I loved Words of Conviction. The characters and plot were intricate and well developed, not stereotypical. The characters came alive to me on the page. The setting is DC (and beautifully done) and one character is full-blooded Navajo. Another twist is the that the heroine is a psycholinguist--someone who analyses words people say or write in interviews, in ransom notes, or to help identify suspects, etc.
The story has to do with a child's kidnapping. She's a senator's daughter, so we get a look inside some of the intricacies on the Hill.
The book rates up there with Irene Hannon's and Dee Henderson's except it's lighter on the romance side. The suspense, the depth of knowledge of law enforcement, the faith elements are all there. Linda White, of course, knows FBI work because her husband was in the FBI for 25 years.
Some books force romantic characters into a "proposal" epilogue. This is not the case here, but the epilogue does what I feel an epilogue is supposed to do and shows the character's development after the events that happened in the book.
This is White's third book. I've read all three and feel this is the best, although I liked both Bloody Point and Seeds of Evidence, too.
This book is absolutely spell-binding, has heart-thumping action and is built within the framework of FBI agents along with local officials trying to locate a little girl with a new medical diagnosis that makes finding her quickly a top priority! Zoe is a little girl of a senator. This senator is already being dogged for questionable and ethical procedures while in office. These are only two characters who grab the reader's attention. Then, add other unique characters, put it all together and out comes a top notch tale.
One aspect of the novel is the background of a couple characters that I hadn't read before such as an FBI agent who specializes in linguistics. There is another agent named John Crowfeather who has served as a Marine during a war and now helps fight against those whose only desire is to bring death and destruction to others. All the while questions of individual faith whether existent or not are being wrestled with by some in the story, especially when they witness such brutality. One man at the FBI work site named Scott lives his faith unashamedly before his coworkers along with sharing his faith no matter what the situation.
There are opportunities to see the romance budding between a couple of agents, a devoted husband and father along with a marriage on the edge of exploding apart. So while the clock ticks and tension builds in the story, the personal thoughts, lives and interactions of various people in the book make for an interesting and compelling read. I cannot imagine what it must take to be a Christian out in the field, solving cases, fighting crime and not always being able to save a life.
The novel, Words of Conviction, is Linda J. White's second story. Her others are Bloody Point & Seeds of Evidence, which I plan on reading very soon! Reading FBI thrillers is fascinating for me and kept me turning pages until I was finished. To me, an interesting field of study introduced in the book is the study of language whether spoken or written. The special field of linguistics brought up was intriguing and a stroke of genius to help expand the understanding of the many talents brought in to solve a case. I don't know if this really exists or is used by agencies to fight crime, but it was a great addition to this tale. I plan on reading what comes next from the pen of author Linda J. White. I sure hope you will join in for the adventure as well!
The daughter of a well known senator is kidnapped and Kenzie, an FBI forensic psycholinguist, is brought in on the case. Her expertize at analyzing words and sentences will help them create a profile. This is her first field case and one agent in particular is not so sure she should be there.
This novel combines action and suspense with an exploration of the stress this situation creates. The senator and his wife have a strained relationship and as we follow the case we wonder if their marriage will survive. Kenzie has some issues she needs to work through too. As a child she had been once locked in a closet that had spiders. Her sensitivity to spiders is important at the suspenseful end of the novel.
Another issue Kenzie must address is spiritual. Her immediate supervisor, the agent who requested she be included in the case, is a strong Christian. He encourages her to renew the faith she has abandoned.
White's novel is well written and has characters who are believable and well developed. It was interesting to see them work through their issues. It was also interesting to see how the FBI, in the form of Kenzie, can tell a great deal from how one communicates. For lovers of FBI suspense in the Christian genre, this is a top choice.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
This is for the most part a fast paced FBI suspense, with a psycholinguist in the lead role. Don't know what that is? I didn't either. She analyses words in order to profile suspects under investigation. Pretty cool stuff. She graduated high school early and had a PhD by the time she was 23. She is in bigh demand to teach classes with the FBI but she's still fairly green on the field. She needs to prove to her superiors that her field is indeed relevant and useful and not quack science.
John Crowfeather doesn't think Kenzie belongs on this case. Her lack of real field experience could prove dangerous to herself and others. On her part, she doesn't appreciate his prickly demeanour and his obvious lack of faith in her. Will they be able to move past all this to solve the case as a team?
I really got into the beginning of the book, but then it seems to get bogged down with extra stuff that doesn't really help move the story along for a while, and then regains its momentum for the climax and ending. The ending was good but the epilogue seemed pretty much redundant and even anticlimactic. At that point I started wondering if maybe there is a sequel coming because it seems to leave things unfinished, especially between Kenzie and her mom.
This book was provided to me by Abingdon Press and Netgalley for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.
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 Hansborough 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.