Angels Gate

Angels Gate

by Andrew J. Rafkin, Louis Pagano


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In 1983 the rapidly growing city of LA and beachfront communities were active in the illicit drug trade, successfully operating through Angels Gate Lighthouse, and LAX, the gate to the City of Angels. This true story is a recounting of the largest monetary heist in history, carried out by four local surfers, and August Taracina, a successful marijuana smuggler.

The heist proceeds with only minor hitches...until the bags of loot are opened. Much to the thieves' chagrin, there is no cash, no gold~5nothing but financial instruments that cannot be cashed.

While still in command of one of the largest marijuana smuggling operation on the west coast, August begins a whirlwind, worldwide tour with his connections to organized crime, the Medellin Cartel, and international bankers, as he attempts to fence the items.

Other gangs, along with their treachery and murder pursue him, as well as FBI agent Nick Cutler and his team, the Treasury Department, and Interpol. During this maelstorm, August devises an incredible plan to satisfy everyone's interest and fulfill their dreams. Now, all he has to do is make it happen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432780029
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 02/07/2012
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Customer Reviews

Angels Gate 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
AnnS70 More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I feel like I need a strong drink! I was so emotionally invested in the characters and what was going on, it almost reminded me of Ocean's 11...which is a movie, but you know how it goes! This is the story of four friends who have bigger dreams than pockets. Since they work in airport security they decide to smuggle in drugs. They get the biggest baddest gangster around town involved and things take off from there! This is listed as a true crime, and almost a *conspiracy theory*. Is it in fact true? Who knows! I don't doubt it is, along with many other things we will never hear about. Fact or Fiction, this story is well written and non-stop action! Highly recommend.
Mellissa90 More than 1 year ago
I wonder how many other events like this happened without our knowledge? This exciting tale revolves around a Drug Lord and four friends. Together they smuggle large amounts of marijuana through airport security. When that venture is thwarted they come up with a different plan to make money. However, that venture turns out to be less than fruitful...or is it? What they end up doing to stay out of trouble was clever and entertaining. Loved it!
AvidReader59IK More than 1 year ago
Thrilling True Story That Should Be Made Into A Movie This action-packed, thrilling true story about the largest heist in history is a truly great read. Well researched and expertly-told, Angels Gate is a gripping tale about a group of surfers and a successful marijuana smuggler. Money laundering, drug dealing, cartels, the FBI, and Interpol are only a small portion of this amazing story. Great True Crime book worth reading. Highly Recommended!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JennaBrewster More than 1 year ago
Angels Gate is amazing…I read it in one sitting! It was so realistic, its like you are actually THERE as all this is happening. The dialogue was authentic, and even though some of the things that happen are pretty unbelievable, as they say - truth is stranger than fiction. Its almost a little creepy how the author knows so many details about this heist, and I assume that some of the narrative is fictionalized. But that does not make it any less awesome! I love true crime books and thrillers and this has to be one of the best I’ve read in a long time. The writing was near flawless, and I didn’t see any editing errors anywhere. I will definitely be reading more from these authors in the future.
-Cale-Owens- More than 1 year ago
Apparently Angels Gate by Andrew J. Rafkin is based on a true story…well, I do not know if that is true or not, but nevertheless it is a darn fine book! Of course having the element of it being true definitely adds some panache to the story. The plot, one of some ordinary Joes pulling off a HUGE financial heist is one we all can relate to. But what made this book really special in my mind was the various narration tracts the author used, showing different perspectives of the characters and what they were thinking, and occasionally pulling away to give an overview of the story at large, like detailing other crimes (the Luftansa Heist), or murders, or events of the day…almost docu-style, full of facts and informative, but not as dry. Very, very good.
Darla_Ortiz More than 1 year ago
I do not give out five stars very often and I wavered a bit on this one because I felt there were definitely some parts that dragged and did not feel necessary. However, at the end of the day I have to give it the highest praise (5 stars), because this is one of the best stories I have read all year (and I read a LOT!) The level of intimate details, the wide –ranging plotline, the building suspense and tension, and the overall authentic, gritty feel of the portrayal of the drug life was downright impressive. Mr. Rafkin and Mr. Pagano did a great job of making the reader feel like we are inside the novel at all times, not at arm’s length with the details being told to us. And the whole time I was reading it I was wondering if it was really true, but I want to believe that it is. But the fact of the matter is this was an engrossing read that was excellently written and kept me entertained for hours, and I will definitely be telling my friends about it. So it does not get much better than that in my opinion.
SDecker More than 1 year ago
This was a truly great story. Hands down. Right off the bat we are swept into the world of the local surfers Randy, Scott, Terry, and Jeff, who have a dream about building a hotel in Costa Rica. So of course they need money…lots of it. At first they try selling drugs, but after a while they are forced to find other avenues of cash flow. With their unique positions of working at an airline, the boys devise a plan that exceeds even their wildest expectations. And then the real trouble starts. I literally devoured this book every chance I had because it was so interesting! It was really cool to see it from the criminal POV, and there were just so many other details in there it seems as if this book could have only been written from someone who was there (hmmmmm…). But this was a really great crime novel and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys an engrossing read.
JesseThomas More than 1 year ago
Angels Gate by Andrew Rafkin and Louis Pagano is a fascinating and compelling look into the seedy underside of Los Angeles drug trade in the 80s. I feel like this book should be made into a movie! It had it all! The story tells of four friends who want to move to Costa Rica, so they embark on a risky operation of smuggling drugs. They do that for a bit then move on to something bigger…much bigger. But in order to accomplish the heist they must navigate through some pretty tricky landmines in a dangerous world. I could not stop reading until I knew how it ended. Although I have to say that while it was action packed with great twists and turns, sometimes I felt that the story really slowed down with too much needless actions/dialogue…just stuff that did not really add anything to the story. It was not too bad, but the book is so long already it really did not need any filler. But an excellent book, one that I most definitely recommend!
ClaireBear74 More than 1 year ago
I had no idea what to expect when starting this book, only that the premise sounded fascinating (and a little like Point Break at first glance). Well, it was that and so much more…kinda like Point Break meets Blow meets Pulp Fiction. It was awesome! The character of August was my favorite – he is one cool cat. This book definitely held my attention from start to finish, and I loved all the details that were put in as the story unfolded – like talking about other events at the time and how they all entwined. Like the murder of Big Mac…I remember that case very well as it happened right by my old neighborhood. This was definitely one of the better written books I’ve read lately and recommend it without hesitation. Warning, there is mild language and some sex scenes but nothing too graphic
KMatthews More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 2 nights…it was that good! Totally captivating and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next, and if August and crew would be successful in their endeavors. It was kinda funny to be rooting for the bad guys but I totally was, as the characters were so relatable and likeable! The fact that this is based on a true story is even more awesome. I had never heard of this before, and am glad I read about it now. What an adventure!!
MayrasSecretBookcase More than 1 year ago
It’s 1983. Four local surfers who work in the luggage department of Los Angeles Airport devise an ingenious plan to smuggle drugs. Their goal? To make quick, easy money in order to fullfill their dreams and open a hotel in Costa Rica. They partner with a rich, successful marijuana smuggler named August Taracina and soon they put their plan into action. Eventually they run into an unexpected problem, an event that, to their surprise, turns out more profitable than ever. You may ask yourself how authors Andrew J. Rafkin and Louis Pagano know this event really too place if, in the story, the main people involved were never caught. This is explained in the preface of the book, where the authors state that the story was told to them by a friend who actually took part in the heist. Angels Gate is a fictionalized account that at times reads like a novel–minus the characterization. I had to keep myself reminding me of that, especially during times when I didn’t like what the characters were doing and felt disturbed by their greedy, irresponsible actions and attitudes. That aside, this is a well written, fictionalized account of what supposedly happened back in 1983, and on what, according to the authors, supposedly is one of the biggest monetary heists in history. Gritty prose, realistic dialogue, and continuous suspense make Angels Gate an interesting, enjoyable read, especially to fans of true crime books.
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
I really liked the story in this book. The characters and locations had great descriptions that helped the story come alive. In addition, the author's writing style made the story just fly by. While I didn't like what the characters were doing, I did find the story to be enjoyable.