Synopses & Reviews
In American Gangster
, the feds took down infamous heroin dealer Frank Lucas. But the kingpin behind Lucas's criminal reign, Leroy "Nicky" Barnes, remained "Mr. Untouchable." Until one undercover agent proved tough enough — or crazy enough — to infiltrate his domain and nail the most dangerous drug czar in American history.
Growing up in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where physical violence was a daily reality at home, at school, and on the streets, Louis Diaz had what it took to survive — and to one day become what he vowed to be: a man of uncompromising principles who is "compassionate on the inside, fierce on the outside." These were the qualities, along with his street fighter's steely nerves and hair-trigger temper, that drove Diaz from his savage beginnings and early forays in organized crime to become one of the DEA's bravest undercover agents — the man who was instrumental in taking down some of the nation's and the world's most notorious crime rings.
In an unforgettable and utterly engaging first-person narrative, Diaz tells his gritty, colorful, painful, and even humorous life story — a story with all the raw emotional power and bare-knuckle action of Wiseguy or Serpico. From his headline-making cases of Nicky Barnes and the Medellín cartel... to his account of outwitting a key villain linked to the record-breaking heist known as The Great English Train Robbery... to his all-out confrontations with murderous gunrunners and drug dealers on the mean streets of New York... to leading commando raids on clan-destine cocaine labs inside the Bolivian jungles, Dancing with the Devil is an explosive memoir that stands as a classic of true-crime literature.
"Retired DEA agent Diaz, writing with Hirschfeld (coauthor, Detective: The Inspirational Story of the Trailblazing Woman Cop Who Wouldn't Quit), tells his life story with brutal honesty. Overcoming an abusive yet loving (and beloved) father, his own volatile temper, and the demons of depression, he was a very successful DEA agent who did best when working undercover to take down some of the most notorious drug dealers of our time, including New York heroin kingpin Nicky Barnes and José "el Tío" Lopez of the Medellín cartel. He worked assignments in the jungles of Bolivia and in London, New York, and Los Angeles, where he transferred midcareer. Hot-headed Diaz used the adrenalin rush of deep undercover work and his success as a boxer to channel his energy. He pulls no punches about his personal life, poignantly sharing his bouts with depression and grief. Best of all, when Hollywood films his life story, Diaz will be able to play himself — his most recent chapter has been as adviser and actor (stage name Lou Casal) for film and television. Verdict The gripping story of one man's flaws, loves, and achievements, this should be a popular selection for true crime fans. Highly recommended." Library Journal
About the Author
Neal Hirschfeld was a prize-winning reporter and editor for the Daily News. He has also written for O, The Oprah Magazine; Reader's Digest; The New York Times; and other publications.