Read No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels by Jay Dobyns Nils Johnson-Shelton Online

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Here, from Jay Dobyns, the first federal agent to infiltrate the inner circle of the outlaw Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, is the inside story of the twenty-one-month operation that almost cost him his family, his sanity, and his life.Getting shot in the chest as a rookie agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 mph, and responding to a full-scaHere, from Jay Dobyns, the first federal agent to infiltrate the inner circle of the outlaw Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, is the inside story of the twenty-one-month operation that almost cost him his family, his sanity, and his life.Getting shot in the chest as a rookie agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 mph, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols–these are just a few of the high-adrenaline experiences Dobyns recounts in this action-packed, hard-to-imagine-but-true story.Dobyns leaves no stone of his harrowing journey unturned. At runs and clubhouses, between rides and riots, Dobyns befriends bad-ass bikers, meth-fueled “old ladies,” gun fetishists, psycho-killer ex-cons, and even some of the “Filthy Few”–the elite of the Hells Angels who’ve committed extreme violence on behalf of their club. Eventually, at parties staged behind heavily armed security, he meets legendary club members such as Chuck Zito, Johnny Angel, and the godfather of all bikers, Ralph “Sonny” Barger. To blend in with them, he gets full-arm ink; to win their respect, he vows to prove himself a stone-cold killer.Hardest of all is leading a double life, which has him torn between his devotion to his wife and children, and his pledge to become the first federal agent ever to be “fully patched” into the Angels’ near-impregnable ranks. His act is so convincing that he comes within a hairsbreadth of losing himself. Eventually, he realizes that just as he’s been infiltrating the Hells Angels, they’ve been infiltrating him. And just as they’re not all bad, he’s not all good.Reminiscent of Donnie Brasco’s uncovering of the true Mafia, this is an eye-opening portrait of the world of bikers–the most in-depth since Hunter Thompson’s seminal work–one that fully describes the seductive lure criminal camaraderie has for men who would otherwise be powerless outsiders. Here is all the nihilism, hate, and intimidation, but also the freedom–and, yes, brotherhood–of the only truly American form of organized crime....

Title : No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307405852
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels Reviews

  • Petra X
    2018-11-11 15:12

    The infiltration of the Hells Angels by undercover cop and author Jay Dobyns is as interesting from the point of view of the very real deterioration of the character Jay and metamorphosis into his alterego 'Bird' as it is from the hows and wheres of how law enforcement can run such an operation. The book's writing is unusual in that where Jay is an involved family man and serious cop, the writing reads as measured and logical. But as his real life crumbles and he feels most alive as an (otc) drug-wired gang member, so does the writing become frenetic and disorganised. Only the impossibly unsatisfying denoument, forseeable but unexpected, saves the man, but not, sadly, the operation.I later read Hunter S. Thompson's masterpiece Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga which was written 40 years earlier and involved some of the same characters. This was very enjoyable seeing the young guns turn into old reprobrates. They must live on adrenaline running from the law all that time. I wonder what path their children will choose?

  • Deadlift
    2018-11-02 15:05

    No Angel was mostly a burden to read. I am proud I did not give Dobyns any money for this publication (rented it from the local library). No Angel brings you into the bizarre world of a self-delusion, self-aggrandizing Federal Agent who takes bizarre pleasure in deceiving others in the name of convoluted moral Crusading which of course is done entirely on your dime. This book takes you on a journey of a man who honors the butcherers at Waco as he fear mongers the general public to what amounts to a few veterans bypassing bureacratic red tape and selling a few guns amongst one another. The worst part is the almost sociopathic and always annoying way in which Dobyns analyzes and condescends essentially every single person he meets in a childish manner. The emotional reactions to some situations and people (like jealousy over the reaction his squad had over a team mate leaving) is reminiscent of a high school student. And of course the Hells Angels are demonized as "racist" because they prefer Skynyrd over hip hop and other nefarious social taboos like sexism. Someone who knows human nature can read between the lines of much of this investigation, such as how Dobyns clearly sleeps with an inebriated woman and indulged in rampant drug use. His case was a complete failure and an embarassment and yet the single useful moment of the investigation (where a local cop, unaware he was being taped, threatened to kill him) went unprosecuted. Dobyns even goes so far as to scold local and state law enforcement for their approach to due processes and not being aggressive enough in undermining civil liberties in an effort to make quotas, get promotions, or in this case, sell books. No Angel sheds great light on destructive Federal spending (think Operation Fast N Furious) and spotlights a criminal organization - the ATF.

  • Michele
    2018-11-12 20:48

    A Raw, Real and Riveting MemoirCaptivating from the first page, No Angel thrusts the reader into the inner world of the outlaw motorcycle gang, the Hells Angels. This is the story of an obsessed man, who with the all-or-nothing mentality in his makeup becomes the first undercover law enforcement agent to penetrate this notorious group. The story is conveyed with brutal honesty. Jay Dobyns, using the alias "Bird" relies not only on his memories of the two year ATF case known as "Black Biscuit," but also on surveillance tapes and transcripts. They help provide detailed dialog between the operatives and their suspects. He puts you in the dark rooms, smoke-filled clubhouses, beer-soaked bars and inky tattoo parlors as you witness his transformation from a sandy-haired football star and all-American dad to a scary looking dude with a braided goatee. He becomes Bird. He also becomes a patched Hells Angel, sacrificing everything dear to him in the process: his family, his friends, and nearly his soul. In a moment, however, just before the case shuts down, he experiences a revelation. It's not merely about the good and evil among the Hells Angels or in himself, it was the basic understanding this "brotherhood" was "nothing more than a support group for misunderstood loners held together by hate and money." Immersed in this HATE for so long, he ultimately casts it aside for everything he LOVES, and expresses this personal epiphany with tremendous humility. In spite of a disappointing outcome for Black Biscuit and his exposure as an undercover agent, this makes Jay a hero, and makes No Angel a story worth reading. There are many characters on both sides of the law and a slew of unfamiliar terminology and acronyms, but photos, glossaries maps and lists are provided to guide the reader. Very well done.

  • DanLogue
    2018-10-21 15:08

    This book is terrible. Usually, if I don't like a book I will give it about 100 pages, grab another, and not bother writing a review for goodreads. I gave this book close to 200 pages, have found another, but will pause briefly to offer some constructive criticisms. It provides almost no social commentary on the causes of outlaw motorcycle gangs in addition to no overarching conclusions about human nature. Not that you would give any value to any conclusions this author (an undercover cop) drew anyway, since he seems to share the shame myopic black-and-white worldview as the people he is investigating, just from the other side of the law. What is more pathetic is the illusion that the Angels are a highly developed criminal organization, as opposed to the two-bit drug and gun-based operation that has just enough cohesion to warrant a soft RICO charge. Anyway, if you are looking for a real book on the origin of outlaw motorcycle gangs, along with a meaningful analysis of the forces within American post-WWII culture that shaped them, look to Hunter S Thompson's Hells Angels. It is tremendous......

  • Mike
    2018-11-14 16:02

    Jay Dobyns is an undercover ATF agent in Arizona. This is the story of his work to infiltrate the infamous motorcycle gang, the so called "HA, the One Percenter's, the Filthy Few, the 81's, the AFFA's, the MC's, the OMG's, yadda, yadda. Ton of acronyms throughout here but you get a glossary if needed. Book was written along with a first time author, Nils Shelton. I mention this because it shows in the so-so writing and narration. The Angels as described here are actually just a washed up, living in the past wanna-be bad asses. Just your typical meth junkie, woman beating, trailer trash, paranoid, sucking on bottled oxygen, old guys. Yeah, nothing at all redeeming here except some unintentioned black humor. Real story line is Dobyns descent into the biker life style and the affect it has on his home life. Story is okay but becomes depressingly repetitive and the ending is abrupt and unsatisfying. Dobyns, or "Jay Bird," his biker moniker, is one tough, fearless SOB, though, I'll give him that. Problem here is he's much more of an authentic bad ass than the over-the-hill gang he's infiltrating.

  • Tom
    2018-11-12 18:46

    I love his honesty. I have to wonder if he was a catylyst in events that may not have happened without his influence. Somtimes I think that LEO are as Bad as the OMG they chase. I have known and associated with bikers both Outlaw and Weekend riders for the better part of my Adult life and I must say that the 1% moniker is overused and in my opinion a bit high. It seems more like one percent of that one percent actually are criminals. And, in every ride and rally I have ever gone on the most Arrogant and Hard to deal with are always the LEO MCs. His book is well done and his realazation at the end is humbling. I wish him the best.

  • Eric
    2018-10-16 21:07

    First of all it takes a lot of cojones to do what Jay did. I'm not taking anything away from his courage or determination, however misguided it was. The following negative comments are based of his motives, the lack of action in the book and the terrible ending. For an undercover expose such as this one, there was a lot of brilliance lacking. One would have the impression that this was going to be a book that blew the Hells Angels cover all kinds of obscure rituals, extreme violence, sophisticated violence etc.. There was very little in the way of any of that. The book really exposed the Hells Angels for what they really are; a bunch of out casts that believe they are the most bad ass gangsters on earth. Sure there is some mention of violence, parties and rites of passage, but they are a lot tamer than one would hope. If your idea of fun is drinking it up with a bunch of old, bearded, tattooed fogies then you're in luck. If your idea of violence is giving people the cold shoulder or boasting about the good old days, this book is exactly what you are looking for. It also shows how relatively easy, if not time consuming it is to become a Hells Angel. There is very little in the way of crime in this book. The protagonist, Jay, seems to be the one fabricating the most crimes. He is an alleged gun runner & debt collector that goes around buying up whichever weapon in thrown in his face, buying it with tax payer's money may I add. He must have spent close to $30'000 on guns alone that were mentioned in the book. Apart from that there are a few minor instances of drug use along with some tales of crimes past. The sad thing about this book is that the Hells Angels are actually portrayed as being very loyal, friendly and trustworthy people in this book. They all go out of their way to help one and other out and abide by their own rules. It becomes clear that they are outcasts and want no part in society, they are happy to do their own thing, ride their bikes and hang out with the boys. Any crimes they may or may not have committed are all directed against rival bikers. This being the case there isn't much need to investigate them or take them down on trumped up charges, they will all take each other out in due course or just stick to hanging out at their club houses, speeding & running red lights for their kicks. The whole nature of the investigation is flawed. Undercover agents are used to make up charges against the Angles and buy weapons off of them. If anyone is really guilty in this book it's the ATF of wasting taxpayer's money. In addition to all the guns and drugs bought, there are countless hours 'wasted' on keeping an eye on the undercover agents. Most of what Jay seems to be doing in this book is drinking it up with the boys and having one hell of a time. For someone that claims to be so anti-drugs, he sure is one hypocrite as he gets hooked on hydroxicut (or something like that) in addition to downing (by his claims) 6 red bulls & a dozen coffees a day. He doesn't mention how many cigarettes he smokes, but 2 packs a day isn't a wild assumption based on all the smoking he mentions in the book. Society as a whole has more important things to worry about then a bunch of losers on bikes. Sure they have some weapons and sure they take some drugs, but isn't that a reflection of America's gun laws? How many people don't own a gun in the states? As for Jay, he is one of the most despicable characters I have ever had the misfortune of reading about. He lies, cheats & deceives not only the Angels, but his family, his superiors & himself. The Angels are nothing but nice to him, however misguided their lives & intentions are. How does he repay their kindness? By ratting all of them out. You got the impression that he felt good about it for not immediately getting full membership after staging a phony killing. As they say, rats lay in the ditch with no spine and it won't be long before he gets hat he deserves. There is just no excuse for snitching on people that have taken you in, treated you like family and been as kind as could be to you. It's the nature of the job I guess, it's a sad world we live in where this kind of behaviour (from the ATF's side is acceptable) But that is just my opinion. In the end the Angels walk away with a slap on the wrist, the whole investigation was a waste of time, resources & money. What's worse is that this book is counter productive in the sense that it will encourage more people to join motorbike gangs.What a terrible book this was indeed, and that is based mostly on what it represented, the lack of action, how poorly written and irrelevant it was not to mention the unforgivable betrayal as a central theme. Waste your time reading it at your discretion.

  • Sherri
    2018-11-01 17:09

    I have known and liked a number of cops over the course of my life. I have known and liked a number of Hell's Angels over the course of my life. I tend to judge people based on themselves, not their affiliations/occupations. If I were likely to judge individuals by the group they hung out with, this book would make both sides look pathetic. That being said:Yes, undercover work is dangerous and nerve-wracking. You can SAY they get paid to drink beer and ride bikes, and that sounds pretty cushy. They also run the risk of getting shot the minute they make a mistake. It messes with you. Yes, the older HA's are a bit hypocritical when it comes to the action end of things. You know why? Because they're OLD. Swinging a baseball bat with emphysema at 70 is a lot harder than it is at a healthy 25. Besides that, times have changed as well and they know it. How many flower children are now wearing suits to work? Times change, people change.They are done a huge injustice here however. In this book, the Hell's Angels are pictured as fat old junkies without a brain between the lot of them. They talk s*** that they don't follow through on. They make claims of violence and anarchy and then they practically piss themselves when they have to back them up. They constantly try to cut back on the drug use/dealing but are completely incapable of even controlling their own use, much less that of the next generation. They are pictured as a group more dedicated to selling t-shirts than riding bikes. All of this is with the exception of Sonny Barger who is, even here, held up on his eternal pedestal. However: Dobyns is a hypocritical bigot of the worst kind throughout the book. He pumps himself up to be a big bad gang-chaser, when what he really does it make nice with a bunch of old men, get them to break the law and then tries to arrest them for mostly petty charges. In the meantime, he get himself a several hundred dollar tattoo job and charges it to the tax payers. He carries around a pair of gunslinger-type pistols while arresting people left and right on pumped-up weapons charges. Once the case is over and he completely fails to make any charges stick, and he writes a book badmouthing the same old men. This is based mainly on the fact that they live in trailers and live miserable, poor lives while he has a huge house, a pool and a pretty cushy paycheck.Since the book was written by Dobyns, I would expect the HA's to come off looking bad. But sadly, Dobyn's can't even make himself look good. He's too wrapped up in the hate he accuses the Hell Angel's of promoting. He says himself that he suffers nightmares and is still convinced the HA's will come after him. Doesn't he spend much of the book talking about how paranoid they are? And he spend the second half of the book stoned out of his mind while laughing at the "meth heads." Pathetic

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2018-11-02 20:55

    No Angel is a harrowing and shocking account of undercover police work, a ruthless biker gang and the dangerous things that go on when no one is looking.

  • Emerald
    2018-11-07 15:55

    Wow, bizarre story. This former ATF agent's alter-ego nearly got the best of this guy. Nearly destroying his career, his reputation, and his real life family. I did have to question his motivation in becoming patched even as a prospect near the end. His alter-ego wanted it to the point of destroying his real life family and his emotions toward them, and was going for it. If the ATF brass hadn't pulled the plug when they did there is no doubt in my mind that he would have become a full patched Hells Angel, and this guy might have went fully over into the subculture, even though everything this guy did was mostly fabricated to earn that prospect patch. I don't believe parts of this story and find it really grandiose where the Hells Angels were so easily infiltrated, other documentaries on this subject inform otherwise. I do believe loads of details were left out or altered in the book so the ATF and Dobyns himself might not look as bad for blowing the case in the end. I also have to question the drugs, and women part with him being a married man who swears up and down in the book that he didn't partake. I'm calling BS on that stuff right now. Naw, not buying it, I think he did partake or he wouldn't have had any street cred to get as deep as he did and his feeling towards his real life wife in the book. Law enforcement has to be careful because of entrapment which any good defense attorney worth their salt can hedge these types of cases facing a jury can create reasonable doubt. If what is said about the biker culture is true...then being in prison or admitting guilt in this case, even to these lesser charges just gives them more credibility, which seems to me is all Dobyns did for them in the end. Doing time is expected within the MC subculture. As a taxpayer I wasn't down with the cost of this whole operation with little reward in the end. One thing for sure, the book clearly shows how being an undercover cop in this deep is a total mind fuck.

  • Parker
    2018-10-24 18:13

    I started reading this book with a biased opinion, I have always been fascinated by the world of biker gangs. Jay infiltrates the Hells Angels and tries to shut them down. He failed miserably. The whole narrative come off as narcissistic, he tells his story begging the reader to believe he's a badass. He broke more laws than the 81's and in the end didn't get any big convictions. He lost his job over it and if he was half as successful as he tried to convince us he was he would prob be dead by now. The Angels committed no real crimes other than some drug use and buying a few illegal guns (mostly sold though him). It isn't the worst read in the world, the author's ego ruins what could have been an epic journey. Nice try. By the end you just want his dad to give the poor bastard a hug.

  • Roy
    2018-11-02 16:13

    What a story. I live in AZ. I've seen a lot of this and been at these places. I've ridden for 30 years. The book moves at a fast pace. The overwhelming message is you cannot associate with bad company without being corrupted yourself. No matter what the motive or intention is. It drives that point home with a stake!It's a bummer in one respect, considering the timeline and the dates, and where we are now, his work seems to have accomplished absolutely nothing. That is sad. From a Christian with a family to a complete desire to be a Hells Angel in the span of 1.5 years is a downward spiral if there ever was one.

  • Danm
    2018-11-04 14:00

    Great book. In the beginning, it doesn't feel like you will become attached, but at least for me, I fell deeper into the rabbit hole with Jay (or maybe I should say Bird) as the story moved forward. It's amazing how he was able to pull off this double life, and you get an excellent glimpse of the Hells Angel lifestyle. I also liked the conclusion a lot for one key reason, but I can't post that here because I don't want to spoil anything. All I can say is, if you like real-life adventure stories, then I recommend this book.

  • Pamela
    2018-10-21 20:13

    I had some interest in the motorcycle riders, as I used to ride a scooter, and was in two clubs. But I was young and we were innocents, comparatively. While they have strict rules such as the order of riders on a bike ride, or run, we were mostly unencumbered by such rules. They want to be free but are restrictive in their actions, everything must be approved by the higher ups in the organization. Their business was mainly illegal, while most of us still lived at home with our parents, although I didn’t; I had a job, went to school, lived a fairly “normal” life. To quote:“Their individuality is confined by a rigid conformity, ride the same brand of bike, wear the same clothes, abide the same rules. The irony is the lifestyle and appearance is clearly set up in opposition to us who live straight lives, but they are hardly distinguishable from one another.” I found some resonance with this, with my past, the scooter days. We rode Vespas or Lambrettas only, wore similar clothing, listened to certain music, but we liked to think how individual we were. Perhaps in a group of kids our age one of us would stand out, yes, I know I did look different, but collectively we looked quite similar. When we grouped together for rides en masse it might have been hard to distinguish one kid from another. That’s about where the comparisons end. Now I know how much more freedom we really had when put side by side to these life-long bikers.Gang activity was not what I nor my friends were into, but the ATF undercover (the primary author) was searching for that, and during his investigation got carried away where all he wanted was to become a bonafide Hells Angel himself. Of course it would have been not quite true, as he was undercover and his cover was being an illegal gun dealer, and debt collector which was false, and the killing that would get him his “cut” or patch was faked as well. The more I got into the story the more I saw how very different my experience with scooters were compared to these motorcycle guys. We had a few occasions to be harassed by cops and mostly laughed about it, although it could be annoying at times, particularly when interrupting an organized ride. Learning about this story I have a new appreciation of what a biker gang looked like on the other side. The book was interesting, not told in the best manner, still decent enough. The undercover ATF Dobyns acknowledges his story would have not been as it was without the co-author, but it still could have been told better. Despite that it was fascinating and I learned more about hard-core riders.

  • Patrick O'Neil
    2018-11-03 17:54

    I've no big love towards cops, especially undercover cops that befriend their suspects and then use that friendship to nail them. I think it a sleazy way to arrest someone. I find it just another abuse the current criminal justice system employs because they suck at their jobs and have to pretty much entrap whomever it is they consider dangerous. However, on the other hand I am in no way advocating that criminal enterprises proliferate and the police should do shit all to stop them. I just think it'd be more productive if cops actually were proactively stopping crime, rather than cleaning up after, or as the case here with Jay Dobyns, engaging in and becoming one of them. That said Dobyns' No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels is an interesting book. Not so much for the reasons that I have already outlined, but for the inside look at the actual Hells Angeles and its leadership. Interesting that these "outlaws" were just sort of aging methheads hanging with their ex-stripper wives and basically living the white trash American dream in the desert towns of Arizona. And that the ATF would really waste the tax payers money on such an undertaking as over a year of undercover work following these bikers around and buying various guns and meager amounts of methamphetamine. I guess it beats having to deal with real gun buyers and smugglers like their recent "Operation Fast and Furious" that resulted in a US Border Patrol agent being murdered with one of the guns they let through to the Mexican Cartels in another similar undercover operation as Dobyns'. Yet, the most interesting part of No Angel is Dobyns' struggle maintaining the two lives he is forced to exists in. His made up biker persona, and his real life of married cop with a wife and kids living in a nice house alongside a golf course. Dobyns describes his inner turmoil quite well. He admits being more drawn into the criminal lifestyle, covering himself in tattoo's and abusing stimulants and alcohol. Obviously he liked the thug life and danger that being a biker allowed him to experience. And at times I couldn't help but feel he wasn't being entirely truthful about what he actually did while in character. Yet in the end the cops arrest them all and Dobyns, no longer biker Dobyns, supposedly goes home to his wife and kids and returns to being just a regular ATF agent. Not a bad tell all book from a undercover cop. **Also, just found out I share the same publisher in France as Dobyns. So now we're polar opposite bedfellows in literature. It's a strange world.

  • Bob
    2018-10-23 21:02

    This book was really an interesting look into the outlaw biker culture. As a "biker" I think we tend to romanticize that world sometimes, but it's clearly no place for normal people to live. I don't understand why people would want to spend their lives in a sleazy environment of drugs, violence, and uncertainty about who your real friends are.A couple of things I found interesting.One was the humanity often found in men who are not wired to function in normal society, violent impulsive men with a pathological attraction to dangerous situations. The love and respect these men showed "Bird" were much more compelling to me than his story as a LEO whose mission was to take them down. Clearly the loyalty he got from the HAs was above and beyond what he has got from the ATF since the investigation closed. I wonder how Jay felt about betraying that loyalty, even though these men were often violent killers.Another was the conflict between the old bikers who just want to settle down and the young guys who want to live the 1% lifestyle and be the new Sonny Bargers.I think if you wear black t-shirts and ride a Harley you need to read this book, just to see what other people think you are when they see you riding down the street.

  • Casey Keen
    2018-11-09 15:10

    I am a huge fan of biker gangs and undercover operations, so when I saw this book, I had to read it. Jay Dobbin’s infiltration into the Hell’s Angels was gritty, suspenseful and unimaginable. “Watching” Jay’s deterioration was one of the most interesting topics. Unfortunately, this adaptation tends to be a raw reality as an undercover agent. His character descriptions are written well, and for the most part, I enjoyed his work. I only had a few beefs with the book … (1) the Hell’s Angels didn’t seem as violent, etc. as the world makes them out to be – this could be because they only live behind a façade or the author didn’t describe their activities in better detail (2) the infiltration was almost “easy.” I felt like he showed the HA he sells guns, shows them a dead body, then he’s in … forget the intense initiation rituals, prospect timelines, etc. (3) I wish the take down of the Angels was discussed in more detail. I feel like only the last few pages were devoted to it. Other than that, I loved this book!

  • Jill Sorenson
    2018-10-24 19:00

    I read this for research and yikes. All of the other MC nonfiction books I picked up were autobiographies from club members. I found them racist and unappealing. In this one, the club members are also racists, murderers, drug addicts and woman beaters. It's not a pretty picture, and even the undercover cop is no gem. He's addicted to the thrill (along with otc substances) and seems to prefer this lifestyle to his loving family. His off-duty moments at home were sweet and I wanted to know more about how he recovered/saved his marriage etc. I also wanted to know more about JJ, his undercover "girlfriend." There are descriptions of neglected children and endangered young women that Jay/Bird feels sorry for but can't help. He gets angry when a uniformed officer frisks JJ inappropriately but looks the other way when a woman is abused by her club member husband. There is little indication, by the end, that he cares.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-01 22:04

    This is a fascinating insider's look at a bizarre and dangerous American subculture. However, I had a difficult time keeping track of all the players, of which there are literally dozens, and their myriad list of real names and nicknames. The author, an undercover special agent, also includes hundreds of tiny details that slow the narrative down. I mean, do I really need to know exactly what he ordered every time he ate at the Waffle House (which was every few pages)? These may have been items he needed to include in his reports, but it wasn't necessary to bring them to the book page. In the end I'm glad I finished it, because it was very interesting in some parts, but now consider any curiosity I had about the Hell's Angels completely satisfied. Forever.

  • Weylin
    2018-10-25 16:45

    If it wasn’t for responsibilities like taking care of a baby, chores, eating, etc., I would have read this book straight though without stopping. As a disclaimer, I share a very similar background with the author and I am sure that created a bias. But, I mostly think it is because this book conveyed a great true story and did it with great narrative story telling.That being said, the author does come across as being pretty self centered, there are a few editing errors that even my lowly self noticed, and the organization of some of the mentioned individuals is convoluted in respect to parts to the overall investigation. However, I happily overlooked these things that bothered me about the book. I really, really, enjoyed it.

  • Andrea
    2018-10-16 21:00

    I couldn't finish it. I tried hard. In fact, this was the second time I'd attempted to read this book. I'm fascinated with groups like Hells Angels and the like, but our entree into this world was through a person who I just couldn't stand. The way he talked about women and people who are on the fringes of society was, frankly, gross.

  • Cathy
    2018-10-15 15:15

    The "inner circle of the Hells Angels" is a place that was very hard to even read about, especially as you see how two years as an undercover agent there almost destroyed the author. I like how Dobyns gave full credit in the epilogue to his ghost writer , and full credit to his wife, kids and ATF supervisor for supporting him even as he was losing himself.

  • Mariel
    2018-10-28 21:03

    Very interesting and engaging. However, not a huge fan of Jay. He obviously thinks way too highly of himself and it gets irritating. I was definitely most drawn to this book because of just finishing the Sons of Anarchy series.

  • Melissa
    2018-10-19 18:58

    The best part of this book? When the guy playing Big Lou the Wiseguy who actually is New Jersey mob tells Bird, "Made guys really don't give a midnight f*ck about Hells Angels or whatever they are." I feel a bit the same.

  • Jenna
    2018-10-28 21:51

    I couldn't help myself! I had to "review" it! Very intriguing story!!! It was almost like I knew what was going to happen on the next page!

  • travelerblue
    2018-10-20 15:02

    Undercover cop 'Bird' turns Hells Angel. We read along as his personality changes the deeper he gets into his new role. Fascinating.I'm sorry, I forgot who recommended this book!!!

  • Matt
    2018-10-24 17:57

    rad bruh

  • Lisa
    2018-11-01 22:04

    A look into a world I would never see.

  • Blake
    2018-11-04 21:46

    If you've got a skeptical bone in your body, two questions will run through your mind throughout your reading of No Angel. The first: how exactly do you build a RICO case on a bunch of unregistered handgun buys, individual sales of personal-use amounts of recreational drugs, and hearsay? The second: is it possible a single other law enforcement agency could be less ethical or effective than the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms? By the end you'll have a clear answer to the first (you don't, or at least not one that sticks), and an approximate answer to the second, easily confirmed by just a little more independent research (no, they're the most blunder-prone agency ever granted federal arrest powers. Google Waco, Fast and Furious, or the ATF in Milwaukee if you don't believe me).Even if you buy into the motive, mission, and means of Task Force Black Biscuit, you may find it hard to stick with the narrator-protagonist, Agent Jay Dobbins, a.k.a. "Bird," as he's endlessly self-aggrandizing, jockishly gung-ho, morally bankrupt, and socially oblivious. Not only does it take an extreme brand of black and white reasoning to believe undercover police work is ethical, especially when the "UC" is the only one suggesting real crimes (when he isn't staging fake ones or buying the stories of events he has no concrete proof of), but Dobyns has a tattoo commemorating the ATF casualties at Waco (a pointless siege and confrontation that killed children), denies engaging in any but the most tame partying the Hells Angels get into (yet miraculously never loses credibility and feels free to assume what was going on behind every closed door), repeatedly pines for a shootout with other bikers to happen (so he can legally kill them and thus seal the credibility of his cover story, which is some sociopath-grade moral relativism if there ever was any), and tries to pass off a psychic breakdown as being due to a dependence on diet pills for energy (even though he's constantly mentioning amphetamines any time they're even tangentially related to the task at hand). After a while my capacity for credulity was just shot - way too often are flimsy explanations offered for situations that ring entirely false, or that are all too obvious to anyone but the narrator-protagonist. By the end it's no surprise judges and juries cut the Angels loose for most of the charges sought. Dobyns has clear motive to warrant exaggeration and very little beyond the circumstantial to back up his claims, even those about himself.

  • Steven Jr.
    2018-11-08 17:53

    Being a resident of Tucson and having many friends who are knowledgeable about both the motorcycle world and the one percenter lifestyle, I had heard Jay Dobyns's story several times, but only knew the scant details. I picked up No Angel back in 2014, both to research outlaw motorcycle clubs and to research undercover work, but only just now got around to reading it as research for a project I'm working on that concerns the latter.I wish I had read this earlier, as it is a remarkable book that I could not put down.For a little under two years, ATF Special Agent Dobyns was undercover as Jay "Bird" Davis, a debt collector and arms trafficker. His work took him deep into the inner workings of Arizona's Hells Angels, and the deeper he went, the more the line between his actual persona and his undercover persona blurred. Near the end, he became obsessed with becoming a patched member of the Hells Angels. He went well beyond policy, found himself abusing Hydroxycut and deep in depression, and pushing away his family and friends.The reasons I picked up this book were more than fulfilled. It is extremely educational in regards to the Hells Angels and how they operate. While it may not be an end-all, be-all research work, it is certainly more than enough to inform the uninformed, such as myself. It is also a first-hand perspective into what actually goes on in undercover work. I learned so much about the mentality and stresses of UC ops and confirmed what I had read elsewhere.If you are curious about either the Hells Angels or undercover operations, pick up this book. You won't regret it.