Words of Conviction
by Linda J. White
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (April 1, 2014)
There’s nothing as convicting as words that threaten your daughter’s life. You want your kid back? Do just as I say. You do not know who I am. But I’ve studied you, you and your family. I’ve been watching you. You’ve been using people. Because you’re greedy. Now, it’s payback time. Terrifying for any parent, these words are especially grim for Senator Bruce Grable, whose guilt may be the reason his five-year-old daughter, Zoe, has disappeared. Or is it because of his wife, whose words make her sound more the victim than their daughter? Or their nanny, whose silence harbors her own secrets? One thing is for sure: The words hold the clues to finding Zoe alive. And it’s up to Special Agent Mackenzie Graham, a forensic psycholinguist, and FBI agent John Crowfeather to decode the messages in time.
I love police procedurals, I read them, I watch them, oh yeah, I'm a fan.
Linda White has a former FBI husband who steers her authentically down the path of her creative investigation in Words of Conviction. Nice. Authenticity is a major plus. New to me was the psycholinguist aspect heavily playing out in this cat and mouse story. A psycholinguist uses skill and probability to profile and to determine what words and word usage share about the person communicating.
The story unfolds as a powerful senator's small daughter is kidnapped. McKenzie Graham is on the case to find little Zoe before a just discovered health issue puts her life further in danger. On top of finding the kidnapper, McKenzie has to fight for respect among her peers, especially John Crowfeather. It doesn't help that she's drawn to his brooding good looks and strong, silent persona.
Tensions ramp up as the tale draws to a close. McKenzie draws the kidnapper into a carefully woven web. But as they get closer to the kidnapper's location things begin to go south. Time ticks away as the story twists and turns.
Fans of police procedurals should find quite a bit to like in this novel. There is a strong spiritual thread within the story line as well. Child endangerment and some violence might be a deal breaker for more sensitive folks.
I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy to read and review.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer