Grab the Devil's Tail
by Bev Christensen
Trafford Publishing

"Patrick's story will be an eye-opener to hear the truth about how people who live on the edges of society struggle daily to survive."

Emerging from a dark alley, it is the knock on the door of a house that brings small town reporter, Bev Christensen, face-to-face with Patrick for the first time. After receiving a mid-day phone call from Patrick at the newsroom where she works, Christensen makes a bold decision to meet Patrick alone, a growing curiosity urging her to simply hear what he might have to say. What unfolds is a wild and strange tale of a life of drugs and crime and the two of them unknowingly begin an unlikely relationship that would last more than a decade.

Patrick opens up to Christensen about his dark past, his struggle with drug addiction and what propelled him to commit crimes. He reveals the dangers of prison life that gives us a rare glimpse inside this secluded and misunderstood world, the unspoken codes among inmates and guards and the tension that exists within confined spaces to the crafty ways of making toast and coffee and even the multiple uses of toilet paper. Prison is a volatile place and he warns that, "One of the most dangerous people you'll ever meet is someone who is paranoid and, in prison, you never know who has got it together and who is losing it.

While out of prison, Patrick inadvertently crosses over from criminal to police informant after he discovers acquaintances tried to steer his daughter toward drugs. Enraged, Patrick seeks revenge and decides to inform the police, thus beginning a complicated career as a police informant. Though it helps him earn a living of some kind, it is not glamorous and it poses many risks and dangers to both the criminal and the police. With Patrick's help, police in various cities make successful arrests in the war on drugs but eventually he wears out his usefulness and is forced back to old habits.

This book delves into the complexities of the justice system, the relationships between the law and criminals and nothing is ever what it seems. We are given here a rare opportunity to learn first hand what a life of a crime is like from the very words of someone who has lived it. For anyone who enjoys reading real crime books, you will appreciate Patrick's choice to risk his own life to tell his story and Christensen's willingness to hear and share it.

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