No Way OutSo I got a phone call today from some blogger wanting me to tell her what my typical day is like. Yeah, like I’ve got time to chat when serial killers are walking the streets. But, the Bureau’s got this new directive to be helpful to the public because, well, Twitter and Facebook and all that social media crap make things spread faster than the plague. Even faster than you can say John Wayne Gacy.

So my boss, Thomas Gifford, told me I needed to sit down with Dru Ann and give her the low down on what a typical day of mine is like. So I got to thinking, fine. She wants to know, I’ll tell her.

So here you go, Dru. I won’t bore you with the mundane details, because let’s face it, some of my work is sitting at a desk examining bloody crime scene photos. (When you’ve seen a severed body part at one crime scene, do you really need to see another? Let me answer that: you, no. Me? Yeah, I’ve gotta look at everything because details matter. And if I screw up and miss something, someone could get killed. Sound dramatic? I agree. It sounds dramatic. But the reality is, these serial killers don’t stop killing unless law enforcement stops them.)

But what happened today is a little more interesting. Gifford, my ASAC—pronounced ay-sack (no jokes here about male testicles, please) has me scheduled to teach detectives about behavioral analysis. That’s “profiling” to all you people who watch Criminal Minds. Yeah, like we’ve got a private jet! Pulleeeze. Do you think the Bureau would buy us profilers a private jet? For about twenty years they stuck is in the subbasement of the FBI Academy—six times deeper than dead people. No windows. Cinder block walls and not a whole lot of lights. So…

Private jets? No, I fly coach, knees jammed into the seat in front of me, just like all of you, and then when that asshole leans his seat back into my face—but I digress. So I’m supposed to teach these detectives about profiling. But it isn’t your average detective in Virginia, or California, or even a small town in Idaho. This is in Spain—Madrid, to be exact.

I know, I should be excited about a trip to Madrid, right? They’ve got all these cool public squares and Flamenco shows, and people party into the early morning hours. But no. I won’t be doing any partying. This is a business trip. My boyfriend won’t be there and my son’s in school, so how much fun could it be, walking the streets of Madrid, taking in the old city, getting a slice of a rich culture—okay, yeah, it’d be pretty damn fun even if I walked the city myself. But no—I’m there to work and the FBI has rules, and plenty of them (Fine. As my ASAC likes to point out, I break some now and then, but. . . again, I digress.)

So what’s my typical day like? Well, I don’t have a “typical” day. Every case is a challenge, an adventure. I’ve been shot at, zapped with a stun gun, beaten, and threatened by some of the scariest dudes on this planet. But I keep coming back for more. My ASAC thinks I’m a magnet for trouble. But I don’t go looking for trouble. Honest. It just kind of finds me. Anyway, I gotta pack. I take off on the 17th and I’ve a lot to do before I head off to Europe. No one knows me there. How much trouble can I possibly get into?


Find out just how much trouble Karen Vail gets into in No Way Out, the fifth FBI Profiler Karen Vail novel, launching in hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook on September 17. The first book in the series is “The 7th Victim.”

For more on Karen Vail, who Michael Connelly calls “My kind of hero,” and on No Way Out, which Joseph Finder describes as a “thrill ride of a book,” visit his website.

Meet the author
Alan Jacobson is the national bestselling author of the critically acclaimed thrillers False Accusations, The Hunted, The 7th Victim, Crush, Velocity, Inmate 1577, Hard Target, and No Way Out. Alan’s years of extensive research and training with law enforcement have influenced him both personally and professionally and have helped shape the stories he tells and the diverse characters that populate his novels. Alan Jacobson’s books have sold internationally and his “Karen Vail” series has been optioned for television.

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