by Russell Atkinson
2011 All Rights Reserved
This book is fiction. The events, characters, and dialogue on the following pages are the product of my imagination. But make no mistake about it: the story is real. The case is modeled in large part on real crimes that occurred when I was an FBI agent in the 1990s. If you want to know what it is like to be an FBI agent, or what it is like to be the victim, or family member of a victim, of a terrifying crime of violence, read on. For obvious reasons, I have invented investigative techniques and omitted others, but the greater story itself, what it is like to be an FBI Agent responsible for the life of a ransom victim, is all too chillingly real.
Characters in works of fiction generally are more villainous, heroic, treacherous, or good-looking than the real human beings around us, and this book is no exception. The people in this book are larger-than-life. None are real. Ample literary license has been taken. Even so, the truth is that the criminals in real life are, if anything, even more reprehensible than portrayed here. It is also true that my coworkers in the FBI were the finest group of people I have ever known. The quirks and foibles I present here are concocted from whole cloth or Bureau lore, and do not represent the actions of any real individuals who were involved in the cases mentioned or any other matter. Occasional media portrayals of FBI agents as dishonest or arrogant notwithstanding, the reality is that FBI agents and support personnel are scrupulously honest, underpaid, and dedicated to protecting the public. Nothing I have ever done, or will ever do, could give me more pride than my 25 years as a Special Agent of the FBI.