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Making the transition from non-fiction writer to crime fiction writer wasn’t easy. That’s why I am so thrilled with this latest review of Who The F*ck Am I? (Book 1 Steve Regan Undercover Cop), and it’s from a British crime writer!

Pat McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended read.
19 July 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
I knew when I read the author’s first book Undercover: Operation Julie although non-fiction that he could make the transition to writing fiction; I was right. He has an ease of language that lends itself to storytelling; he tells it as if her was there in the plot and why shouldn’t he having been an undercover cop in the real world? Not that Steve Regan is meant to be him, but having the experience means he can do whatever he want with his fictional characters and they will always be believable. Wasn’t too sure about the title until I began to read it and hope it doesn’t put people off from reading this book. Thrown into an undercover world where the Legend (who you are meant to be) is created for you it’s only a matter of time before the one starts to interfere with the other and you ask that question.

There aren’t many crime authors who could write a scene where a big gangland mobster puts a hand to your head as if it were a gun and simulates a close contact assassination that is frighteningly real except someone who has been there and done that!

The book is three dimensional, it’s not merely a descriptive adventure into the shady world of the criminal, it’s multi-layered and analytical which is often missing from other crime author’s work. I was extremely impressed by the prose. His characterisation verges on exceptional as is their interaction. Stephen Bentley is a real contender in the world of crime writing, I hope he sticks at it. I think he has a real gift and insight into the criminal mind. Pat McDonald British Crime author.

Dilemma  Book 2 in the series is also available.This is what a recent reviewer had to say about it after he had read Book 1:

Top customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first book
15 July 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the second Steve Regan book, we find Regan, (now known as Ryan), managing a bar and whorehouse in Thailand. He is undercover again of course, working a new drug case. What he doesn’t know is that he will soon be pitched against an old enemy from the past, one that puts his life and that of his new lover, Fon, in mortal danger. Dilemma is without doubt a faster moving, more polished and pacy read than the first book in the trilogy. It’s a genuine page-turner with plenty of action and a real and satisfying love interest for the hero of the piece, which serves to make Regan a more believable ‘human’ character. I must commend the author on a most surprising and ingenious twist in the tale as the ending really took me by surprise. I will certainly look forward to the next Steve Regan story. This was worth the preorder and didn’t disappoint me at all.

This is the same reviewer but his review of Book 1:

5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly realistic page Turner.
BySashadooon 1 April 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Stephen Bentley is a former undercover cop and the chief protagonist of this book just happens to be… an undercover cop. So, we can pretty much accept that the author knows his subject, which shows throughout every page of this gritty, realistic account of a case undertaken by Steve Reagan and his partner, Red. The pair, looking like two aging hippies, live out of a battered old Ford Transit van, which helps to reinforce their cover as a couple of unscrupulous small time criminals with aspirations to rise through the echelons of the criminal world. They make contact with two characters, Blue, and a shady and dangerous Canadian, Bill, the man who seems to have the connections they are seeking.

Let me add that in response to a couple of reviewers who thought the book started slowly, this is a story based on the way a real life undercover operation is conducted, with painstaking attention to detail, in every way, as the lives of both cops are at stake every day. One mistake and they would very quickly end up in a cold, shallow grave, miles from anywhere. It is NOT a typical, ubiquitous US style ‘up and at em’ cops and robbers drama. This story puts the reader right there alongside Reagan and Red as they gradually worm their way into Bill’s plans. We will later discover that neither Blue nor Red are all they at first appear to be, but, no spoilers from me.

Reagan soon finds himself on the horns of a dilemma however, as the prospect of going ‘rogue’ begins to encroach on his thoughts. Could he really put aside his principals and all he has worked for as an officer of the law in exchange for the lavish riches and lifestyle offered by Bill and his ‘connections’. This dilemma is further reinforced when Red is sidelined by an accident and Reagan is left alone to deal with the drug cartel. He has good reasons for jumping either way and only by reading the book will you find out which side he chooses.

Mr. Bentley has created an ensemble of truly realistic characters, pulled together in a gritty, pulsating crime thriller that I can only describe as a good old-fashioned page turner. His writing style carries the reader along with him as the plot develops and we suddenly find ourselves careering towards a chillingly alarming and thrilling finish. This is real, thought-provoking British crime drama at its best. I actually found myself wondering just how much of the real Stephen Bentley was contained in the personality of Steve Reagan. I’m sure some of the essence of the author helped to make the character of Reagan so believable and easy to identify with. The ending came all too soon, leaving me wanting more, which is of course the mark of a good series, isn’t it? Leave them waiting for the next thrilling instalment? Well, he has succeeded in doing just that.as I will now eagerly look forward to the next book in this thrilling and enthralling trilogy. In the meantime, I will content myself with awarding this first episode a well-deserved five stars!

It’s reviews like those that keep me writing. I think I must be on the right track 🙂

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