Book Review: Special Agent Man (My Life in the FBI as a Terrorist Hunter, Helicopter Pilot, and Certified Sniper)
I recently read Special Agent Man by Steve Moore and I think it was great. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the thrill of the chase.
Special Agent Man is a good and easy read that takes the reader through the day-to-day life choices of an FBI agent. Moore reminisces on his journey from a college fraternity member to a FBI agent, terrorist hunter, helicopter pilot, and certified sniper. Moore challenges the stereotypical edgy, suit wearing FBI agent that is regularly portrayed on television, movies and popular culture. Moore strips away much of these falsities and gives a first hand account of a long career in the FBI from the Academy to retirement, including exciting accounts of SWAT teams, counterterrorism activities, and dangerous undercover assignments. Moore describes what it’s truly like to be a “special agent” and the amazing people that hold that honor. Through self-deprecating humor, Moore narrates many of his successes and mistakes. Including the tension that his career had on his marriage and his victory over aggressive cancer that sidelined him for a year, and his return to the Bureau with renewed dedication and insight on life that brought him some of the most thrilling assignments of his career.
As an agent in the Salt Lake City and Los Angles offices Moore was at the center of much of the most important FBI cases during his 20 plus years of service. Moore was also the supervisor of Al Qaeda investigations in LA.
The most amazing part of this book is Moore’s humility, both in the beginning of his career when he was an incoming agent at the academy and as a retired special agent. Moore brings his experiences to life by expressing his emotions during many of these adventures. Early on in his career, when he was stationed in Salt Lake City, Moore described his gripping fear during his interactions with the Aryan Nations, A white supremacy group in rural Idaho. The author does not hide his mistakes due to his inexperience and openly admits how fear nearly defeated him on many occasions early on in his career. Moore explained that as he became more experienced, fear rarely entered his mind and he very much looked for dangerous situations as a self-prescribed adrenaline junkie.
Much of this book is a memoir of Moore’s most exciting memories but it is also very much a dedication to his fellow agents who sacrificed everything to protect our freedoms.
The toll that this career has on a person’s family and health is truly unbelievable and hard to imagine. The inserts that Moore includes about how his career consistently conflicted with his family life, tearing him away from his wife and children, adds a nice dimension to Moore’s story. The section that Moore met and romanced his wife is especially well written and is a nice break from many of Moore’s narratives about tracking down criminals. If you get the chance, you definitely want to pick this book up.