Post 6 – Undercover Operations
The house across the road from my mother-in-law was for sale about a decade ago. A family moved in—mom, two kids. Pets. The father followed several months later.
At the time they purchased the house, the father was undercover for the RCMP, investigating a biker gang that had moved into Ontario. When he arrived, he still wore the appearance of the man he’d played: rough talk, rough walk, bearded and stern. He was friendly enough, but he never quite shook the aura of danger. They eventually moved away, I think because the neighborhood had trouble warming up to him.
Local forces don’t generally have the resources for long undercover assignments. Federal agencies, like the FBI or the RCMP, can run undercover investigations for years if necessary.
In an undercover investigation, the stakes can be very high, and the risks commensurate. Some agencies run operations using people local to the area, but the risk of an undercover identity being blown is much higher. Imagine sitting in a bar with the person you’re investigating, only to be greeted by your real name by your kid’s teacher, or your mechanic.
Federal investigations, with their longer time frames, often involve the investigator leaving behind all signs of their real life. They carry ID and credit cards belonging to their undercover identity, meet their supervisor rarely, and go into their jobs knowing that their back-up is not right behind them, but possibly hours away. They must shed their own mannerisms, and adopt those that will allow them to blend in with their target. They live away from their home, wear clothes that are not their own, and live a double life.
In Flesh Market, Leo’s undercover assignment goes from medium risk to high risk. He spends a year setting up an identity—doing small, semi-legal jobs, gradually making a name for himself on the wrong side of the law. Co-operation between agencies (don’t believe all those TV shows showing FBI and local law enforcement not getting along) solidifies his background. FBI agents in all their centers also make a practice of cultivating informants, who can often be convinced to do a favor for law enforcement—more background. And then he gets hired.
At that point, he goes from regular meetings with his supervisor (and the regulation every-six-months psychological evaluation), to having a bugged phone, and being followed on a regular basis. Then again, when he’s moved into the ‘procurement’ branch of the organization where he doesn’t even have the option of leaving to go to his rooming house, things gets even more awkward.
About Flesh Market
Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers. But he isn’t expecting the partner they send, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.
Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It’s supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture–and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.
There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. They must find a way to take the traffickers down, before Julian becomes just a set of organs on the flesh market.
Available at: Loose Id
About Kate Lowell
Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?
Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.
As part of this blog tour, Kate is giving away an E-book copy of one of the recommended reads Kate used in her research for Flesh Market!! To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.
Don’t forget to check out JustJen’s review of Flesh Market to see what she thought of it!