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Search Results for: true story

Showing 16-30 of 169 results

Operation Playboy

Operation Playboy

Sex. Drugs. Danger. Death.

FROM THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF BESTSELLERS HOTEL KEROBOKAN AND SNOWING IN BALI

This is the adrenaline-pumping story of the world’s most audacious drug runners and the police hunt, ‘Operation Playboy’, to track them down.

These drug-running playboys travel the globe: they ski in Europe, surf in Bali, hook up with celebrity models and live in five-star hotels. They are 24/7 party boys with brass balls, steely nerves and reckless ambitions. They pay for their high-risk, hedonistic lifestyle by trafficking cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana on international flights and through the world’s biggest airports.

But to ride the wave you have to roll the dice. And in this game a bust means prison – or even a firing squad. A Brazilian cop is watching closely, determined to close the net. With a small team, he battles corrupt colleagues and bent judges to learn the secrets of the playboys and bring about their downfall.

Celebrated true-crime writer and journalist Kathryn Bonella has travelled the world to collect first-person testimony from an international network of mules and their bosses, as well as from the elite cops who are hot on their trail.

The result is a page-turning, white-knuckle thriller – the true story of a manhunt codenamed OPERATION PLAYBOY.
City of Devils

City of Devils

‘Shanghai’s champion storyteller – He grips his reader to the end’ Economist
‘Gripping, breakneck ultra-noir reminiscent of vintage Ellroy’ David Peace, author of Red or Dead
‘If you love Richard Lloyd Parry and David Grann, don’t miss City of Devils‘ Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me

1930s Shanghai could give Chicago a run for its money. In the years before the Japanese invaded, the city was a haven for outlaws from all over the world: a place where pasts could be forgotten, fascism and communism outrun, names invented, fortunes made – and lost.

‘Lucky’ Jack Riley was the most notorious of those outlaws. An ex-Navy boxing champion, he escaped from prison in the States, spotted a craze for gambling and rose to become the Slot King of Shanghai. Ruler of the clubs in that day was ‘Dapper’ Joe Farren – a Jewish boy who fled Vienna’s ghetto with a dream of dance halls. His chorus lines rivalled Ziegfeld’s and his name was in lights above the city’s biggest casino.

In 1940 they bestrode the Shanghai Badlands like kings, while all around the Solitary Island was poverty, starvation and genocide. They thought they ruled Shanghai; but the city had other ideas. This is the story of their rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction they left in their wake. Shanghai was their playground for a flickering few years, a city where for a fleeting moment even the wildest dreams seemed possible.

In the vein of true crime books whose real brilliance is the recreation of a time and place, this is an impeccably researched narrative non-fiction told with superb energy and brio, as if James Ellroy had stumbled into a Shanghai cathouse.
In the Name of the Children

In the Name of the Children

FBI Special Agent Jeff Rinek had a gift for getting child predators to confess. All he had to do was share a piece of his soul . . .

In the Name of the Children gives an unflinching look at what it’s like to fight a never-ending battle against an enemy far more insidious than terrorists: the predators, lurking amongst us, who seek to harm our children.

During his 30-year career with the FBI, Jeff Rinek worked hundreds of investigations involving crimes against children: from stranger abduction to serial homicide to ritualized sexual abuse. Those who do this kind of work are required to plumb the depths of human depravity, to see things no one should ever have to see – and once seen can never forget. There is no more important – or more brutal – job in law enforcement, and few have been more successful than Rinek at solving these sort of cases.

Most famously, Rinek got Cary Stayner to confess to all four of the killings known as the Yosemite Park Murders, an accomplishment made more extraordinary by the fact that the FBI nearly pinned the crimes on the wrong suspects. Rinek’s recounting of the confession and what he learned about Stayner provides perhaps the most revelatory look ever inside the psyche of a serial killer and a privileged glimpse into the art of interrogation.

In the Name of the Children takes readers into the trenches of real-time investigations where every second counts and any wrong decision or overlooked fact can have tragic repercussions. Rinek offers an insider’s perspective of the actual case agents and street detectives who are the boots on the ground in this war at home. By placing us inside the heart and mind of a rigorously honest and remarkably self-reflective investigator, we will see with our own eyes what it takes-and what it costs – to try to keep our children safe and to bring to justice those who prey on society’s most vulnerable victims.

With each chapter dedicated to a real case he worked, In the Name of the Children also explores the evolution of Rinek as a Special Agent – whose unorthodox, empathy-based approach to interviewing suspects made him extraordinarily successful in obtaining confessions – and the toll it took to have such intimate contact with child molesters and murderers. Beyond exploring the devastating impact of these unthinkable crimes on the victims and their families, this book offers an unprecedented look at how investigators and their loved ones cope while living in the spectre of so much suffering.
Cults

Cults

The inside story of the world’s most notorious cults.

The strange and sinister world of cults is a source of endless fascination. Their secrets, rituals and shadowy hierarchies make for some of the most disturbing and shocking revelations in history. Most chilling of all is the fact that many of their followers forfeit all independence in order to carry out the often sadistic bidding of a mysterious master manipulator – and continue to defend their leader to this day.

From Charles Manson, who instructed his followers to murder seven people, including a heavily pregnant Sharon Tate, to Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese doomsday cult that carried out deadly terror attacks, and the People’s Temple, these cults and their leaders transfix us with their extreme ability to commit savage acts of cruelty and depravity in the name of a self-appointed higher power.

Many shocking and international cults are brought to life, including:

– The Manson Family
People’s Temple
– Colonia Dignidad
– Thuggees
– Aum Shinrikyo
– Skopsty
– Raëlism
– Heaven’s Gate


The Organ Thieves

The Organ Thieves

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks meets Get Out in this landmark investigation of entrenched racism at the core of the heart transplant race.

In 1968, Bruce Tucker, a Black man, went into Virginia’s top research hospital with a head injury, only to have his heart stolen out of his body and put into the chest of a white businessman. Now, in The Organ Thieves, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Chip Jones exposes the horrifying racism surrounding Tucker’s death and how he was used as a human guinea pig without his family’s permission or knowledge. The circumstances surrounding his death reflect the long legacy of medical mistreatment of Black Americans that began more than a century before with cadaver harvesting and worse. It culminated in efforts to win the heart transplant race in the late 1960s.

Featuring years of research and fresh reporting, The Organ Thieves is a story that resonates now more than ever, when issues of race and healthcare are the stuff of headlines and horror stories.
Killing Goldfinger

Killing Goldfinger

KILLING GOLDFINGER charts the extraordinary rise and spectacular bullet-riddled fall of John Palmer, the richest, most powerful criminal ever to have emerged from the modern British underworld. During the late 1990s, Palmer was rated as rich as The Queen by the Sunday Times Rich List.

Palmer earned his nickname Goldfinger after smelting (in his back garden) tens of millions of pounds worth of stolen gold bullion from the 20th century’s most lucrative heist; the Brink’s-Mat robbery. Palmer then used his share of the millions to become the vicious overlord of a vast illegal timeshare property empire in Tenerife. At the same time, Goldfinger financed huge international drugs shipments as well as some of the most notorious UK robberies of the past 30 years, including the £50m Securitas heist in Kent in 2006 and, many believe, the Hatton Garden heist in 2015.

Palmer vowed to hunt down all his underworld enemies. But in the end it was those same criminals who decided to bring his life to an end. Murdered in June 2015, with charges of fraud, money laundering and worse pending, this book tells his murky story for the first time.

As outrageous and bullet-riddled as the hit Netflix series Narcos, Killing Goldfinger tells the true story of Britain’s underworld kingpin, who turned the sunshine holiday island of Tenerife into his very own Crime Incorporated and then paid the ultimate price.
Serial Killers

Serial Killers

The Terrifying Story of the Most Monstrous Serial Killers through History.

Serial Killers are the most notorious and disturbing of all criminals, representing the very darkest side of humanity. Yet they endlessy fascinate and continue to capture the public’s attention with their strange charisma and deadly deeds. From Jack the Ripper to Ted Bundy and the Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, these killers transfix us with their ability to commit utterly savage acts of cruelty and depravity.

Only with modern police detection methods and psychological profiling, have these figures that have existed throughout human history finally been identified in the deadliest category: serial killers. These methods, the killers’ characters and their crimes are described here in fascinating and terrifyingly gripping detail.

The whole history of serial killers is brought to life in 50 chapters, including:

Herman Webster Mudget, Devil in the White City
John Christie, 10 Rillington Place murders
Zodiac Killer
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, The Moors Murderers
Ted Bundy
Fred and Rosemary West
Jeffrey Dahmer
Aileen Wuornos
Harold Shipman, Dr Death
Killer Women

Killer Women

The Chilling Inside Story of Women Who Are Driven to Kill

Killer Women are the most disturbing yet compelling of all criminals, representing the very darkest side of humanity and subverting the conventional view of women as the weaker sex.

From Elizabeth Bathory, ‘The Bloody Countess’ whose vampire-like tendencies terrorised sixteenth-century Hungary, to the Moors Murderer Myra Hindley and the Florida Highway Killer Aileen Wuornos, these women transfix us with their extreme ability to commit savage acts of cruelty and depravity.

Most chilling is the fact that many of their victims represent the most vulnerable in society: babies, the ill and infirm, and the elderly. In some cases their methods of disposing of the corpses fall nothing short of ingenious: meet Leonarda Cianciulli, ‘The Soap-Maker of Correggio’, who used the fat from her victims’ bodies to make soap and teacakes to sell to unsuspecting customers. These killers’ backgrounds, methods and their crimes are described in forensic and gripping detail.

50 terrifying cases of killer women are brought to life, including:

Elizabeth Bathory ‘The Bloody Countess’
Amelia Dyer, The Reading Baby Farmer
Jane Toppan, ‘Jolly Jane’
Juana Barraza, The Old Lady Killer
Leonarda Cianciulli, ‘The Soap-Maker of Correggio’
Bonnie Parker, ‘Bonnie & Clyde’
Rosemary West
Myra Hindley
Aileen Wuornos
The Curse of Brink's-Mat

The Curse of Brink's-Mat

‘It wasn’t only Britain’s biggest heist, it became the bloodiest’ Mail on Sunday

The inside story of the 20th century’s most lucrative armed robbery.


On 26 November 1983 six armed robbers escaped with £28 million worth of gold bullion from a Brink’s-Mat warehouse at London’s Heathrow Airport. The Curse of Brink’s-Mat reveals the pulse-racing full story of the crime itself before moving to its chilling aftermath, which still reverberates to this day. The heist made the careers of many of the underworld’s biggest names, and changed the face of British crime forever but in the years that followed the robbery, many of those involved, innocent and guilty alike have been sent to an early grave. Two decades on, the death toll is still rising.

Nobody knows more about that extraordinary morning’s events than Wensley Clarkson. Nobody is better placed to track the vicious, violent and unexpected waves that followed in its wake or bring to life its cast of larger-than-life characters. From small-time crime in south-east London, to ‘the heist of the century’ and its bloody consequences, Wensley Clarkson’s The Curse of Brink’s-Mat is an epic tale of villainy, gold and revenge.
Hotel K

Hotel K

Hotel K – Bali’s most notorious jail – is Hell in Paradise.

Welcome to Hotel Kerobokan, or Hotel K, Bali’s most notorious jail. Its walls touch paradise; sparkling oceans, surf beaches and palm trees on one side, while on the other it’s a dark, bizarre and truly frightening underworld of sex, drugs, violence and squalor.

Hotel K’s filthy and disease ridden cells have been home to the infamous and the tragic: a Balinese King, Gordon Ramsay’s brother, Muslim terror bombers, beautiful women tourists and surfers from across the globe. Petty thieves share cells with killers, rapists, and gangsters. Hardened drug traffickers sleep alongside unlucky tourists, who’ve seen their holiday turn from paradise to hell over one ecstasy pill.

Hotel K is the shocking inside story of the jail and its inmates, revealing the wild ‘sex nights’ organised by corrupt guards for the prisoners who have cash to pay, the jail’s ecstasy factory, the killings made to look like suicides, the days out at the beach, the escapes and the corruption that means anything is for sale – including a fully catered Italian jail wedding, or a luxury cell upgrade with a Bose sound system.

The truth about the dark heart of Bali explodes off the page.
Snowing in Bali

Snowing in Bali

Kathryn Bonella lifts the lid on Bali’s nightmarish narcotics underworld.

Among the island’s drug dealers ‘It’s snowing in Bali’ is code that the south-east Asian paradise is full of cocaine. For the men who run the country’s drug empires, it’s time to get rich and party hard.

Snowing in Bali is the story of the drug trafficking and dealing scene that’s made Bali one of the world’s most important destinations in the global distribution of narcotics. Kathryn Bonella, bestselling author of Hotel K, has been given extraordinary access into the lives of some of the biggest players in Bali’s drug world. She charts their rise to incredible wealth and power, and their drug- fuelled lifestyles: filled with orgies, outrageous extravagance and surfing.

From the highs of multi-million dollar deals to the desperate lows of death row in an Indonesian high security jail, Snowing in Bali is a unique, uncensored insight into a hidden world.
Sexy Beasts

Sexy Beasts

The Hatton Garden Heist captured the public’s imagination more than another other crime since The Great Train Robbery. It was supposed to make a fortune for a team of old time professional criminals. Their last hurrah. A final lucrative job that would send the old codgers off on happy retirements to the badlands of Spain and beyond. It seemed to be the stuff of legends. Tens of millions of pounds worth of valuables grabbed from secretive safety deposit boxes in a vault beneath one of the most famous gold and jewellery districts in the world.

But where did it all go wrong for this band of old time villains? And why did the gang’s bid to pull off the world’s biggest burglary turn into a deadly game of cat and mouse featuring the police and London’s most dangerous crime lords?

Nobody is better placed to reveal the full story of the Hatton Garden Raid than Britain’s best-connected true crime writer Wensley Clarkson. Through his unique contacts inside the London underworld, he’s persuaded those who really know the truth to reveal the chilling details behind Britain’s biggest ever burglary.
The Lovers of Amherst

The Lovers of Amherst

Passion and poetry: two love stories intertwine – a true historical one and an imagined contemporary one, both intimately connected with Emily Dickinson’s life.

In 1881 a young married couple, Mabel and David Todd, arrive in stuffy Amherst, Massachusetts. He will take up a post at Amherst College; she will embark on an affair that rocks the town. Emily Dickinson’s brother is the College’s Treasurer, Austin Dickinson, a respected citizen of the town and a married man with three children. Austin’s sister Emily lives as a recluse in the house next-door to Austin. Over the months that follow the Todds’ arrival, Austin falls passionately in love with Mabel, and she with him.

In the present day, Alice Dickinson, 24 years old, seeks to escape her copy-writing job and make a living as a screenwriter. She takes a short holiday to Amherst to research a screenplay on a story that has fascinated her since college days, where a love of Emily Dickinson’s poems was triggered by the coincidence of her own surname.The story is the illicit love affair between Austin Dickinson and Mabel Todd.

As she researches one love affair taking place under the watchful eye of Emily Dickinson, Alice embarks on a passionate liaison of her own, and the novel interweaves the stories of these two loves, illuminating both past and present in the process.n older man she meets in Amherst, and the original love affair between Austin and Mabel, observed by Emily.
SAS Ghost Patrol

SAS Ghost Patrol

‘Lewis has done a terrific job in resurrecting Heaven Platoon, portraying them as the brave, buccaneering heroes they undoubtedly were’ Daily Mail

‘Another true tale of military derring-do from Lewis’ Sunday Express

‘Intensively researched and powerfully written. One of the great untold stories of WWII’ Bear Grylls

‘In SAS Ghost Patrol Lewis reveals a tale of suicidal bravery, untold daring and breath-taking deceit. Told with the panache and verve of a born storyteller, Lewis is in a class of his own‘ Saul David

‘Amazing tale of WWII great escaper’s Nazi ruse … The extraordinary Second World War saga of the SIG and its legacy is revealed.’ The Daily Mirror

‘British troops dressed in German uniforms and mounted a daredevil raid to take the Libyan port of Tobruk during the Second World War, reveals a fascinating new book’ Daily Express

‘Lewis’s account … reads like a Boy’s Own adventure, except it isn’t a work of fiction and the heroes don’t come through unscathed. His storytelling enhances the bravery of the men and the danger of the missions without over-dramatising anything. There is no need to’ Soldier Magazine

‘Reveals the true story of an ultra-secret fighting unit that posed as Nazi Storm Troopers to seize the German-held port city of Tobruk during the Second World War’ Richard Hatch and Verity Geere, Forces Radio breakfast show

The Ultra-Secret Unit That Posed As Nazi Stormtroopers


The Most Daring Mission Ever Undertaken


SAS Ghost Patrol is the explosive true story of the day in 1942 when the SAS donned Nazi uniforms to perpetrate the most audacious and daring mission of the war. Beyond top secret, deniable in the extreme (and of course enjoying Churchill’s enthusiastic blessing), this is one of the most remarkable stories of wartime lawlessness, eccentricity and raw courage in the face of impossible odds – a thoroughly British undertaking.

What unfolded – the longest mission ever undertaken by Allied special forces – was an epic of daring, courage, tragedy and survival that remains unrivalled to this day, and which rightly became a foundation stone of Special Forces legend. Written with Lewis’s signature authenticity and dramatic verve, SAS Ghost Patrol is peopled by a cast of the utterly maverick and the extraordinary. In its quirky eccentricities and outrageous rule-breaking, this is a story that only the British could have authored, and with such panache and aplomb. It may read like the stuff of impossible myth or folklore, but every single word is true.
The Real X-Men

The Real X-Men

The thrilling and true story of the development and operational deployment of human torpedoes – ‘Chariots’ – and ‘X-craft’ midget submarines in British naval service during WWII, and of the extraordinary men who crewed these dangerous vessels. The commando frogmen who rode the Chariots and operated as divers from the X-craft were the forerunners of today’s Special Boat Service, the SBS.

Their aim was to attach an explosive charge underneath an enemy ship to destroy the vessel. Their hope was to return to their submarine unscathed. The Real X-Men tells the story of the sacrifice and heroism of the individual men, many of them little more than teenagers, who volunteered for this dangerous duty and who crewed both the Chariots and the X-craft without knowing the full extent of the risks entailed, nor indeed the very small chances they had of coming back alive.
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