No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home

Danny O. Coulson, Author, Elaine Shannon, Joint Author
Danny O. Coulson, Author, Elaine Shannon, Joint Author Atria Books $24 (592p) ISBN 978-0-671-02061-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 640 pages - 978-0-671-02062-0
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After 31 years as an FBI agent and commander, Coulson counts only two of those years as bad--the ones following his involvement with the notorious confrontation with separatist Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in which civilians were killed by federal agents. Though Coulson was ultimately cleared of charges of perjury and obstruction, he clearly still feels the sting of the accusations. Much of this memoir takes pains to underscore his deep sense of fair play and respect for human life. Not that this is a sanctimonious tome designed only to sanitize the image of a wronged author. With the deft help of coauthor Shannon, Coulson presents himself over the course of his entire career--both good and bad--as a motorcycle-riding, hell-raising crime buster who has more than a streak of the wisecracking braggart in him. But he is an immensely likable braggart who tells great stories. There is Coulson chasing cop killers in the incendiary early 1970s; facing off with a hostage-taking bisexual who wants money and airplane transportation for his lover's sex-change operation (immortalized in the film Dog Day Afternoon); working with legendary Delta Force commando Charlie Beckwith to develop the FBI's counter-terror team. Coulson is at his best when recounting the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and the subsequent hunt for Tim McVeigh, and is especially riveting when detailing the tense negotiations with Weaver. Presenting the right mix of gossip and crime fighting, this engrossing work should quickly move off the shelves. (Mar.)
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