New Book: The Grey Zone

New Book: The Grey Zone


Don Easton is a 25-year veteran of the RCMP and worked as an undercover operative over a span of 20 years, which included 7 years working in an Intelligence Unit battling organized crime.

Upon retirement, he has written a series of novels involving an undercover Mountie by the name of Jack Taggart who is assigned to an Intelligence Unit in Vancouver. His first novel in a series, entitled Loose Ends, was published in 2005. His twelfth novel in the Jack Taggart Mystery series has now hit the book stores and is entitled, An Element of Risk.

The thirteenth Jack Taggart Mystery pits Jack against a group of ruthless kidnappers who appear to have insider knowledge of police investigations within the Major Crime Unit. To assist MCU, Taggart identifies one of the kidnappers and goes undercover in an elaborate sting to lure the rest of the gang into a trap.

Taggart is with the kidnappers on the day the trap is to be sprung, but discovers they’ve already kidnapped another victim and he and the victim are to be murdered upon delivery of the ransom in the belief that the police will pin the kidnapping on him. He comes up with a risky plan for their survival. A plan made all the more urgent when the kidnappers decide to start mutilating the victim for every hour the ransom is late.


RCMP Quarterly (Loose Ends) – What would you do if the people you loved were murdered and you were in a position to find their killers? What would you do in that position if you were a cop? Undercover Mountie, Jack Taggert, is in such a position in this realistic novel about crime, passion, and punishment.

Set in Vancouver, Easton takes us into a world where people don’t play by the rules, not even the police. The reader delves into a world where the murderers are sometimes human and the legal enforcers corrupt. At times one is left asking the question, “Who are the bad guys?”

The characters are so real that you know Easton is writing from experience. The events that take place are violent and shocking, but Easton tells them as an undercover cop who has seen it all, would – as a part of daily life.

Your heart will tear for Marcie, the young girl who gets lost on her way. And you will root for Crystal, the prostitute trying to do the right thing. Some of what the police, both Vancouver city, and the RCMP, do will turn your stomach. But in the end, you will be satisfied and feel that justice was served.

A gripping novel that is difficult to put down, Loose Ends is everything a mystery should be. At times it is a heart wrenching tale, and at others, a loathing epic of criminal unjust. For those of us who have lived always by the book, Easton shows us that the book sometimes needs to be set aside and that the rules sometimes need to bend. Sometimes the best way to bring justice to society is to break the law. Right or wrong, you can’t help but feel the emotions and respect the motives of our main character.

To Don Easton, thank you for letting us glance into the world you lived.

Erin Chatwell, RCMP Quarterly. Fall 2005

Bookgasm (U.S. book review) – … To be honest, all I knew of the RCMP came from the DUDLEY DO-RIGHT cartoon of my youth, but in his first novel – LOOSE ENDS – Easton has created such a bad-ass character with Jack Taggart, an undercover cop who is so good at his job, it has his supervisor worried that Jack might not be playing by the rules.

… Easton clearly knows of what he writes and who knows how much of Taggart is not made up? So now my opinion of the Mounties has changed: They’re no longer animated dimwits, but some tough guys you’d never want to cross, because if you do, you’re going to have serious trouble headed your way like a runaway bull. –Bruce Grossman

RCMP Quarterly, Erin Chatwell, 2008 – RCMP Cpl. Jack Taggart and the Organized Crime Unit are back in Don Easton’s latest Jack Taggart Mystery, Angel in the Full Moon.  In his first two novels Easton challenged his readers to resolve whether being on the “right” side of the law made a character “good” and likewise, if being on the “wrong” side of the law made a character “bad”; there was little room for black and white distinctions.  Unlike those first two novels, in Angel in the Full Moon there is black and white.  The bad guys are out-and-out bad and the good guys are venerable.  

Partners Jack Taggart and Laura Second set out to investigate an unknown crime based on a tip.  While they don’t know what they’re getting into, they know it is big.  The crime is human trafficking and the story heart-wrenching.  Easton sets the tone of the novel early by introducing the readers to the victims first, humanizing them and making it difficult for the reader not to be drawn in and filled with compassion.

In all Easton’s books it is difficult to determine what of his story line is based on his life experiences as an undercover RCMP, and what is fictional creation.  Angel in the Full Moon feels from the beginning too real to be a work of fiction.  Easton wrote with emotion the reader can feel emanate off the pages. The knowledge that the story is closer to reality than fiction makes parts of it a tough story to swallow.

As with Above Ground Easton does a splendid job of intensifying his characters without taking away from the story.  His primary characters are dynamic throughout the Jack Taggart Mystery series and throughout each individual novel.  And as he did in Above Ground, Easton has escalated some of his secondary characters to a level that makes one wonder what role they will play in the fourth novel.

Above Ground did not offer as much shock value as Loose Ends did but Angel in the Full Moon arguably offered more.  The news stories on human trafficking seem to be swept under the rug as though they are not society’s concern.  Don Easton lifts the rug and airs it out for all to see.  He reminds us that human trafficking often involves young girls, sex crimes, and crimes against human rights.  It is sickening to think that members of society support such crimes.  

I commend Mr. Easton for the personal experiences he brought to this latest book.  I admire his honesty and offer my sympathy for what he has had to endure both on the job and in his personal life.  I’d like to thank Mr. Easton for sharing a part of himself with the reader as it truly made the novel meaningful for me.  As for those out there who have yet to read the novel, even if it isn’t your style or genre, read it to remind yourself of what a portion of society goes through every day.

The Bay Observer – November 13, 2017 – … a Jack Taggart novel is a bit like a machine gun firing words. … If it feels real, it’s a Don Easton story.  

The Vancouver Sun – December 19, 2017 …With his 20-year history in law enforcement, Easton clearly draws on his experiences to add authenticity to his characters’ work…. …it’s not all cops-and-gangsters action. Subverting Justice also provides a sobering look at what day-to-day life is like for the men and women (and their families) who serve as officers in the line of duty. And the picture isn’t always pretty.

Publisher’s Weekly – December 2017 – The high-adrenaline 11th installment…. …perfect for readers who want a tense thriller and a realistic view (Easton spent 20 years as an RCMP undercover agent) into the dark mazes where gangs, informants, and undercover cops try to trap each other.


This series of novels can be ordered through amazon, either electronically or paperback. They should also be available through your favourite books store and it is recommended the series be read in order. If they are not on the shelves, have them order them in for you. Links are also available through his website at:


1)     Loose Ends – ISBN 978-1-55002-565-1

2)     Above Ground – ISBN 978-1-55002-681-8

3)     Angel in the Full Moon – ISBN 978-1-55002-813-3

4).    Samurai Code – ISBN 978-1-55488-697-5

5).    Dead Ends – ISBN 978-1-55488-893-1

6)     Birds of a Feather –  ISBN 978-1-459702196

7)     Corporate Asset –  ISBN 978-1-459708211

8)     The Benefactor –  ISBN 978-1-459710580

9)     Art & Murder – ISBN 978-1-459730694

10)    A Delicate Matter – ISBN 978-1-45973427

11)    Subverting Justice – ISBN 978-1-459739802

12)    An Element of Risk – ISBN 978-1-45974-163-8

13)    The Grey Zone – ISBN 978-1-45974-530-8