As a gun-wielding bank robber, Noel 'Razor' Smith was top of the criminal tree, enjoying the excitement and benefits of a dangerous and adrenalin-filled career.
But he'd also spent the greater part of his adult life in prison, an environment where respect and basic survival were guaranteed only to those prepared to use the most brutal violence.
In his new book, Smith takes the story on from his highly acclaimed memoir A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun, and describes how he came to realize that the game wasn't worth the candle.
In his mid-forties he applied to enter Grendon, then the only prison in Britain offering intense therapeutic treatment to hardened criminals.
He went from a brutal high-security prison, HMP Whitemoor, to an institution where he was encouraged to investigate just why his life had been given over to violence and crime.
Smith paints an unforgettable portrait of the hardened and severely damaged inmates of Grendon, many of them guilty of famous crimes, and their attempts to turn round their lives. And in particular his own arduous five-year journey to re-enter society as a straight citizen.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 25/08/2011
- Category: True crime
- ISBN: 9780141019529