Your audiobook is waiting…

Undercover: Operation Julie - The Inside Story

Narrated by: Greg Patmore
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In March 1978, at the culmination of Operation Julie, 15 defendants, including doctors, research chemists, a writer, and "professional" drug dealers were sentenced to a combined total of 124 years' imprisonment. Operation Julie is still today the point of reference for all British undercover operations and training. In 2011, the BBC claimed this massive and unique police operation was the start of the war on drugs. Stephen Bentley, was one of four undercover detectives engaged on Operation Julie, one of the world's largest drug busts. 

Together with his undercover partner, Bentley infiltrated the gang producing around 90 percent of the world's LSD and uncovered a plot to import huge quantities of Bolivian cocaine into the UK. The underworld knew the author as Steve Jackson. How did he successfully infiltrate the two gangs? Did he have to take drugs, and how did living a lie affect him? Discover the answers and get inside the mind of Steve Jackson, undercover detective.

©2016 Stephen Bentley (P)2018 Stephen Bentley

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

True Crime

This book is told by undercover officer Stephen Bentley. 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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Wow-Where do I start?

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review and it will be the longest, most heartfelt review that I’ve written for any book.

SO many thoughts and emotions went through my mind with this book. The beginning was a little hard for me to be fully focused, I think mostly due to the fact that I am located in the Western USA and being unfamiliar with how the UK police force works and unfamiliar with any of the locations discussed as the author discusses the beginning of his career, I was purely a listener and not “invested” in the information.

As the book progressed, I was definitely invested and as the book came to the last 25% where the author gave additional info, not listed in the first addition and was more open about his personal opinions on the case involved, all people involved, drug enforcement as a whole and more, my mind began to spin.

A few things about me that will give you an idea as to where I am coming from as my mind went mad, bouncing around like a ping pong ball:
1. I am a non-drug user. I don’t say that to avoid opinionated readers that are pro or con on this issue, but I have a job that is secure and I am fortunate to have. Said job also requires me to submit to random drug and alcohol screening, so even though our state has recently legalized cannibis use, I stay away from all chemicals that may stay in my body for more than 24 hours.
2. I come from a family that are strong backers of all “first responders” fire, police and medical aid. I have immediate family members who are firefighters, EMT’s, nurses, retired police and corrections officer.
3. I also come from a family strong in addiction, with many family members in current recovery or addiction to both drugs and alcohol.
Given those facts, I feel my opinion about the author’s experiences and drug views are completely open minded.

I realize that world wide so many things have progressed in law enforcement and how they are treated, but even given the time frame of Project Julie and still no recognition or recourse for what the author endured during and after the operation, is inexcusable to me. Law officers of most types put their lives on the line EVERY day, but in an operation like this, it is at least 10 times as likely that those officers would not have made it home.

Drug legalization- I don’t know what the answer is to this. As stated by the author, those who think they have a step-by-step plan for this to be “managed” are delusional. That being said, in America the prisons are overcrowded and many life sentences imposed via the 3 strikes rule, putting even minor league dealers in a prison space that should be occupied by a once convicted child rapist who only serves months in prison. And guess what folks... those addicts and dealers and still taking and distributing drugs in our prisons every day!

There has to be some way to balance out the time, effort and money spent fighting this, with tracking down the serial rapists, drive-by shooters and armed robbers in these countries. Several states in the US have legalized cannabis, taking some of the $ back, by heavily taxing/regulating. However, I am not at all certain that tax $ is going into the forces that are doing the regulating and protecting of the now legal sellers and growers. As usual government has their hand in the piggy bank and officers are paying the price.

Some babbling on my side, to say that Stephen Bentley deserves accolades not only for his service, but also for being open about his feelings and SO many things, the system, the drug “war”, the people who were in his life, his fall to alcoholism. You’ve heard the saying, “until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes...”. Living close to so many first responders who I love dearly, us civilians can never even almost imagine what their day to day service is like, so never do we have the right to judge.

Lastly, narration... Half way through the story or even before, I forgot there was a narrator to this book and truly felt as if the author was reading his own story. That takes talent and belief in a story, not just reading from a script, so bravo to both narrator and author. Thanks for the opportunity to hear your work!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • cora
  • United States
  • 11-27-19

Undercover

I like this book is one of the best books I’ve ever read or listen to.understanding and a look at lives lived, some lost, lives saved hopefully. I would recommend this book to all teenagers it is not a glamour story thank you to the author and the narrator, hopefully this book may save somebody thank you

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

A great story.

A very interesting story that is entertaining and well worth your time.



This Book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.


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

Great true crime

I love a good true crime story and especially an undercover story. Stephen Bentley doe a wonderful job explain how the whole operation Julie undercover investigation took place. I became very invested in his cover character as well as his partner, It was exciting to hear about the inside workings of such a large drug bust. Being in the USA and not really knowing much about the UK police system I was concerned I wouldn't know some of the things discussed however the author did such a great job of setting the scene I didn't miss a beat. I really liked how the last section of the book goes on to explain what followed after the bust and then also where some of the major players where at the time of the writing. This was a fantastic book and I highly recommended giving it a try. I received this book for free for an honest review.

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

Raw, Honest And Gripping

I've listened to Stephen's fictional title and enjoyed it very much but this, a real life tale, is even better. If you've ever wondered what it's really like to go undercover - then you need to check this out. The narration is very good and brings the whole thing to life. Stephen's story is unique and very much worth your time. Please note: I received a review copy of this material. That doesn't mean that influenced my opinion of the work. It didn't.

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, RIVETING ACCOUNT OF UNDERCOVER LIFE

Whoa!
This was very intense, I was drawn into this world and feel like I just got hit by a semi truck after. What a ride, indeed.
Riveting account of 1978's Operation Julie, one of the biggest British undercover operations of our time. 15 different defendants were imprisoned for a total of nearly 125 years.

This is the story of Stephen Bentley, one of the undercover detectives who lived it. I have little to no knowledge of the ins and outs of police procedure - well, only from TV, and Joe Kenda made it a point to explain that it's soooo not like it is on TV/CSI ;)

It's a very candid, honest and powerful audiobook by a man I respect for his bravery and perseverance. Well written and well narrated, I definitely recommend it.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you!

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

Interesting

This book is very informative and interesting. The subject very deep and thoughtful. It is amazing that these guys were able ro infilterate this criminal ring so easily. They seemed to work very well together which , I believe helped them gain the trust of the criminals. I also found it interesting that the author found himself feeling that he betrayed a friend when smiles was arrested. It shows that the author gave his all and truly did become friends with a few if these criminals. we sometimes fail to remember that criminals sometimes are very likable people. They have just chosen the wrong profession. I found this book to be very well written and easy to follow with the narrator. The narrator made those involved very human giving them life from the pages of the book. Great book to add to your library.

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

Hard times for an undercover agent!

Great inside look at how being an undercover agent can impact one person’s life. Thank you for their service. This book is definitely interesting.

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

overwhelming

this book is very informative and interesting. I never knew all that went along with be involved in the police force in one way or another. I did know that there was some corruption and payoffs but not to the extent of what was described. thanks goes out to the author for his service and for the information he has shared.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for martinlangan
  • martinlangan
  • 09-09-19

Undercover Op Julie

An amazing insight into the dangers, bravery and the officers of undercover policing which hasn’t really changed since that time and hopefully never will.
Thanks for going into print Stephen enjoyed every chapter.




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
Profile Image for Elizabeth Frounks
  • Elizabeth Frounks
  • 07-23-19

True Look into Undercover

Stephen's story of operation Julie is honest and brutal in a way I hadn't expected. It was eye-opening and left me shaken to my core at moments, and yet Stephen's writing also had me laughing and hoping for a positive outcome - even in the moments that it seemed unlikely. Greg Patmore was a good choice for narration, he played Stephen's part well, offering a more in-depth look into the book than some can get by just reading the words on the page themselves. It was truly a captivating story - and the truth based stories tend to be the most captivating in my experience.

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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
Profile Image for Mrs. H. M. Ladbrook
  • Mrs. H. M. Ladbrook
  • 11-05-18

Another brilliant book from Mr Bentley. <br />

i loved this book! a true story of the Authors part in one of the biggest drugs bust in British history. brilliantly narrated and a thrilling book I have come to expect from Stephen Bentley. funny, sad and gripping. What more can you ask ?

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
Profile Image for MR D.
  • MR D.
  • 09-01-18

Really enjoyable listen!!

I have already been recommending this audiobook to friends. This is a true story recalling the authors undercover work which helped to take down one of the UK’s biggest LSD production ring. Stephen’s recollection of events and descriptive writing makes you feel like you were there. Stephen had a lot of funny sounding moments undercover, high as a kite, laughing uncontrollably, falling out of vans etc. The does also touch on several more serious topics such as depression, alcoholism, drug taking, PTSD as well as an employers responsibility to handle people with depression in the work place.
I enjoyed this very much and I am awaiting Stephen’s other books in audiobook format - I am told October/ November so not long to wait. I hope these books are as gripping as Undercover: Operation Julie. Finally, big respect to Stephen for not only this book but also the incredible undercover work described in the book! Good work!!

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
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-22-18

Fascinating Story...

I was lucky enough to be given a promotional copy of this audiobook by the author in exchange for an honest review, so firstly, thank you Stephen.

I knew nothing of Operation Julie before this book but the author gives a informative and detailed account of his role in this undercover operation and what followed. Knowing that the narration was a first hand account of events added a real edge to the story as it unfolded.

A tale of courage, drama & emotion that I would, and already have recommended to others.

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
Profile Image for Ben Sutton
  • Ben Sutton
  • 07-22-18

Passionate and thrilling

This is book is an excellent telling of life as an undercover operative, it keeps you on the edge of your seat, from start to finish.

The way it’s written brings you into the world, takes you on the story with the narrator. I have listened to may undercover books but this is by far the best.

I hope that the talents Stephen has portrayed writing this, is brought across into another book. I will be awaiting that day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J Smith
  • J Smith
  • 05-28-18

Mixed feelings

I found this a hard title to review as it’s almost 2 books in one; there’s the retelling of Stephen’s time as an undercover operative, the ‘story’, which I found very interesting (and is the reason I listened to the book in the first place!) and then there’s Stephen’s assessment of how the whole background of the operation was handled and his almost political opinion on the should’s and could’s of undercover work, policing and drugs in general and making himself heard, and I found this part hard going (especially where it interrupted the flow of the ‘story’). I must stress that this isn’t a criticism of what he says or how he did it, it’s just not what I was expecting or thought I was getting-I think that could be made clearer on the back cover maybe, as I think there’s a good solid 2-2.5 hours at the end of the story for this second part and sadly I didn’t get through the last 1.5hrs. (Although I will probably come back to wrap it up after a brief change of scenery!)
I had no background knowledge of this event (as it happened before my time!) and is a genre I’ve not explored and I still enjoyed it, so don’t be put off if you’re in the same boat!
The narrator also does a good job telling the story, if a little stilted at times.
This is my freely given, honest and unbiased opinion of a free review copy.

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
Profile Image for WombatsPooCubes
  • WombatsPooCubes
  • 05-03-18

A different side to the story

The author tells a fascinating story and gives great insight to what it was like for a policeman to drop his whole life to undertake a whole new persona as an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer. If you have read or listened to tales from the criminals involved in 'Operation Julie' this will really appeal to you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon Gibson
  • Simon Gibson
  • 03-20-18

Fascinating Insights

Inside the head of an undercover cop is a scary place to be which adds a fascinating dimension to this account of Operation Julie. For me the latter half of the book confirms my own view on the failed 'War on Drugs' in favour of the Portuguese approach of decriminalisation and treatment. It is told with a no holds barred, sometimes brutal, honesty and is greatly enhanced by this. A great listen.

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
Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 12-11-19

When does acting become living the part?

Operation Julie was a two and an half year investigation in the UK into the production and distribution of LSD in the second half of the 1970s which culminated in the arrest and conviction of 15 defendants and the confiscation of vast quantities of the drug, believed to total 90° of the total available at that time. It was headline news in Britain. Undercover is the autobiographical story of one of the four policemen who secured this result by voluntarily, and without any training, giving up their conventional lives to reinvent themselves to fit into the lifestyles of the druggie communities. For months, Stephen and his partner lived under assumed names, cultivating friendships and business deals to put themselves into positions of trust in order to unravel the information needed to secure the evidence for the police action. Constantly in fear of discovery and becoming involved with the people they were there to ultimately betray, the toll on them personally was enormous and the aftermath was devastating both physically and emotionally.

The book is simply written, easy to read, without overt attempts to justify or gain personal sympathy for actions taken. However, the difficulties of assuming an alien personality, without being consumed by it, become obvious: it has to be watertight or, not on!y will the mission fail but lives, including one's own, would be at risk. And after it is all over? A fascinating story well narrated by Greg Patmore, who's voice becomes that of Stephen Bentley, the author, as he reads with good intonation and pacing, his emotional content matching that of the text. A fine performance.

My thanks to the rights holder of Undercover, who, at my request freely gifted me with a complimentary copy. The book provided insights beyond the simple retelling of the investigation and is recommended to all who enjoy not just true crime stories but thrillers of any kind, as well as the psychological damage which can occur from the life and death role playing of a spy.