"In this gripping memoir, [Van Zandt] brings readers in on the secrets behind his ability to defuse hostage situations. ...Crisp and fast-paced, Van Zandt's revelations about hostage negotiation tactics and actual encounters are fascinating.
Van Zandt ... shuns the fireworks his fictional Hollywood counterparts can't seem to avoid. ... Despite the absence of gunplay, these nuts-and-bolts descriptions of bank robberies, dramatic prison riots, grotesque scenarios in which the offender yearns to die and exotic hostage dramas in foreign lands make for gripping reading.
Facing Down Evil deals with the role of the hostage negotiator in the defusing of major crises by the FBI. Author Clint Van Zandt covers the training and formation of a hostage negotiator and discusses his role during the Waco siege in 1993, the handling of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 1995, and the Unabomber case in 1996, as well as survival strategies for those taken hostage and emerging issues for FBI special agents.