Jon F. Skaehill has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration
and over twelve years of law enforcement experience. Jon Skaehill is a member of the Frisco Police Department. He is an eight-year veteran of his police department's SWAT team. He has drawn from his own tactical experiences
and imagination in writing The Lion's Den. He is currently assigned as a patrol sergeant and SWAT team leader. Jon Skaehill is the author of The
According to the book description of the Lion’s Den, “Whether it's drug raids, high-risk apprehensions or hostage
rescue takedowns, Lieutenant William Peterson and his SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) officers have done it all. In the
face of any threat, they're ready to risk their lives to serve and protect. When citizens have a problem, they call the police.
When the police have a problem, they call in Peterson and his SWAT team.
Peterson loves his assignment as SWAT Commander and is in charge of one of
the best tactical units in the country. But, for unknown reasons, his immediate supervisor is determined to see him fail.
Peterson soon finds himself under fire from the police department. He is forced to defend his credibility, fight for his career
and battle for the every existence of the SWAT team.”
One reader of the Lion’s
Den said, “This book is riveting! It was hard to put down. I had to - the book is simply too long for
me to read in one night - 385 pages of virtually non-stop action. This book is a fictionalized account of the workings of
a suburban police SWAT team. I believe the professional critics would call it a "Police Procedural".
There are a lot of well written works
about infantry tactics, mostly designed for circumstances where there are no innocent non-combatants and where everyone not
in the same uniform is an enemy in a free fire zone. SWAT teams operate in a very different climate - typically, an urban
or suburban setting with innocent and unarmed citizens all around and a few baddies, who must be presumed to be quite willing
to kill anyone in their way. Clearly, the tactical problems a Police SWAT team must deal with are far different from traditional
This work fascinates in covering the
planning and real craftsmanship a well trained SWAT team uses in pursuit of their goal - neutralization with minimal force
of the baddie and most certainly with minimum danger to lives and property. Tactics are carefully developed and practiced
to reduce risk to the team and to innocent bystanders to the absolute minimum while leaving the baddy no options for escape
or the opportunity to inflict further damage.
The novel deftly develops, setting
the stage by giving the reader an insight into the regular training the team goes through, exploring the politics of a suburban
police department in a city always looking for ways to cut costs, and with a police department member intent on sabotaging
the SWAT team for his personal gain. The last third of the novel plays out a desperate confrontation with an enraged ex-Marine
who has nothing to lose and is intent on avenging himself on society with the largest possible bang. And to his credit the
author gives us considerable insight into the mind of the villain, and in doing so we gain understanding, sympathy and respect
for the baddy as well.
In sum this is a remarkable first novel.
The polish and development, while not perfect, leave the reader with much satisfaction, and a very real hope that the police
or sheriff in his or her area are as well trained and prepared for emergencies. The novel ends well, with all loose ends neatly
tied. This is a most satisfying book. A last note: our military might do very well to consider engaging Mr. Skaehill as an
advisor for developing similar teams for duty in Iraq.