjoy the story...but I highly recommend this book!

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NO ONE BELIEVES THIS AUTHOR

This book's description should come with the warning that Kevin Deutsch's account of "Brick and Wax" and their empire called "Pill City" is highly suspect. It's not that some of the details of the book are contested - it's the entire spine of the story, the allegation that drug store looting in the Freddy Gray Baltimore riots fueled a major spike in opiate abuse and sales. I am almost done with this book, and I regret spending the time with material that has been disputed by many sources. I would have chosen a different book had I known that so many authorities believe this is a work of fiction. Obviously, only Deutsch knows what is true and what is not true. But, if he were an investigative journalist of integrity, he would have forseen the issues with his credibility in this story and laid some groundwork to corroberate at least some of these details. He has vigorously defended this work, but there are too many people raising questions about this for me to accept his explanations as to why NO ONE can verify this information - none of the police officers interviewed, none of the hospital staff interviewed, not one addict interviewed, and of course none of the gang members who allegedly sold all these drugs. I can understand criminals remaining anonymous, but...an ER doc? Why wouldn't she say that her part in this story was true? In the book, law enforcement is clearly portrayed as knowing these lootings were responsible for a major uptick in opiod deaths, but in real life, no one in Baltimore is aware of this connection. Deutsch says it's because law enforcement is totally corrupt. But....for a skeptical reader to believe any of this, I would need at least one other person verifying the major theme in this story, and so far that has not happened. So, reader, be warned - this is probably a work of fiction, posing as non fiction. I really do not like being lied to, and I feel like Deutsch has done just that. Additionally, the narrator is just weird. He gets some of the voices down just right, and he has moments of good flow, but he is mostly reading in such a strange monotone that he sounds like a robot.

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Don't waste your credit

Very disappointing and was like listening to a robotic textbook. There wasn't even much of a story, more of a lecture.
Don't waste your money, credit, or time.

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Incredible book

What made the experience of listening to Pill City the most enjoyable?

The quality of the research that went into this book was incredible -- we need more in-depth journalism like this.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pill City?

I can't say because I don't want to post spoilers. But it involves a gas station.

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not interested

I really thought it was kind of boring and I could not get into the book it did not impress me and I could not get interested in it

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So well told, it's hard to believe it's real.

Excellent storytelling of a story that needs to be told. Great character development and storyline kept me interested the whole time. This is real stuff happening to real people.

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Excellent book for those interested in the Nations Opiate crisis

This book offers insight into the opiate drug world that includes prescription opiates and illegal opiate drugs. While extremely graphic, this book mirrors the reality. I was shocked by the devastation this book describes, all caused by opiate addiction.