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The Road to Hell: How the Biker Gangs Are Conquering Canada

by Julian Sher and William Marsden

Midway through The Road to Hell, one can’t help but think that nothing unites Canada quite like the pervasive influence of biker organizations – unless it’s the nation’s widespread inability to do anything about them.

Veteran Montreal-based journalists Julian Sher and William Marsden have pieced together a truly engaging history of the way biker generals such as Maurice “Mom” Boucher and Walter Stadnick built a coast-to-coast crime empire over the past few decades. In unnerving detail, the authors show how politicians and police forces failed to take the bikers seriously until well after they were an established threat, and how even the most perceptive authorities were hamstrung by police rivalry, bungling and corruption, and a dearth of funding and legislation.

The Road to Hell is spun around the tale of a golden informant, Dany Kane, who passed on explicit details about the outlaw life, including his participation in numerous bombings and killings. Sher and Marsden have also included a wealth of material gleaned from police intelligence reports and other facts that surfaced in the wake of a 2001 crackdown in Quebec.

The book will appeal to those who have followed the biker world in some detail over the years. But anyone who reads the newspaper will recognize many of the characters, trials, bombings, and biker gatherings discussed here. The Road to Hell explains how all those people and events fit into the bikers’ master expansion plan.

While dogged by some minor structural problems, such as an offputting reliance on narrative foreshadowing and the occasionally confusing.