The city of Salinas, California, is the birthplace of John Steinbeck and the setting for his epic masterpiece East of Eden, but it is also the home of Nuestra Familia, one of the most violent gangs in the United States. Born in the prisons of California in the late 1960s, Nuestra Familia expanded to control drug trafficking and extortion operations throughout the northern half of the state and left a trail of bodies in its wake. Award-winning journalist Julia Reynolds tells the gang's story from the inside out, following young men and women as they search for a new kind of family, quests that usually lead to murder and betrayal. Blood in the Fields also documents the history of Operation Black Widow, the FBI's questionable decade-long effort to dismantle the Nuestra Familia, along with its compromised informants and the turf wars it created with local law enforcement agencies. Reynolds uses her unprecedented access to gang members, both in and out of prison, as well as undercover wiretaps, depositions, and court documents to weave a gripping, comprehensive history of this brutal criminal organization and the lives it destroyed.
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Informative, but neither gripping or compelling.
I grew bored and lost interest - although detailed in some aspects, most of the material is from court documents/transcripts and not from what the "Ten Years Inside..." subtitle might suggest. As a result, it reads like an Academic paper with the occassional flash of artistry.
The material could be condensed into half or 2/3 volume while not losing thrust. A heavy reliance on transcripts/interviews/etc comes across.
Yes, her efforts to inflect a Chicano/a accent into the characters dialogue should be noted. 1 thing though; "Tule" is not prounounced "tool", it's "Two-Lee". Gracias
Yes - more artistic license might actually breath some compelling life into the featured characters.
Not a bad book, but I'd skip it unless you are pursuing a career in Law Enforcement, Legal, and/or Social Services.
- Half Hitch