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Facing Down Evil: Life on the Edge as an FBI Hostage Negotiator
Facing Down Evil Life on the Edge as an FBI Hostage Negotiator Author:Clint Van Zandt, Daniel Paisner From Publishers Weekly — Van Zandt, an early FBI specialist in hostage negotiation, shuns the fireworks his fictional Hollywood counterparts can't seem to avoid, yet veteran ghostwriter Paisner (Citizen Koch) has successfully converted his reminiscences into a surprisingly entertaining series of anecdotes. Despite the absence of gunplay, these nu... more »ts-and-bolts descriptions of bank robberies, dramatic prison riots, grotesque scenarios in which the offender yearns to die and exotic hostage dramas in foreign lands make for gripping reading.
A standout is 40 pages on the 1985 siege of the Covenant, an armed survivalist cult living on a heavily defended rural Arkansas farm. Few Americans remember the outcome: a hundred men, women and children peacefully surrendered.
Van Zandt also relates his autobiography, beginning as a poor youth with divorced parents whose dream was to become a G-man, which required overcoming obstacles such as failing courses in college. He describes himself as a deeply religious born-again Christian who, unlike colleagues, never subordinated family to career but who loves the FBI and America and holds a low opinion of criminals, America's enemies and liberals.
This turns out to be charming and does not diminish the value of his stories, which could appeal to readers not normally drawn to such macho adventures.« less