•  The author worked very closely with other law enforcement agencies – such is the nature of ‘the thin blue line’ and the brother (and sister) hood that it encompasses. The bonds are very strong and involve the highest levels of trust and commitment as they tackle crime, often relying on one another’s assistance in deference to their area of specialty, or specific knowledge. All for the common goal. Justen has trained with, worked with or was extensively trained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Winnipeg Police Service, Regina Police Service, United States Customs and Border Protection,  United States Border Patrol and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Having intimate knowledge of these agencies, to name a few, it’s small wonder he chose the U.S. Border Patrol as Kurt’s home agency.


  • The detector dog practice searches described in the book actually happened, exactly as described. Justen often assisted the dog handler as he trained his dogs.


  • There is a bomb shelter beneath one of the Ports that Justen worked at. The door is welded shut.


  • Much like Kurt, Justen was approached by a local tri-state theater group to take on the lead of their production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, but had to turn it down for time constraints. Justen’s commute to work and back alone consumed 2 1/2 hrs each day. on top of 12 hour shifts.


  • Justen worked at the Canadian Customs Port of Winkler, directly across from the U.S. Port of Walhalla. Yes, it actually exists! But he changed the name of the Port on the other side for obvious reasons.


  • The Children of the Corn reference was based on a real event. It was Justen, the city slicker, who was meandering the corn field out of mild curiosity and a seasoned U.S. officer who had the living daylights scared out of him.


  • Justen held his commercial pilot (helicopter) license. He couldn’t resist including Steve’s hair-raising flying antics.


  • For at least a few moments, Justen considered traveling to Juarez for background research, but thought the better of it. Using other means, he describes every street corner and traffic light with perfect accuracy.


  • Online research for the book amounted to an equivalent of over one hundred physical visits to the library. Thank God for the internet.


  • The thunderstorm scene was written during an actual thunderstorm.


  • The strip search carried out by Kurt and Steve is based on a real event. Justen was training a rookie officer.


  • The physical descriptions in the book are pinpoint accurate. The Canadian Prairies have a beauty all to their own. No embellishment is needed. Justen’s method of writing is very descriptive: “If it rains in the book, I want my readers to get soaked.’


  • Justen worked across from the U.S. Port of Lancaster, MN. An officer there routinely trimmed and stuffed animal carcasses in the office. He raised his own white-tail deer on his farm. This inspired the idea of the ‘robotic deer’.


  • Serving on the Customs honor guard at funerals provided the author with insight and reverence for the ceremony.

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