Reid’s debut memoir traces the 36-year arc of his impressive law enforcement career.
Taking its title from the spot where the author had personal epiphanies as a young police officer, Reid’s book explains how he put himself on course to achieve his “share of the American Dream.” Born in segregated Baltimore and reared in one of its largest African-American communities, he learned early on that “self-reliance generated a strong black entrepreneurial spirit.” After his parents divorced, he and his three brothers were raised by their mother, who proudly eschewed public assistance as she worked toward her college degree and struggled to keep food on the table. Learning to swim competitively at a local YMCA gave Reid, a “rogue” altar boy, the opportunity to accept challenges and create a fulfilling life. He credits The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) as a seminal work that changed his attitude and gave him a thirst for knowledge. While secretly overcoming dyslexia, Reid worked his way through advanced degrees, rose in the ranks of the Baltimore Police Department and eventually joined the FBI in 1977. In 2005, after his involvement in numerous far-flung operations from Alaska to Karachi, including a small role in the Kobe Bryant rape case and a much larger one in the Lockerbie bombing investigation, the author retired as a special agent in charge in Denver before serving as head of security for Boeing. At times, Reid’s writing can feel as dry as police reports, but his determination never fails to inspire, and his pacing never lags. When he writes about his youth—and in the poems sprinkled between chapters—his depth of character shines. Justly proud of his success, Reid pauses in the action to reflect on moments of great luck and fortune. The only way he can explain it is divine intervention—remarkable modesty in a career full of heroism and “limitless aspirations.”
A straightforward, inspirational autobiography geared to those looking to investigate a life in law enforcement.