My literary career has been marked by a number of events, but none more significant than an accidental meeting 25 years ago. While researching my debut novel, FALSE ACCUSATIONS, at the Department of Justice's crime lab, I met FBI agent Mark Safarik, who was awaiting promotion to the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit--the one popularized by TV's Criminal Minds. We hit it off, stayed in touch, and Agent Safarik invited me out to Quantico to tour the FBI Academy, profiling unit, and Behavioral Sciences Unit. Thus began my immersion in the world of serial killers, rapists, bombers, and arsonists. Seven years and several trips to Quantico later, my education had reached critical mass: I had countless hours of conversations with Agent Safarik and his partner, Agent Mary Ellen O'Toole; I edited four published FBI research papers on serial offenders and attended numerous FBI training courses; I shot submachine guns with the head firearms instructor at the Academy; and I parsed serial killer interviews with Agent Safarik. I felt that I owned the material well enough to use this knowledge and experience in writing my third novel, the first featuring FBI Profiler Karen Vail. Agent O’Toole provided prescient insight into what Vail’s experience would be like as a woman going up against violent male killers. Vail had an explosive debut, bursting onto the scene in the national bestseller THE 7TH VICTIM. Sporting a vibrant personality oozing sharp wit, Vail is a woman bucking the odds in a unit geared toward men, someone who always means well but, like you and me, makes mistakes. She has fears, loves, and vulnerabilities--and despite being very good at what she does--suffers perpetual unease about the decisions she makes. Because lives are on the line. Errors prove costly. There's little doubt that Vail has resonated with hundreds of thousands of readers because she's real. But at the end of the day, Karen Vail is a cop you'd "go through a door with." That's how law enforcement officers of all stripes describe a colleague you'd entrust your life to when bullets are flying. Not coincidentally, that's how the head of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers association described Karen Vail. Vail also plays a key role in my OPSIG Team Black series, which features a secret group of operatives charged with protecting America’s interests anywhere in the world. But—they’re carrying out these missions black, meaning they’re on their own diplomatically and militarily; the US government won’t acknowledge any connection to them. This gives me tremendous creative control in developing a story, turning up the suspense, conflict, and action. Navy SEALs have commented that my OPSIG series accurately depicts the reality of the missions they undertake--something I take great pride in. My two-plus decades of research and training with law enforcement and the military have helped shape the stories I tell and the diverse characters I create. So sit back, crack the spine--or click that button--and immerse yourself in the gripping world of "Alan Jacobson thrillers." Note--Agent Safarik and I coauthored a personal safety book, which we’re giving away free on my website, alanjacobson.com. It'll help keep your loved ones out of the crosshairs of violent criminals--and nothing could be more important than that. Be social! Follow me on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/AlanJacobsonFans), Instagram (alan.jacobson), and Twitter (@JacobsonAlan). See you in cyberspace! AlanRead more Read less
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