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Left of Boom by Douglas Laux
On September 11, 2001, Doug Laux was a freshman in college, on the path to becoming a doctor. But with the fall of the Twin Towers came a turning point in his life. After graduating he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, determined to get himself to Afghanistan and into the center of the action. Through persistence and hard work he was fast-tracked to a clandestine operations position overseas. Dropped into a remote region of Afghanistan, he received his baptism by fire. Frustrated by bureaucratic red tape, a widespread lack of knowledge of the local customs and culture and an attitude of complacency that hindered his ability to combat the local Taliban, Doug confounded his peers by dressing like a native and mastering the local dialect, making contact and building sources within several deadly terrorist networks. His new approach resulted in unprecedented successes, including uncovering the largest IED network in the world, responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers. Meanwhile, Doug had to keep up false pretenses with his family, girlfriend and friends—nobody could know what he did for a living—and deal with the emotional turbulence of constantly living a lie. His double life was building to an explosive resolution, with repercussions that would have far reaching consequences.
Jane Doe January by Emily Winslow
On the morning of September 12, 2013, a fugitive task force arrested Arthur Fryar at his apartment in Brooklyn. His DNA, entered in the FBI’s criminal database after a drug conviction, had been matched to evidence from a rape in Pennsylvania years earlier. Over the next year, Fryar and his lawyer fought his extradition and prosecution for the rape—and another like it—which occurred in 1992. The victims—one from January of that year, the other from November—were kept anonymous in the media. This is the story of Jane Doe January.
Emily Winslow was a young drama student at Carnegie Mellon University’s elite conservatory in Pittsburgh when a man brutally attacked and raped her in January 1992. While the police's search for her rapist proved futile, Emily reclaimed her life. Over the course of the next two decades, she fell in love, married, had two children, and began writing mystery novels set in her new hometown of Cambridge, England. Then, in fall 2013, she received shocking news—the police had found her rapist.
This is her intimate memoir—the story of a woman’s traumatic past catching up with her, in a country far from home, surrounded by people who have no idea what she’s endured. Caught between past and present, and between two very different cultures, the inquisitive and restless crime novelist searches for clarity. Beginning her own investigation, she delves into Fryar’s family and past, reconnects with the detectives of her case, and works with prosecutors in the months leading to trial.
As she recounts her long-term quest for closure, Winslow offers a heartbreakingly honest look at a vicious crime—and offers invaluable insights into the mind and heart of a victim.
Snatched by Bruce Porter
Raised an aristocrat in Colombia and educated in European schools, Pilar transfixes everyone with her charm and her guile. She also falls for dangerous men and finds herself drawn into the highest levels of the cocaine trade.
After two failed marriages and a harrowing escape from the drug life, she settles down to a quiet existence in Florida with her children—until her second husband tries to cut short his prison term by giving her name over to members of a new task force being formed by the DEA. They induce Pilar, now a middle-aged woman, to infiltrate the Cali cartel as the head of a vast money laundering sting.
Named “Operation Princess,” the scheme leads to the seizure of tens of millions of dollars, along with some $500 million worth of cocaine and the exposure of hundreds of high-level traffickers, becoming one of the most daring and successful stings in DEA history.
But Pilar plays her part too well. Her success as a money launderer gets her kidnapped and then ransomed by a band of guerrillas in South America—and the US government refuses to negotiate. It's left to her low-level handlers in the DEA to get her back, before it's too late and her kidnappers discover they have a federal agent in their clutches.
The Private Heinrich Himmler edited and with commentary by Katrin Himmler & Michael Wildt
At the end of World War II, it was assumed that the letters of Heinrich Himmler were lost. Yet sixty years after Himmler's capture by British troops and subsequent suicide, the letters mysteriously turned up in Tel Aviv and, in early 2014, excerpts were published for the first time by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot providing a rare, if jarring, glimpse into the family life of one of Hitler's top lieutenants while he was busy organizing the mass extermination of the Jews. It was generally held that Himmler, once appointed head of the SS, blended seamlessly into the Nazi hierarchy. The image that emerges, however, is more subtle. Himmler is seen here as a man whose observations can often be characterized by their unpleasant banality; a man whose obsession with family life ran alongside a brutal detachment from all things human, a serial killer who oversaw the persecution and extermination of all Jews and other non-Aryans, and those opposed to the regime. His letters remove any doubt that he was the architect of the Final Solution, and a man who was much closer to Hitler than many historians previously thought. The letters in this edition were arranged by Katrin Himmler, the great-niece of Heinrich and Marga Himmler, and Michael Wildt, a renowned expert on the Nazi regime, who also provide historical context to the letters and their author. The entire work was translated by Thomas S. Hansen and Abby J. Hansen.
Takedown by Jeff Buck, Jon Land & Lindsay Preston
Jeff Buck thought he'd seen it all. Twenty years working undercover in the netherworld of drugs had left him burned out and grateful to assume the quiet job of police chief in the small town of Reminderville, Ohio. That is, until a simple domestic assault case turns out to have links to the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of dollars in drugs across the U.S.-Canada border.
As Buck reluctantly plunges back into his old world of death and deceit, he uncovers a complex chain linking the Hells Angels to the Russian Mafia in a plot to use Native American tribal land to smuggle their deadly wares into the United States. From grow houses set ablaze in Quebec to the insular St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, from board rooms and biker wars to the frozen rivers that serve as private turnpikes for the drug gangs, Buck opposes a serpentine criminal enterprise that has every reason to want to end his crusade in violence and bloodshed.
Ultimately, his efforts lead to an unprecedented slew of indictments on both sides of the border and prison terms for even the kingpins, toppling an empire once deemed invincible. Takedown spans the period of December 2007 to June 2009.
Missing Man by Barry Meier
In late 2013, Americans were shocked to learn that a former FBI agent turned private investigator who disappeared in Iran in 2007 was there on a mission for the CIA. The missing man, Robert Levinson, appeared in pictures dressed like a Guantánamo prisoner and pleaded in a video for help from the United States.
Barry Meier, an award-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times, draws on years of interviews and never-before-disclosed CIA files to weave together a riveting narrative of the ex-agent's journey to Iran and the hunt to rescue him. The result is an extraordinary tale about the shadowlands between crime, business, espionage, and the law, where secrets are currency and betrayal is commonplace. Its colorful cast includes CIA operatives, Russian oligarchs, arms dealers, White House officials, gangsters, private eyes, FBI agents, journalists, and a fugitive American terrorist and assassin.
Missing Man is a fast-paced story that moves through exotic locales and is set against the backdrop of the twilight war between the United States and Iran, one in which hostages are used as political pawns. Filled with stunning revelations, it chronicles a family's ongoing search for answers and one man's desperate struggle to keep his hand in the game.
If I Can't Have You by Gregg Olsen & Rebecca Morris
Every once in a great while a genuine murder mystery unfolds before the eyes of the American public. The tragic story of Susan Powell and her murdered boys, Charlie and Braden, is the only case that rivals the Jon Benet Ramsey saga in the annals of true crime. When the pretty, blonde Utah mother went missing in December of 2009 the media was swept up in the story – with lenses and microphones trained on Susan's husband, Josh. He said he had no idea what happened to his young wife, and that he and the boys had been camping in the middle of a snowstorm.
Over the next three years bombshell by bombshell, the story would reveal more shocking secrets. Josh's father, Steve, who was sexually obsessed with Susan, would ultimately be convicted of unspeakable perversion. Josh's brother, Michael, would commit suicide. And in the most stunning event of them all, Josh Powell would murder his two little boys and kill himself with brutality beyond belief.
The Lost Girls by John Glatt
They were held in brutal captivity—and managed to make it out alive.
The Lost Girls are Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus—three innocent young women who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly molested and beaten in a Cleveland home basement for over a decade by a depraved man named Ariel Castro. Their incredible escape, in May 2013, made headlines all over the world.
In this up-close-and-personal account—including exclusive interviews with Castro's family members, secret girlfriend, neighbors, and others—veteran investigative journalist John Glatt reveals what it was like as Michelle, Amanda, and Gina DeJesus waited, bound and chained, to be found.