The writing of THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE, DRAWN in BLOOD and TWISTED required extensive research about the FBI— everything from how they recover stolen paintings, resolve crisis situations, investigate kidnappings, track serial killers, to how they perform the extraordinarily difficult daily responsibilities of being an FBI special agent. Here are the highlights of my multi-year effort to understand the FBI from the inside out.
- FBI & Me: Yup, that's really me firing the Glock. Learning how to shoot the different types of weapons the FBI uses was amazing. More amazing was how skilled their firearm instructors were, turning this novice into a marksman. Well, at least I felt like a marksman. See more photos of me in action...
- FBI Crimes Against Children: The FBI has a specialized group of law enforcement professionals who investigate crimes against children. Working with their counterparts at the state and local levels, they protect children from becoming victims of kidnappings, violent attacks or sexual abuse. Read more about this vital program.
- FBI Art Crime Team: The FBI has a dedicated team of professionals to combat art and cultural property crimes. Working with foreign law enforcement agencies, their success in recovering valuable paintings and artifacts has spanned the globe. Read more about this special group of investigators.
- FBI 101: With 56 field offices, 400+ resident agencies (smaller satellite offices) in the United States alone, and supplemented by 60 international offices, the FBI's reach is truly global. To help simplify a large and complex organization with over 30,000 employees, here is a chart which explains the different departments within the FBI and how they relate to the plot of TWISTED.
- FBI Speak: The FBI has its own language. No, they speak English perfectly, have special agents fluent in over 45 languages, and have translators capable of working with over 100 languages. I'm referring to unique words, abbreviations, and acronyms like Unsub (Unknown Subject of an Investigation) that special agents use in their everyday conversation. Some are FBI-specific, others part of the military and law enforcement lexicons. There were so many that I added a glossary of acronyms and terms to TWISTED. For those intrepid linguists who can't wait, here's an advanced copy.
- FBI School: Much has been written about the renowned FBI Academy at Quantico. Featured in movies like Silence of the Lambs and referenced in many TV shows, The Academy is truly an awesome place. I was fortunate to spend some time there, experiencing The Academy as a NAT (FBI speak for a New Agent in Training) would during his/her initial training. In addition, I saw how seasoned special agents would return to Quantico to be taught new skills, such as crisis negotiation. Based on my own unique observations, here are 10 Things You Never Knew About the FBI Academy at Quantico.
- FBI People: An organization is only as good as its people. And FBI people are truly impressive. With that kind of inspiration, creating an outstanding hero and heroine was the easiest part for me of writing TWISTED and DRAWN IN BLOOD. Without further ado, I present FBI special agent Derek Parker and former FBI special agent Sloane Burbank...
- FBI Files: The naked truth is that after all the exciting parts— the investigative work, the forensic work, SWAT assaults, and capturing and interrogating criminals, everything must be documented using the infamous FD-302 for submission to the United States Attorney's office. Here's how an FD-302 on TWISTED might look...
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