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300 Pages, 7.75 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $20.95)

Publication Date: December 2018

ISBN 9781912624058

Rights: US & CA

Mirror Books (Dec 2018)

Available from local and national retailers throughout the US.


Martyn Pritchard, a hippy, drug squad detective, based in Oxford, lived and worked undercover for 51/2 years, during the 1970s. A young warden was cultivating a plot of cannabis plants in the Lions' Reserve at Longleat Safari Park, in Wiltshire. This became an inquiry for the detective and a potential story for a Mirror reporter, which is how the author and detective met. Together they became entrenched in the biggest drugs scandal Britain has ever known. The same Longleat warden had also offered up LSD tabs—any amount from 1,000 to 10,000 at a time—which led to the start of "Operation Julie," still the biggest UK drug "bust" ever, with 130 arrests and 214 years in sentences for the masterminds. This book covers the adventures within the operation from Det Sgt Martyn Pritchard's unique perspective, along with some of his further exploits along the way, including the launch of the Reading Music Festival; the expose of Howard "Mr Nice" Marks; and the perils and rigors of living and working undercover in the 1970s.

Author Biography

Edward Laxton is a former Mirror and Daily Express reporter who worked on Fleet Street for more than 30 years. Now retired, he continues to write the occasional feature, travelogue, publicity piece, and, more recently, blog post.