May contains National Police Week (this year, May 13-19). This is only appropriate, since America, as evidenced by the literal plethora of fictional as well as real life crime books and shows, has a fascination with the realm of law enforcement that spans decades.
From the love of British fiction detective Bulldog Drummond books in the 1930s to the 1950s television series Dragnet to Michael Connolly’s current mysteries featuring central characters with LAPD affiliations and the modern television show, NCIS, the American appetite for an insider’s view of the day to day operations of law enforcement is seemingly never satiated. My fellow ardent mystery and true crime fans have often expressed the desire to speak directly with real or imagined law enforcement entities, so riveting are many works in those genres. I can readily comprehend the urge to be able to call upon Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie's retired Belgian police detective) to find one's lost wallet, or ask Rhys Bowen's fictional detective, Molly Murphy Sullivan if the urge to state "I told you so" to her husband, NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan, after her (usually unwanted by him) advice regarding criminal matters proves pivotal in solving a case, is ever irresistible.
However, I must admit that I admonished another true crime afficionado who had experienced a personal transformation that caused her to endeavor to sow seeds of peace in discordant fields that it was likely a very bad idea to invite a former ATF Special Agent and the alleged gang members who he investigated on an undercover basis to a picnic together. Somehow, I just didn't believe that the relevant afficionado's egg salad sandwich, no matter how delectable, would be able to entice the alleged gang members to "lighten their karma" by "forgetting" the years-long investigation and subsequent prosecutions. Despite the immediately aforementioned obstalces, many a mystery and true crime reader yearns for more information regarding the subject matter of their collective fancy.
The Port Richmond Branch of the NYPL is, owing to the graciousness and talent of Gary Noesner, author and former Chief Hostage Negotiator of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (herein “FBI”), able to slake the thirst of all true crimes fans who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity to speak directly with Mr. Noesner regarding his work, Stalling for Time.
In Stalling for Time, this august thirty year veteran of the FBI affords readers a superb, detailed and accurate account of the development of the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit as well as the FBI's role in widely publicized hostage situations such as Ruby Ridge and WACO. Mr. Noesner expertly expounds upon other issues effecting hostage negotiations, from the psychological tactics utilized to bring about as peaceful a resolution as possible when contending with a hostage taker as well as the diplomacy required to convince others within the realm of law enforcement to avoid, when feasible, virulent techniques to end a hostage situation. Mr. Noesner’s munificent Skype appearance at the Port Richmond Branch will provide participants with the singular opportunity to speak directly with Mr. Noesner, who was in the vanguard of developing hostage negotiation strategies for the FBI. It is a rare chance to fulfill many a reader’s wish—to converse directly with the author concerning his book.
Readers may secure Stalling for Time from the NYPL circulating book collection with a valid NYPL card (large print copies of this book are also available via the NYPL). Please call the Port Richmond Library at (718) 442-0158 to register for our June 2, 2012 book discussion featuring Mr. Gary Noesner and his highly informative as well as engrossing book, Stalling for Time.