If you work in the field of protection, chances are you enjoy a good book. And when you write books, you frequently get asked for book recommendations — It comes with the territory. I tend to lean towards reading espionage thrillers and historical non-fiction when I take a break from my own research while putting together a new book (I have two in the works.)
If you’ve enjoyed some of my prior lists from Summer and Fall 2021, this one will not disappoint. This one includes a unique find: a timely and thought-provoking study on private-sector intelligence in the security industry. I think you’ll find it of interest.
In The Blood, by Jack Carr
Our good friend and former Navy SEAL Jack Carr has done it again! I just finished an advance copy of his latest James Reece thriller and found it unbelievably real with a twist that I never saw coming. Jack is at the top of his game and we had the honor of having him as our keynote speaker at Summit and captured his story on our podcast. He was a huge hit in real life — an all-around great guy who continues to give back to the writing community, the military, the security industry, and law enforcement. Jack’s new TV series (starring Chris Pratt) is based on his first book The Terminal List is slated to air soon!
Tom Clancy’s Target Acquired, by Don Bentley
As a young special agent, Tom Clancy went everywhere with me — The Hunt for Red October and Red Rabbit being two of my favorites. In those days, I would never have believed to one day be in a Tom Clancy thriller, but here I am, helping THE Jack Ryan in Target Acquired. Unbelievable and truly a humbling experience. Target Acquired is written by Don Bentley, an ex-U.S. Army Apache pilot and a former FBI special agent. Besides his work as the new Tom Clancy, Don’s Matt Drake thriller series is also tremendous! His latest book is Hostile Intent. We had Don on our podcast. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with Matt Drake or Don’s work on Tom Clancy. As a bonus, I’m featured in the Clancy book —See if you can find me!
Private sector intelligence: on the long path of professionalization, by Dr. Maria A. Robson Morrow
The future of our industry rests on innovative thought leaders and Dr. Maria Robson Morrow’s is at the tip of the spear. Her work in our industry is timely, relevant, and thought-provoking. From the academic abstract, “Private sector intelligence is on its way to professionalization, but the road is a long one and the destination is uncertain. Studies of intelligence professionalization have not yet systematically analyzed private-sector intelligence, a field that focuses on mitigating geopolitical and security risk and supporting decision-making.”
Six Days of The Condor, by James Grady
James Grady is a legend. His first novel Six Days of The Condor (1974) was a runaway hit, optioned into a film starring a young Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway; directed by the legendary Sydney Pollack. The backdrop of the story was shaped by the Vietnam War, revelations about the CIA, civil/social unrest and Watergate. Interestingly, the author eventually learned that Condor was secretly studied by the Soviet KGB, as a possible window into U.S. intelligence, even though the story was fiction!
Criminal Shadows, by David Canter, Ph.D
What does a criminal reveal about himself when he/she commits a crime? Dr. David Canter is a psychologist and pioneer of the science of criminal profiling. It’s fascinating work and I came across Canter’s efforts in the course of my own research into cold cases and through a program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in Investigative Psychology, spearheaded by Professor C. Gabrielle Salfati. Any student of crime, complex investigations, and violence would find Criminal Shadows and Dr. Salfati’s program of tremendous interest and value.
The Ghost Warriors, by Samuel M. Katz
I first met Sam Katz many, many years ago while running DSS protective intelligence operations at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City when Sam was putting together a book about the DSS organization called Relentless Pursuit (I play a small part in that book). In Ghost Warriors, Sam takes you inside Israel’s undercover and secret war against radical terrorism. It’s scary real. Trust me when I say this, Sam’s sources and access into these special undercover counterterrorism units from Israel to Jordan are simply unsurpassed. (Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, Sam and I have collaborated on two books together, Under Fire and Beirut Rules and both have been optioned for tv/films.)
Rising Tiger, by Brad Thor
Mark your calendars for July 5th, 2022 to grab the latest thriller in Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath series. His 21st in the series, his craft keeps getting better and better. We had Brad on our podcast to hear about what inspired him to launch his writing career where he has become a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
I hope you find a book or six that piques your interest. Please drop me a line and let me know what you are reading.
Have a great summer.
Executive Director, Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence