Angels Gate

Rated 4.70/5 based on 10 reviews
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 a successfull marijuana smuggler. More
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About Andrew J. Rafkin

About Andrew J Rafkin
Andrew J. Rafkin, was born in 1946 in San Pedro, California, grew up in a commercial fishing family. Through high school, he worked on sportfishing boats, and at seventeen went commercial fishing with his father, captain of a large Purse Seiner, during summer vacation. Two years later, he worked aboard a ninety-foot fishing boat, which was caught in a hurricane force storm where Andrew almost lost his life. These events later served as inspiration for his first nonfiction true-life adventure, Red Sky Morning.
He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and later graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills, with degrees in economics and marketing. He is a successful entrepreneur, president of Palos Verdes Security Systems, and certified by the Department of Homeland Security. He relies on his experiences to craft the Madness trilogy; the start of the ongoing action thriller series that tackles the major concerns of a post-9/11 world. Unlike the competition, his work resounds with authority and demonstrates how the private sector can join the fight against global terrorism.
Andrew has received the EVVY literary award for Red Sky Morning and the Readers Favorite Awards for his Madness trilogy Creating Madness, Mediterranean Madness, and Mexican Madness.
He has co-authored with Louis Pagano to write Angels Gate, now available, and currently considered for a future movie.
Rafkin’s completed his new novel, Reaper Six, a true gripping story about the leader of a, Special Black Ops team missions, during the Vietnam War.
He lives with his wife, Lynn, in San Pedro, California, and spends his spare time reading, fishing, hunting, golfing, and making wine.
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Steph Coleman reviewed on Sep. 30, 2012

"Angels Gate” starts off by bringing us up to speed about socio-economic conditions of Los Angeles, and how the drug trade was booming. There are four surfer buddies(Randy, Terry, Jeff, Scott) and a drug smuggler (August), who participate in the “greatest heist—never told”. Well, its been told now, so the cat is out of the bag! But it was a whirlwind of action from start to finish, with one complication after another that kept me on the edge of my seat dying to know what would happen. I loved that I was on the side of the criminals, not something I usually do. But it felt good to be bad for a while, and this is the closest I’ll ever come to being a criminal mastermind, and it was fun while it lasted!! Highly recommend.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
Carla Biggins reviewed on Sep. 26, 2012

Four friends decide that they want to move to Costa Rica, so they decide to start smuggling in drugs (naturally). But it doesn’t stop there…they soon become unwitting recipients of what could be a windfall worth billions…problem is it isn’t as cash, but bonds that need to be laundered at a loss. But they will still make out like bandits if they are successful and if they can get away with it with the FBI hot on their trail. The main guy August is probably the most interesting character and he is well developed (more so than some of the others). I appreciated the fact that this story was presented in a factual manner, yet was written in a way that made it feel like I was reading a fiction crime-drama novel. The authors, Andrew Rafkin and Louis Pagano, are most talented and I will be reading more of their other works very soon.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
Jenna Brewster reviewed on Sep. 23, 2012

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 doesn’t 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’ll definitely be reading more from these authors in the future.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
Cale Owens reviewed on Sep. 20, 2012

Apparently “Angel’s Gate” by Andrew J. Rafkin is based on a true story…well, I don’t 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.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
Darla Ortiz reviewed on Sep. 17, 2012

I don’t 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 didn’t 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’ve 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 jobt 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 doesn’t get much better than that in my opinion.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Sophia Renee reviewed on Sep. 13, 2012

This book was amazing! I am always interested in books based on real events, but so often they read dry and boring. Not with “Angels Gate!” I was pulled into the story right away, and thought the writing was easy to follow. I really felt like I was a part of the action as it took place…I almost felt like I was part of the capers myself! This was a real birds eye look into a criminal heist carried out by some seeming ordinary surfer dudes (and a drug dealer). I was engrossed from start to finish and recommend for fans of true crime novels.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Stacy Decker reviewed on Sep. 12, 2012

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.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
Jesse Thomas reviewed on Sep. 8, 2012

"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 80’s. 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 didn’t really add anything to the story. It wasn’t too bad, but the book is so long already it really didn’t need any “filler”. But an excellent book, one that I most definitely recommend!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Karen Matthews reviewed on Sep. 8, 2012

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’d never heard of this before, and am glad I read about it now. What an adventure!!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Claire Middleton reviewed on Sep. 8, 2012

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
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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