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.Recent UK Reviews


28 September 2018

Format: Paperback
Having recently read “Busted” ,a recent reprint of a book about Operation Julie my interest was aroused enough to look for more books on the subject. At the time I was discovering the joys of motorbikes and young ladies and national events didn’t overly interest me so “the world’s biggest drugs bust” wasn’t something I knew anything about. Decades later and as an avid reader of true crime I was still pretty much unaware until reading Busted. Basically it was the infiltration by undercover police officers of a massive LSD producing operation.
Busted left me feeling as if there was a good story here not terribly well told so I had a look at the ,quite large number,of other books on the subject on offer to research further and Stephen Bentley’s seemed the most promising,and an entertaining and educational read it turned out to be.
Most of the book tells of how Bentley and his partner infiltrate the gang,possibly group is a better word, and supply their bosses with enough information to conduct mass raids and smash a massive international organisation. The rest is his views on “The War On Drugs”, the missed opportunity for creating a national drugs squad immediately after the “Julie” success ,his views on drug-taking and an interesting “where are they now” chapter ,which is self-explanatory.
Bentley pulls no punches and it’s good to hear the story from him,not a ghost writer. An elderly relative once associated with many of the old London “celebrity villains” and tells me how hilarious their ghost-written exploits are,behind the eloquent prose dreamt up by professional writers he tells me the truth is most could barely spell their names let alone write a book and the “legends” were mostly dim thugs and “full of it”. None of that here,Bentley has been there,done that and paid the price. As other former undercover cops have written “being someone else” for several months at a time and basically living a lie is not the route to inner calm,not least when you are responsible for getting people you have often got quite close to locked up for a very long time knowing what a devastating effect that will have on their families and friends as well as themselves.
A good read and having looked at Stephen Bentley’s “About The Author” page he’s read a very full life since Operation Julie that I’m sure would make for future good reading.