About Fields of Fire Publisher’s
Weekly said, “Born's fourth thriller introduces a new hero, but an implausible premise, stock characters and some
clichéd prose may disappoint fans of his earlier novels (Escape Clause, etc.), which featured Florida lawman Bill Tasker.
ATF agent Alex Duarte, who has seen military duty in Bosnia, is on assignment in South Florida. After a wanted fugitive, Alberto
Salez, whom Duarte has arrested, gives him the slip, Duarte becomes involved in a high-level investigation into a series of
bombings that Deputy Attorney General Roberto Morales, an Alberto Gonzalez–like figure, suspects are the work of radical
labor unions. Meanwhile, a shadowy hit man is pursuing Salez in an effort to silence him. The author, himself a special agent
with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, puts little of his own real-life expertise into the plot. Despite advance
praise from Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen and W.E.B. Griffin, this effort falls short of the standard set by top-rank suspense
According Wes Lukowsky, “A
bombing in a Florida migrant-labor camp kills a child, and ATF agent Alex Duarte is assigned the case. The Justice Department
links the incident to a series of union-related bombings across the country and assigns a DOJ lawyer to work with Duarte.
The intended bomb target is petty criminal Alberto Salez, whom Duarte catches, then loses. The chase is on. Diffusing Duarte's
inherent laser focus is the bomber, who still wants Salez dead, and the DOJ lawyer, who seems to know more about the case
than she's letting on. Born, a law-enforcement professional, shifts narrative points of view among all the major characters
and also tinkers with chronology to keep readers on their toes. Born dedicates his fourth novel to Elmore Leonard, whose influence
is evident. Leonard's best books (think City Primeval, 1980) have been urban noir with flawed, hard-bark protagonists
consumed by the pursuit. Duarte would fit right in. Born has talent and momentum; don't be surprised if, soon enough,
he has his own, Leonard-like breakthrough.”
James O. Born is a Special Agent with the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement. He has been involved in investigations in such areas as organized crime, violent crimes, economic
crimes, drug cartels, and police corruption.
Before working with the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, Born joined the U.S. Marshals service in early 1986 as a deputy marshal.
One year later, he transferred to the Drug Enforcement Administration. In four years with DEA, he was assigned to the
West Palm Beach field office, and traveled within the United States and Panama. He spent a great deal of time in Miami during
the height of the drug wars. His investigations at DEA generally focused on cocaine smuggling from Colombia. In addition,
he worked undercover in a number of situations, in one case volunteering to assist the ATF as an undercover agent in the Ku
Klux Klan during an explosives investigation.
James O. Born writes fictional novels set in Florida. According to one reader, “It's always exciting to pick up a novel by an author
who started off with great work and who keeps getting better with each new book. Born
fits that description. Escape Clause, his third novel featuring Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Bill Tasker, is
easily his best, not an easy mark to reach considering the high quality of Walking Money and Shock Wave, his first two novels. James’ fourth novel, Field of Fire is due out in February 2007.
the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
1967, the Florida Legislature merged the responsibilities of several state criminal justice organizations to create the Bureau
of Law Enforcement. The Bureau began with 94 positions, headed by a Commissioner who reported to the Governor, certain Cabinet
members, two Sheriffs, and one Chief of Police. In July 1969, after government restructuring, the Bureau became the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement.
the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is headed by a Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor and approved by the
Cabinet. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida Department of Law Enforcement employs nearly 2,000 members statewide who work
at the department’s seven Regional Operations Centers, 15 field offices and seven crime laboratories. The members of
Florida Department of Law Enforcement are guided by four fundamental values as they respond to the needs of Florida’s
citizens and criminal justice community: service, integrity, respect, and quality.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement is structured to deliver services in five program areas: Executive Direction and Business
Support Program; Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science Program; Florida Capitol Police Program; Criminal Justice Information
Program; and, Criminal Justice Professionalism Program.
the Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science Program, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement provides investigative,
forensic, and protective services to local, state, and federal agencies. The Investigations and Forensic Science Program provides
Investigative Services, Public Assistance Fraud Services, Mutual Aid and Protective Services, and Crime Laboratory Services.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducts independent investigations and coordinates multi-jurisdictional and special
criminal investigations with local, state, and federal authorities in four key investigative focus areas: major drugs, violent
crime, public integrity, and fraud/economic crime. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement provides specialized investigative
assistance for computer crime cases, and gathers and shares intelligence information with other criminal justice agencies
through the Office of Statewide Intelligence. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also serves as the agency responsible
for coordinating and directing counter-terrorism efforts for the state of Florida, and works closely with the Division of
Emergency Management and other federal, state, and local agencies to implement Florida’s Domestic Security Strategy.
This includes the coordination of the state’s seven Regional Domestic Security Task Forces, which are co-chaired by
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agents in Charge and Florida Sheriffs and serve as the foundation of Florida’s
integrated efforts for homeland security.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement also investigates fraud and abuse in Florida’s public assistance programs. Primarily,
these investigations are in the cash assistance, food stamp, Medicaid, school readiness and subsidized child day care programs.
Investigations are conducted on program recipients, employees of the various assistance programs suspected of compromising
their official positions, and providers of day care services.