Welcome to the tour for Operation George – Mark Dickens with Stephen Bentley. Thank you to Zooloo’s Book Tours for the opportunity.
Meet the real Line of Duty ™ undercover team in this previously untold and gripping story of how a Northern Irish terrorist and murderer and one of his followers, were caught in an audacious and brilliantly executed undercover sting on the English mainland, codenamed, Operation George.
In 2006 at Belfast Crown Court, William James Fulton, a principal in the outlawed Loyalist Volunteer Force, was jailed for life and sentenced to a minimum of 28 years after the longest trial in Northern Ireland’s legal history.
Fulton was an early suspect in the Rosemary Nelson killing. Following the murder of the prominent human rights lawyer, he fled to the United States and, with help from the FBI in collusion with the British police, he was deported. On his arrival at Heathrow, Fulton ‘walked through an open door,’ a Lewis Carrol-like euphemism for an invitation created by the covert team, only to disappear ‘down the rabbit hole’ on accepting the invitation.
That ‘rabbit hole’ led to an alternative world: an environment created and controlled by the elite covert team and only inhabited by the undercover officers and their targets. The subterfuge encouraged the terrorist targets into believing Fulton was working for a Plymouth-based ‘criminal firm’ over a period spanning almost two years. In that time, over fifty thousand hours of conversations between the ‘firm’ members were secretly recorded and used to bring the killer to justice.
This unique story is told by former undercover officer Mark Dickens who was part of an elite team of undercover detectives who took part in ‘Operation George,’ one of the most remarkable covert policing operations the world has ever known. You won’t know him under that name nor the many aliases he adopted as an undercover police officer infiltrating organised crime gangs.
Together in ‘Operation George,’ with pioneering Operation Julie undercover officer and bestselling author, Stephen Bentley, they have written a gripping account of a unique story reminiscent of the premise of ‘The Sting’ film, and the ‘Bloodlands’ setting, combining a true-crime page-turner with a fascinating insight into early 21st-century covert policing.
The publisher wishes to make clear by using the Line of Duty™, there is no implied association with the Line of Duty series nor World Productions Ltd and the trademark is attributed to World Productions Ltd.
‘Operation George is brilliant! It’s a unique insight into the undercover world, the ingenious tactics, the outwardly serene UCOs and the fastidious adherence to rules and training are nothing like I’ve ever read before.
Operation George is a book I went into because I’m a true crime fan, and the idea that I would get to read a story that gave insight on undercover work seemed really intriguing. The entire premise was fascinating and by the end, I was just blown away by the entire book.
What I found incredibly compelling was the level of detail without info dumping. It gave a real life look at how undercover operations work.
The story itself is riveting. I had trouble putting this down. Even when it got heavy, I had to keep going because…it was just that good. One of the best books I’ve read in 2022.
Five stars. Hands down. For the true crime fans and the thriller fans, this will have you reading late into the night. Highly recommended.
Thank you to Zooloo’s Book Tours for the free review copy. All opinions are my own and unbiased.
Stephen Bentley is a former UK police Detective Sergeant, pioneering undercover cop, and barrister. He is now a freelance writer and an occasional contributor to Huffington Post UK on undercover policing and mental health issues.
Stephen also writes crime fiction in a fast-paced plot-driven style including the Steve Regan Undercover Cop Thriller and the Detective Matt Deal Thriller series.
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