My Rating ~ Three and a half Stars
RELEASE DATE: 2 July 2020
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Undercover was like guerrilla warfare; to understand your enemy, you had to walk amongst them, to become them. The trick was to keep an eye on that important line between who you were and who you were pretending to be.
This is the true story of Keith Banks, one of Queensland’s most decorated police officers, and his journey into the world of drugs as an undercover operative in the 1980s. In an era of corruption, often alone and with no backup, he and other undercover cops quickly learned to blend into the drug scene, smoking dope and drinking with targets, buying drugs and then having dealers arrested. Very quickly, the lines between his identity as a police officer and the life he pretended to be part of became blurred.
This is a raw and confronting story of undercover cops who all became casualties of that era, some more than others, when not everyone with a badge could be trusted.
Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of Drugs, Guns and Lies, in exchange for an honest review!
Drugs, Guns and Lies follows undercover police officer, Keith, from growing up in a less than ideal home life, to deciding to become a policeman, to the academy, the beat and deciding to try the world of undercover. Raw and unflinching, Keith pulls us in to his life where he had to walk the line between criminal and law enforcer.
I enjoyed Keith’s story as a whole, there were some eye opening moments and it was like being told a life story by a friend. The only issue I really had was that it was like being told a story by a friend – a friend who assumes you know the people he is talking about. There were several moments where names were thrown about with no explanation as to who those people actually were. I felt like I needed a background in 70’s Queensland well known underworld figures and I didn’t have that. I can imagine readers from that era, and familiar with the names, would experience those moments of recognition, but for me, I just ended up thinking “Who?” Other than that, the story was really engaging though. I enjoyed the walk through Keith’s life and I’m sure anyone interested in the life of an undercover cop will devour this one!