Best Real-Life Crime Memoir (2011)

The Two-Edged Sword by Donald W. Tucker

Donald W. Tucker knows the streets — working as a federal narcotics agent on the streets of Chicago and, later, as a member of the Secret Service. He works as a private dick in Scottsdale now, but with The Two-Edged Sword, he's added an "author" notch to his belt of accomplishments. The book explores his experiences as a black man and as an agent, discussing the difficulties he faced and recounting harrowing stories, including being called to escort the first black student at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, but being denied the chance to take part in the cultural milestone due to his race. Tucker's writing is clean and straightforward, allowing his stories to tell themselves. Some of the stories, like ones involving the Black Panthers, undercover operations, and complications at Indian casinos, seem as if they could come have straight from an Elmore Leonard novel — except they actually happened.


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