From the back cover: It’s the morning of March 9, 2006, hours before one of the largest motorcycle gang busts in United States history, and George Rowe can’t sleep. He keeps thinking about the past three years he spent as an informant for the ATF, working undercover with the Vagos, one of the most dangerous biker gangs in the country. His fiancée, a struggling heroin addict carrying their unborn child, is asleep next to him. She’s got no idea who he really is, what he’s done, or what’s about to happen. How…Rowe wonders, did it go so far and get so deep?
A gritty and harrowing memoir about human redemption and self-sacrifice, Gods of Mischief tells the story of the first private citizen to voluntarily infiltrate an outlaw motorcycle gang for the U.S. government. George Rowe, drug dealer, barroom brawler, and convicted felon, never thought he’d work for the feds. But when he watched the Vagos brutally and senselessly beat his friend everything changed. He decided to pay back his Southern California hometown by bringing down the gang that terrorized it. As “Big George,” a full-patched member of the Vagos, Rowe spent three brutal years juggling a double life—riding, fighting, and nearly dying alongside the brothers that he secretly hoped to put away for good. The road to redemption wasn’t an easy ride. Rowe lost everything: his family, his business, his home—even his identity. To this day, under protection by the U.S. government, Rowe still looks over his shoulder, keeping watch for the brothers he put behind bars. They’ve vowed to search for him until the day they die.
From the first pages, Gods of Mischief captures a fascinating tale–of bad boy turned good, of redemption and hope amid the mess of the human condition. It’s for that reason I agreed to read and review this memoir. And I have to say, if I wanted an education, I got one. I learned a thing or two about the underbelly of American society and motorcycle gangs. In writing his memoir, George Rowe pulls no punches.
The writing itself is admirable. Given his background, I’d wager it a safe bet to assume Rowe got himself a ghostwriter, and he found a good one. This is as well-crafted a memoir as any I’ve read. The narrative is cohesive and compelling, the movement back and forth through time logical and well-structured. No complaints there.
But I’ll say this bluntly: Gods of Mischief is not a book for everyone. I’m not even sure it’s for most. But if you’re willing to grit your teeth through the excessively foul language, you just might find something to like.
4/5 stars. Riveting but very, very raw.
Thanks to Touchstone Publishers for sending me a copy to review. All opinions are my own.