Before the Drug Enforcement Administration, a ragtag group of agents was tasked with stopping the flow of drugs onto the streets of America. Dubbed The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, they took on dealers, thugs, pimps and ultimately, the Mafia. Operating without a governing body, they were often just as ruthless as their adversaries. 90 Church: Inside America’s Notorious First Narcotics Squad follows one agent through undercover missions, near-death experiences and drug-fuelled madness.
It’s no secret that crime fiction is far and away my favourite genre to read but for some reason, I’ve more or less stayed away from true crime. However, when a review popped up on Goodreads describing 90 Church as a James Ellroy novel brought to life, I knew I had to check it out.
90 Church is pure craziness from start to finish. This book is filled with so much double crossing, violence and death that it’s remarkable any of the people involved came out the other end with their sanity intact.
I have to hand it to the author, he pulls no punches when recalling his own questionable behaviour. Admittedly, he made a lot of bad decisions during his tenure but who could blame him, he was coming into this world completely naive, like a boyscout among hardened men and due to a strong desire to belong, his convictions fell away faster than The Flash on cocaine.
With the author’s decision to change some names to protect the parties involved, it drove me crazy when I couldn’t find anything online to support the events detailed within. 90 Church is one of those memoirs that you have to constantly remind yourself “yes, this actually happened”.
I had a blast with this one. 90 Church is a true crime tour de force.