Take Another Look

{April 29, 2010}   undercover

“Sam’s shoulders shifted. He thought Frank was just being smart-arsed. but Sam’s never done undercover, he had no way of knowing: undercovers are different: there’s nothing they won’t do, to themselves or anyone else, to take their guy down.There was no point arguing on this one because he meant what he said: if his kid were killed, he would take it without a murmur. It’s one of the most powerful lures of undercover, the ruthlessness, no borderlines: strong stuff, strong enough to take your breath away.It’s one of the reasons I left.”-Tana French
This is from the book The Likeness (p 27) which is more complex than this passage, and also less concrete in some ways although the book is about an ongoing criminal investigation.

I don’t agree with all or most of it but the the part I liked most was about the lure being the ruthlessness, and no borderlines. but I think the mistake in this passage is the black and white mindset: thinking people go undercover because they have such an “unambiguous” mindset- some people find their own borderlines there, and that is what they like about it.. they can finally draw the “correct” moral conclusion” instead of feeling like the law took it away from them or life robbed it from them, someone higher up on the social hierarchy picked it up, etc.


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