the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “drugs”

Book Review – Close by Martina Cole

It has been a while since I have read a Cole book, and while it was deliciously violent and full of character we would expect in the East End, it slighted in so much ‘feelings’ and explanations of feelings…in fact, how many times and how many characters shared their thoughts on Lance’s ‘weirdness’ alone was doing my head in…OK, we get it.  And repetitiveness did not stop there. I swear, it was all I could do to climb into the book and give Lily (the main character) or Annie (her fucked up mother) a slap or two. Deep breaths…

Lily starts a relationship at age 16 with one of the more notorious characters in town, Patrick Brodie. Despite his normal gangster and philandering ways he is besotted with her and they start a family and Pat’s empire starts to grow. It follows their ups and ups (slight downs where the mother-in-law is involved, but that’s real life i’nt it?) which includes Patrick going off his nut and bludgeoning anyone and everyone who fucks him off. This reaches a pinnacle when Patrick is stabbed to death in his own house but four brothers right in front of the family as they prepare for the oldest son’s 10th birthday.

As someone not in line with the law the deceased’s estate is well hidden and ends up being divvied amongst the others in the criminal fraternity leaving Lily and 5 kids to fend for themselves, in various manners not befitting a mobster’s wife. And as the oldest son grows (also named Patrick by some sort of American-guffo slip) Lily and Pat Jnr vow to claim back all that was taken from them. Yadi, yadi, yada…and so it goes in violent detail.

The attempt at a twist in the end was sniffed out about 300 pages earlier but is still comes as a shock as nothing is spared in a Cole scribes…

Aside of the apparent need to write more pages with unsolicited and irrelevant drivel at times it was still a good book.

The real judgement lies in that it took me a good two or three weeks to complete it, and if I really like a book it can be devoured in a matter of days. Worth a look, but she has done others which kick it’s arse.


American Desperado

If you’re squeamish with gory details, against the glorifying of crime, and don’t like the odd swear word, this book is not you.

However, if like me you like it told with the subtlety of an elephant on heat, then this is one of the most hellish books you will ever read. While crime is no really my genre, I don’t mind reading the odd book with Mafia/drug/gangland type themes to it, but even I have to admit. I had to pause at times to collect myself, and even put the book down and read some Asterix or watch some TV comedy just to try to wipe the last picture from my mind.

Part history lesson, part auto/biography, writer Evan Wright chronicles maybe the most in-depth recording of the cocaine trade in the US circa the 70s and 80s…why? Because the subject/co-author is none other than Jon Roberts, the most wanted man in the US at the time as the American chapter of the Medellin Cartel.

For those too young, or those who believe life doesn’t exist past their end of their work desk, the Medellin Cartel was the Columbian crowd responsible for approximately 90% of all cocaine trade in the US, if not the world. And while the name still does not ring a bell, maybe those such as Pablo Escobar and General Noriega (not to mention the Ochoa Family) will do. Read more…

Book Review – I Am Ozzy

I like reading autobiographies (and biographies to a lesser extent) but tend to find they can be stale and scripted, very much talking up the individual for obvious reasons.

But, then along came Ozzy Osbourne’s!

I cannot remember a book I have laughed so much at, been shocked, been flabbergasted…and so vivid in description.

Whether you like him or not, this is a book you have to read. Some of you might be disgusted by what you read, others will understand the iconic figure more, others may even come to like him and respect him…and God forbid, some of you might go and buy an album (I have all of Black Sabbath’s albums, and a few of his solo works).

Either way, I don’t give a shit, and I can tell you something, Ozzy doesn’t either. What does he care? He’s fucken loaded (no pun intended). ‘Nuff said. Read more…

Book Review – Blood Money

By Clive Small & Tom Gilling

You know you’re onto a good book that has this; Darwiche had brought two rocket launchers to use in the attack. His plan had been to use one but he changed his mind when he learned that not all the Razzaks were inside. The second rocket launcher was to be used against police in the event of a chase.

OK, no real biggie there for any blokey type of crime novel, but the fact is this is part of the true story of the Australian crime scene!! This book chronicles some of the bikies, terrorists and Middle Eastern Gangs in Australia, specifically the last 30 years. Clive Small should know what he’s talking about, he is a retired detective and Assistant Commissioner of Police.

For those fans of Underbelly, this is a must read, and it shows that the series (about the Kings Cross) is about as true a depiction as you are going to get. This was a real hard book to put down, although sometimes got difficult due to following all the characters as they are so intertwined keeping track is a skill…not to mention the names of the Middle Eastern gangs, especially when most of them are related.

It starts off with the infamous Frank Hakim (The Lebanese Godfather)the Bayehs, and then into the Ibrahims – in these cases you will easily picture them from the series. There are some great tales of drugs, violence, corruption etc etc (not that I condone that sort of thing), but when it gets to Danny Karam and his “Boys” it really becomes something you think can only be make-believe! Karam is the nutter he was portrayed on TV, but Kanaan (his boy who killed him) was off the planet!

Moving on from this it moves to the Darwiches and Razzaks from the excerpt above – this is a gang war of almost biblical proportions, and it makes you think that South Auckland is a veritable pre-school in comparison (not taking the police work their lightly of course!).

After the Lebanese (as most were) gangs have been covered, it moves into the bikie gang culture, and again it must be said that those here are (or seem to be portrayed as) small fish in a big pond – who do you think supplied the rockets launchers from above!?

The last section is about the growing threat of terrorism – in fact growing doesn’t seem the right term – there have been over 150 terrorism attacks in or on Australian interests since 1966…the difference nowadays seems to be where the funding is coming from – drugs. The slowest of all the sections, but somewhat disturbing to comprehend.

Well written with a great photo library (you should see some of the ugly mug shots they have) and highly recommended.

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