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Armed and Dangerous: The Hunt for One of America's Most Wanted Criminals
From the New York Times bestselling author of Under and Alone comes an intimate and riveting account of federal law-enforcement agent William Queen’s relentless hunt for one of America’s most cold-blooded criminals.As an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, William Queen must tackle a number of challenging cases, including going undercover to investigate a group of violent skinheads and infiltrating and busting a ring trafficking in high-powered explosives, drugs, and firearms. In the winter of 1985, he faces his toughest mission to date: he must apprehend Mark Stephens, a notorious narcotics trafficker who has been terrorizing the communities around Los Angeles with frequent rampages involving machine guns and hand grenades. A recluse living in the treacherous backwoods outside the city, Stephens is a cunning survivalist. Nobody has been able to catch him, but Queen is determined to take him down. Queen’s unique expertise is not taught in any police academy or ATF training seminar–he honed his outdoorsman abilities as a kid. Stephens may have finally met his match in the unwavering Queen, who is adept at hunting and trapping and living for weeks in the wild. Queen will use these skills–along with surveillance, confidential informants, and intelligence gathering–as he doggedly tracks his dangerous quarry, a chase that culminates in a gripping showdown high in the San Bernardino Mountains.A fascinating look into the daily life of an ATF agent and a taut portrayal of a monthlong manhunt, Armed and Dangerous depicts a classic race against time–lawman versus outlaw–in a harrowing true story of life-or-death suspense.From the Hardcover edition.read more
After his bestselling debut, Under and Alone (also coauthored by Century), Queen, a retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent, returns with a less successful effort. Here Queen goes back to his early days with ATF, describing his obsessive 1985 quest to take down Mark Stephens, "equal parts gunman, mountain man, drug trafficker, and out-and-out thug." As laudatory as the effort to apprehend Stephens was, the story is too slight to sustain even a brief book, which might explain why Queen fills it out with discussions of unrelated investigations he pursued while waiting for approval to go up into the mountains after his quarry. He also seems to devote as much time to his arguments with his superiors as to the effort to ascend the rugged terrain in the mountains of Southern California where Stephens was hiding out, and the anticlimactic conclusion of their encounter is disappointing. Queen relies on an uncorroborated account from an ex-con and associate of Stephens's for a section that makes Stephens seem truly psychotic. The passing references to the toll the agent's hard-charging style took on his marriage could have been better developed. (July 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved