Off the Shelf
By John Mans
By John Mans
By Stephen Metelsky 2020, 268 pages
In his book Undercover, Stephen Metelsky showcases an incredible ability to parley the harrowing details of undercover operatives’ work into a truly spellbinding array of chapters. You won’t be able to put this book down. Though it almost feels like a fiction narrative, the main reason it is so compelling is precisely because it isn’t. These are real life stories—and very real life-and-death situations.
The description of these truly mind-boggling cases display the selfless actions of women and men who willfully put their lives on the line on a daily basis for the greater good. Metelsky skillfully brings the reader in and out of their harrowing investigations, detailing the intricacies of the organized crime mobsters, biker gangs and terrorist organizations—as well as those sworn to bring them to justice.
Though I worked in the field for 30 years and have actively been part of these types of cases, I still found the stories deeply chilling and was drawn right in until the very end of the final chapter. I became engulfed in the story, sharing the feeling of imminent death the officers likely felt as they faced their own mortality.
Metelsky’s past experience in law enforcement coupled with his own experience as an undercover operative gives him a unique perspective and credibility not often seen with this type of writing. He has a unique ability to elicit the details from his vast array of interviews to craft a compelling narrative. So skillfully and articulately written, this book will transport the reader inside the undercover operations, allowing them to feel as if they were in that moment themselves. Undercover is an absolute fantastic read and one of those rare finds and I, for one, cannot wait for book number two.
John Mans is a retired Detective Sergeant of the Halton Regional Police in Ontario.