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Bookmarks Issue: 
18-Sept-Oct-2005
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The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America’s Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

A-UnderandAloneAfter military service in Vietnam and 20 years with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Queen infiltrated the notorious Southern California motorcycle gang known as the Mongol Nation. Hanging with them as an undercover agent between 1998 and 2000, Queen became "Billy St. John." Here, he reveals his experiences with this "collective of crazies," a hierarchical, violent, criminal, and sadistic gang with 20 chapters in different states and 350 members, some in prison. After a period of hazing and many narrow escapes, Queen earned their trust. He even got elected to office, which gave him full access to knowledge of the gang’s crimes, from drugs and weapons dealing to planned cop killings and gang rapes. But his job was clear: to betray his newfound "brothers."
Random House. 288 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 1400060842

Greensboro News Record 4 of 5 Stars
"There were times he was certain that the gang had discovered his identity and that he was about to be killed. There were times that he came within an instant of having to shoot Mongols just to prevent them from murdering or raping people. There were other times that he genuinely enjoyed their friendship and returned it." Stan Swofford

Oregonian 4 of 5 Stars
"Queen’s book is dramatic without being hyped, and the style of writing is conversational, as if the reader were sitting at a bar listening to Queen tell his story. Enjoy it, live vicariously and then go back to your 9-to-5 life." Tom Hallman Jr.

People Weekly 4 of 5 Stars
"The gripping account of a fed who went undercover to investigate the Mongols—a gang so notorious that even the Hells Angels steer clear."

Entertainment Weekly 3.5 of 5 Stars
"His account of the bust, the biggest in motorcycle-gang history, is more tightly written than most cop memoirs: It rips along like a Harley on the 405 at midnight. The Mongols are so three-dimensionally drawn that while it’s a little hard to believe Queen avoided ever having to snort coke or indulge in purer biker evil, it’s not so surprising to learn he sometimes loved his fellow Mongols like brothers." Gregory Kirschling

Washington Post 3.5 of 5 Stars
"[Queen’s] decision-making was complicated by the humanity he glimpsed in some of the Mongols members from time to time. ... The threat to Queen was so huge that the book is both frightening and exhausting on almost every page." Steve Weinberg

Critical Summary

Queen risked his life when he joined the Mongols as bearded biker Billy St. John. His adventures with one of America’s most notorious bike gangs, where he explains "murder and mayhem have become simply a lifestyle choice," resulted in the convictions of more than 50 Mongols and earned him an impressive cache of awards. More important, after harrowing trials that included selling drugs to driving getaway cars, Queen lived to tell all about it. Queen recounts these two years with a straightforward gruffness that captivated critics. His story is tight, suspenseful, and unstoppable—you know he’s going to bust the men who became like brothers to him, but it’s just a matter of when and how. The movie version starring Mel Gibson is slated for 2008.