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Special Agent: My Life On the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  371 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Candice DeLong has been called a real-life Clarice Starling and a female Donnie Brasco. She has been on the front lines of some of the FBIs most gripping and memorable cases, including being chosen as one of the three agents to carry out the manhunt for the Unabomber in Lincoln, Montana. She has tailed terrorists, gone undercover as a gangsters moll, and posed as the madam ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Hyperion Books (first published January 1st 1900)
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Community Reviews

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Bill  Kerwin
Mar 26, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it it was ok

Okay, gotta confess. I'm addicted to true crime shows, I love the ID Network's "Deadly Women" and I just had to get me some more Candice DeLong.

In her brief interviews on "Deadly Women", DeLong impressed me as a smart, strong woman with a realistic assessment of (and a withering contempt for) most killers, yet who can still recognize the few instances when relatively normal individuals may--through cicumstances and personal weakness--be hurtled into a maelstron of violent crime.

"Special Age
Candice DeLong is one of those women you kind of want to look up to, and say she is pretty cool and rascal for a lady. She was a divorced single mother, an psychiatric nurse who eventually ended up to be FBI's female special agent during a time when females were not fully accepted as a part of manly occupation and had an completely different position inside the feds compared to our current times. She was all that while maintaining her rebellious nature, which made her bend and break some quite i ...more
Jun 12, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
I've been on a non-fiction kick lately and this was the latest in my to-read pile.

Some memoirs are disorganized and boring (Bossypants) but some are eloquent, detailed, exciting, and keep me turning the page. This one fits the latter to a T.

Ms. Delong's story is not so amazing that you put her on a pedestal to ooh and aah over. Instead, her normal upbringing, matter-of-fact relay of the events in her life, and subtle humorous comments, make you feel that you know her like a good friend.

I admire
Oct 08, 2010 Ed rated it really liked it
Balanced, appealing overview of a lady agent working for the FBI from 1980-2000 when there were few female agents. Her background as a psychiatric nurse adds a different and colorful perspective to her law enforcement profession. Interesting chapter on her involvement in the investigation and arrest of the Unabomber. Her story also as a single mom of a son gives a decidedly human side to the book. I also liked her humor and funny stories. Enjoyable read.
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 15, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Interesting and well-written for the most part, this book drags on a lot halfway through but was still definitely worth reading.
I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery and Candy Delong has become somewhat of an idol to me. However, her memoir was not what I expected. I would have liked more content on her FBI experiences and less about her personal life. Some of her personal beliefs and comments seemed a tad misogynistic to me. There was a bit of victim-blaming going on in this book that I found off-putting. Also, why does she need to describe the variety of fedoras she wore as an FBI agent?
Mirjam Penning
Feb 24, 2014 Mirjam Penning rated it liked it
A number of good ingredients in this book, which makes it worth reading.

What I liked less were the parts she discussed her son and her home life. The title says 'my life on the front lines'. When I read a book about a career in the FBI I'm, for example, not interested in reading that your son has thrown some ball in the drainage by accident in your house and you then have a problem getting it out.

I feel she could've gone a bit more into detail with some parts. She managed fine with other parts
Apr 08, 2009 Laura rated it did not like it
Really tough book to read and get into. The storylines were enticing but overall the book as poorly written. I wanted to keep reading for the cases but it was really hard to get past the presentation.
Aug 05, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I love Candice DeLong's shows on Investigation Discovery ("Deadly Women" and "Facing Evil") and I've been really interested in her work to begin with, so I was really excited when I got this book for my birthday. It's a very interesting account of her life and her work! I really enjoyed it. I would have liked to have learned a little bit more about her cases, but obviously she can only say so much about them. Still, I thought it was very interesting to see the development of profiling as a serio ...more
Jul 28, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
The show Deadly Women makes me cringe at times. The producers seem to like making it soap-opera like to a point that the dramatic reenactments of the lurid crimes disrespects the victims too often. In my opinion, Candice Delong;s assessments and insights are it's only saving grace, so I was excited to read this book. It's a mix of her work, contrasted with how she had to balance everyday life. I know some readers may find that disappointing, but I found it humanized the extremely difficult work ...more
May 26, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This was my first foray into reding biographies and I couldn't have picked a better subject. Candice DeLong was a psychiatric nurse for ten years before becoming an FBI agent in 1980 when the doors were just beginning to open to allow female agents. DeLong is an excellent communicator and her story is told with humor and warmth. She worked on the Tylenol murders and the Unabomber case, but her most heroic victories were in becoming a skilled agent and profiler amid a male-dominated field in whic ...more
Sep 20, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Candice Delong is my absolute favorite ever on Deadly Women.She is very fascinating on the shows.She was a former psychiatric nurse and a FBI profiler. She has a lot of experiences with mental illnesses and criminals.
She is a very fascinating and captivating person to listen to. I really enjoy her.
Sara M
Feb 26, 2016 Sara M rated it it was amazing
Candice Delong is a badass. I loved every second of this book, I also got the audio version and have listened to it several times. It's so refreshing to hear about strong, capable, smart women, who have their shit together bringing in "the bad guys." What an inspiration.
Jun 10, 2015 Alan rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book, that is every bit as interesting & well written as the John Douglas or Robert Kessler books.
This book is autobiagrathical & about Candices life, mainly within the FBI, but it also covers parts of her life outside of the FBI.
Marycarmen Knox
Aug 05, 2016 Marycarmen Knox rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, detective
Interesting snippets of former agent Delong as one of the early women in the FBI.
With the culmination of the arrest of Ted Kaczynski .
Good sense of humor from the author.
As a profiler, she describes the behavior of different criminals and crimes against women and children. I just wonder if these behaviors have changed, or have become more prevalent in the last 15 years since the publication of this book.
Apr 18, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it
I thought it was a great read start to finish. Makes you appreciate the sacrifice law enforcement and their families go through.
Stephanie Chu
Jun 21, 2014 Stephanie Chu rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love it. Highly recommended. I enjoy her insight on Deadly Women.She is my hero and my inspiration.
Kat Reed
Dec 27, 2012 Kat Reed rated it it was amazing
It didn't occur to me that Candice would impress me even more than she has with her guest appearances as an expert on TV and radio. Her background is fascinating. Her experiences in the 80s as a woman in a male-dominated workplace refreshed my memory of a time I have come to take for granted has mostly disappeared. I am biased, I love Candice and am glad she is eloquently speaking with knowledge to the psychology of criminals and their (dare I say it) humanness, although I am not claiming this w ...more
Jun 14, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
Great book on the feel of the times for a woman to go into the FBI in an era when women were just allowed to go into the profession as agent. The author also became a profiler so she indicates exactly what it is used for and how effective it has been. I really like her touches of humor and I can relate to some of the relationships with her colleagues and bosses!
Feb 21, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was a great book to read when I was exploring the idea of a career in law enforcement. Candice DeLong's story is compelling, as she blazed a bit of a trail in the FBI. Her experiences with the Behavioral Science Unit, on the Ted Kaczynski case, and on other major cases, especially as a single mother, are entertaining and incredibly interesting.
Dec 14, 2010 Brenda rated it really liked it
This is a "memoir" or autobiography of Delong, who joined the FBI at a time when women was just first starting to be "approved". She worked her way through many areas including drugs, child abduction, and teh Unabomber case. This is a very easy read and recommend those who are interested in the law enforcement and from a female's perspective.
May 19, 2009 Lindy rated it really liked it
I was in charge of driving Candice around when she was in town for a speaking engagement recently. I learned alot from her book, enjoyed reading it and getting to know her. If anyone has children who are interested in joining the FBI she is a wonderful resource and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience.
Jun 11, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it
I loved this book, even if some of the writing is stilted. Candice DeLong was one of few women to be hired by the FBI in the 1980's and discusses some of her most amazing cases, including the Unabomber case. Battling sexism and bad guys, she became a well respected agent in her home town of Chicago and elsewhere.
Holly Booms Walsh
A bit dry but very sincere and interesting memoir from one of the first women in the FBI. She is an amazing woman, and hearing the history of the pursuit of the Unabomber was cool. Her descriptions of the beginnings of profiling was interesting and I liked the glimpses into the interior workings of the FBI.
Oct 09, 2011 Edie rated it liked it
This is one fascinating gal! I'm only a few chapters into the book, but it's going to be a quick read. I enjoy watching Ms. Delong on Deadly Women and that made me get the book when I found out she'd written one. She gave 20 years of service to us all and she really knows her stuff.
Aug 18, 2008 Gloria rated it it was ok
I told a friend that I always secretly wanted to be an FBI agent. She loaned me this book by one of the early female FBI agents. Her stories are interesting but I'm not sure I would recommend it to someone to read (unless you secretly want to be an FBI agent).
Nov 21, 2010 Ruth rated it liked it
An interesting look into the life of a woman FBI agent who started in the era when women were just becoming agents. It was fascinating to read about some of the cases and how they were solved. The last chapter was full of safety tips for women. Good read.
Peggy Jeffcoat
Oct 18, 2010 Peggy Jeffcoat rated it really liked it
This is a really interesting book about a woman in the FBI. She retired after serving for 20 years and worked on such cases as the Unabomber. It delves into the sexism that was rampant in the FBI when she entered in 1980.
T.M. Carper
Aug 05, 2011 T.M. Carper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Written by a female former FBI special agent, it's a eye-opening glimpse into what life in the FBI is really like. DeLong's voice keeps the story moving and far from dull. She also touches on some famous cases she worked on.
Jul 27, 2010 Naomi rated it liked it
I was disappointed in this book. Not because it was poorly written or I disagree with Candice Delong, but I though being a female profiler that it would it take a different turn. I also expected to see more stories of her cases.
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“*You're a woman, women are pigs.You pig-woman*
Well,that Miss Federal Pigs to you*”
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