Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's Party Time! It's a Book Birthday!



It is here! It is here! 

And I was blessed to receive an early, signed copy from Linda, so I can assure you that there's a great story waiting for you in Words of Conviction. 

Here's my review... 
Readers everywhere can agree that starting a new book by a favorite author feels a lot like coming home. 
That's how I felt when I opened Words of Conviction for the first time. 
It's a Linda J. White mystery, so I knew a few things right upfront: This book would feature some really cool FBI Agents. 
The plot would be a complex mystery that challenges our investigators and keeps me up late reading, and there would be a healthy amount of suspense. 
(Her books are called White-Knuckle Fiction for a reason!) 
Plus there would be great attention to detail and proper FBI procedure. This research and realism makes her books stand out on the mystery shelf, and it's always interesting to learn about something new while absorbing a story. 

In this case we get to meet and learn from Special Agent Mackenzie Graham. She's a forensic psycholinguist. Words and their meanings are her driving passion. Agent Scott Hansbrough likes to joke that Kenzie had her Ph.D before most people learn to feed themselves, and he's only half jesting. 
She's young, she doesn't have a ton of field experience yet, but she's dedicated and she knows her stuff.

That's why Kenzie is the obvious Agent to call when a Senator's daughter is abducted. She can analyze any communications from the kidnapper. She can study every word, every phrase, every pattern and syntax, and she can build a profile of the subject from the words he uses and the way he uses them. Isn't that amazing?

And it's not just Kenzie's expertise that is fascinating, she herself has a rich inner world and we get a window into it. 
Law enforcement and crime solving is not abstract for her, it's personal. Zoe's rescue matters. Connecting with the Senator and his grieving wife matters. The outcome of that family's future matters, especially as Kenzie realizes that her childhood had so many similarities to Zoe's. 
We have a strong female lead here, folks. 

And we also meet a very memorable Agent John Crowfeather. 
My family has a tiny bit of Indian blood (Cherokee and Cheyenne) and we've always been intrigued by Native American stories. I think Crow will be one of our favorite characters this year. His presence made this mystery even better as his story unfolds with Kenzie's. He is a confident agent and he thinks and feels deeply about life. Crow's Navajo heritage is evident, undeniable and essential to his nature, yet he ran from life on the Reservation. He has his reasons why and he bears his scars quietly.

The spiritual themes in Linda's books are really well done. They flow naturally through the story, and we get to see where each person is on their journey. Keep an eye out for some excellent conversations that will make *you* think!

Bottom Line: These are people you'd like to have as friends. The agents rely on and trust each other. They're a brotherhood/sisterhood and they work through their differences and combine their strengths. They have quirks too. For example, Kenzie can keep calm on a sting operation... it takes a phone call from her mom to push her buttons! :) 

This is my third Linda J. White mystery, and they have all been a great read each in a slightly different way.
This one increases the suspense level and kept me guessing all the way through the mystery and kept me watching each character closely, and it let me experience another FBI Agent Adventure through the pages of a book. 

Thank you very much to Linda J. White for telling this story, and for my copy of this book to review!
I'm eager to see what adventure you send us on next.

A word from Linda: 

I love writing fiction because people do just what you want, and if they don’t, you kill ‘em off.
OK, I’m kidding. But seriously, writing fiction for me is like working out a puzzle: I begin with a “what if…” statement, dream up some characters, and then begin working through the plot. The process becomes obsessive: When I was writing my first (still unpublished) novel, I remember thinking, What if I get stuck and can’t complete this book? These people will die!
I could not let that happen!
I became fascinated with the science of forensic psycholinguistics when I met Dr. Sharon Smith, who was the FBI's only forensic psycholinguist until she retired. Her ability to parse out language, to detect deception, analyze threats, and discern identity from words, using scientific methodologies,
 convinced me that this was a subject on which I had to write.
The words we use reflect not only our training and education, but our psychology as well. 

We are seldom aware of the depths of personality from which our language emerges. 
In "Words of Conviction," Mackenzie Graham is a psycholinguist recruited by the FBI. 
She's an agent without much street experience, but when the daughter of a powerful senator is abducted, her skills with words play a crucial role in the investigation.
Kenzie teams up with veteran agent Scott Hansbrough and a Navajo agent, John Crowfeather. 

I don't know where these characters come from! But it is my joy to to work with them.
As with all of my books, themes of faith emerge. Is God really relevant? Where is he when a child's life is on the line? When evil seems to have the upper hand?
I love reading, and writing, mystery/suspense! We live in a dark world, but the Light has come--and the darkness will not prevail.

This is the third installment of White Knuckle Fiction from Linda J. White, and 
if this is the first one you read you'll soon want to go back and read the others. 

Here's my reviews for the other two:

What adventure will we go one next? :) 
Thank you Linda for the stories! 

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