I have this book over three years and I actually bought it for my boyfriend because he was a big fan of the TV series. However as I’ve come to realise he’s not a book person so I found this the other day, dusted it down and gave it a chance and what a read!
Literally from the first page we are pulled into the sinister worlds of gangs first in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and then through a multitude of other countries including New Zealand, El Salvador, Jamaica and more. Kemp doesn’t just find out about the lives of gangs by talking to the usual police forces and government figures, although he does do this also to get their perspective, but he talks to the highest up gang members he can get in contact with. He meets them in their neighbourhood under their rules and he just prays that they take a liking to him.
I found New Zealand the most interesting chapter as I have lived their previously as a young child and after asking my parents they tell me they can remember seeing members of the Mongrel Mob, distinguished by their facial tattoos, nearly in every town they visited.
To sum it up this book is a brilliant, if shocking look into the lives of gang members. You come to understand that most gangs are a vicious circle of death and violence and a lot are helped along by corrupt governments and you almost begin to feel sorry for the cruellest, meanest, most dangerous men in the world.