Alcatraz’s Biggest Fan: An Interview with Alan Jacobson + BookBanter Site Update

Alan Jacboson

Alan Jacobson

Alan Jacobson is the bestselling author of the Karen Vail mysteries, beginning with The 7th Victim, Crush, Velocity, and most recently, Inmate 1577. He has spent a number of years researching with the FBI, especially in the Behavioral Analysis Unit. He was previously interviewed on BookBanter with the release of Crush. In this interview, Jacobson talks about how he writes one of his thriller, the intense amount of research Inmate 1577 required, and why he feels this research is important, and where he sees Karen Vail headed in his next novel. Read the interview . . .


The BookBanter website has gone through a bit of a facelift and change, all for its improvement.  I’ve switched to a two-column method, so that way you don’t feel like you’re being bombarded with material of all different varieties.  I’ve gone for simplification,  however all the information that used to be there is still on the site, just not on the homepage, but under various other pages.

From now on the homepage will feature the latest BookBanter interview, the latest Links Roundup, the Review of the Week, a BookBanter Blog post, a listing of the four latest interviews, the latest twelve book reviews, and the latest BookBanter columns.  This will all be on the left column and will be update daily and accordingly, with the latest update appearing at the very top.

In the right column you will be able to see upcoming interviews on BookBanter, currently listed for the rest of 2011.

Finally, I’ve added a quick-links bar at the bottom of the page to help in navigating around the site.

“Velocity” by Alan Jacobson (Vanguard Press, 2010)


After the cliffhanger of Crush, Karen Vail is right back in the thick of it.  The key to these books is the realism Alan Jacobson puts into his characters and his story, keeping the reader hooked until the end, as they simply have no idea what is going to happen next and who will survive.

We last left FBI profiler Karen Vail with the Crush killer caught, and the serial killings in the beautiful wine county of Napa Valley finally at an end; but the nightmare is still continuing for Vail, as her boyfriend and love of her life, Detective Robby Hernandez, is missing, and she doesn’t have a clue where he could be.  Vail doesn’t take a break, keeping the team together to track down and find Hernandez.  Then she gets the call she doesn’t want from her boss, ASAC Thomas Gifford: she is to come back to Washington DC right away, as her talent and skills are needed on a high profile case.  Vail tries everything she can to stay on the Hernandez case, but Gifford won’t hear of it and soon she’s back in DC working on the new case, trying to keep focused.  Vail meets up with Hector DeSantos, a government operative who knows people in high places.  Eventually everything comes down to a big confrontation, as Vail wants back on the Hernandez case, and finally learns the truth about Robby.

Hernandez was working undercover on a DEA operation, investigating the drug cartel, and a notorious kingpin Carlos Cortez.  Vail soon realizes her efforts to find Hernandez may have jeopardized his cover, after showing a photo of Vail and Hernandez with Quantico in the background.  Once Vail finds out about Gifford’s involvement with Hernandez, she’s back on the case and working with DeSantos; she will stop at nothing to get him back alive.  After her son, he’s the most important person in her life.

Alan Jacobson goes deep into the world of the drug cartels and illegal drug trafficking across the border.  Readers learn astounding details on various ways drugs are smuggled through hollow corks and on the backs of wine labels.  Velocity has both a compelling action story – equal to Crush – but also a fascinating look into a world that many people know exists, but know very little about.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

Originally written on November 16, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

06/25 on the Bookshelf . . . “Velocity” & “Ancestor”


After enjoying The 7th Victim and really enjoying Crush, the first of the Karen Vail novels by Alan Jacobson, I look forward to the third installment in Velocity, due out in October.  And for those wanting to check out BookBanter’s interview with Alan Jacobson, click here.


I’ve read two of Scott Sigler’s previous books, Infected and Contagious, and am interested in seeing what he does with Ancestor.