R E S S & R E V I E W S
Darkest Night: "...The author's research
won't second guess Larsen. She's much too clever
for that." Patricia
A. Jones, Tulsa World
RENDER SAFE, Jackie Nida shows that she has
indeed done her homework. The disarming scenes are
written with arresting detail, the procedures both
believable and occasionally heart-stopping. I found
myself holding my breath more than once. "
Safe is as hypnotizing as the ticking of a bomb."
Patricia A. Jones, Tulsa World
not easily fooled or impressed, but Larsen held
me mesmerized...'' Patricia
A. Jones, Tulsa World
Silence's plot is a parent's worst nightmare...''
A. Jones, Tulsa World
Larsen builds suspense from the first chapter...''
Rhine, Tulsa Woman
a book grabs you by the collar with its first sentence,
you know you've latched onto a winner... my next
twelve hours belonged to Larsen.'' Patricia
A. Jones, Tulsa World
this debut thriller, the writing is actually exciting;
the narrative is smart, with violence that serves
the plot rather than substituting for it...'' Publishers
is strong on suspense.'' Ann
DeFrange, Daily Oklahoman
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
is a chameleon of popular fiction. "The Darkest Night"
is the second novel in her Kaycee Miller mystery series,
which debuted with the critically acclaimed, "At First
Sight." Writing under several pseudonyms, Larsen's novels
cross genres and appeal to a wide variety of readers.
She has published the thrillers "Deadly Company," "Deadly
Silence," "Deadly Rescue," and "Sisters and Secrets."
She is also the author of "Render Safe" by Jackie Nida,
and "The Passage" by Alex Lawrence.
In "The Darkest Night" Larsen once again brings Kaycee
Miller, a psychologist who specializes in graphology (handwriting
analysis) and the love of her life, Max Masterson together.
Max is the human half of a certified Search and Rescue
people have vanished in our national parks for no apparent
reason. Investigators are desperately searching for a
connection between the victims. The question is asked:
"Are they having a strange mystical experience inspired
by a hot new bestseller or is something less spiritual,
and much more sinister behind their untimely disappearances?"
Max is called into the search for these victims and Kaycee
is on hand to help him.
As the story opens, Evan Newsome finds himself alone in
a forest. He has no clue where he is, how long he's been
here, or why he has been left to die. Max and his SAR
dog Stagga find Evan in the Carlsbad National Forest and
bring him to safety. Evan clings to life although in a
coma. The FBI and the SAR teams hope this sole survivor
will be able to shed light on the mysterious case.
Before Evan regains consciousness in the hospital, the
sister of Max's best friend disappears in the Rocky Mountain
National Forest, the sinister trail takes a new twist.
The hunt is on to find Cal's sister who suffers from diabetes.
Cal is the helicopter pilot on the SAR team and is fearless
in the search for his sister.
As the SAR team is searching for Aubrey in the Estes Park
area the story turns to Craig Sanderson. Sanderson knows
where and why the victims were chosen. He has studied
the methods of the emergency rescue teams for ten years.
This character is a ghost from the past, a reminder of
injustice, inhumanity, and incompetence. The reader sees
at once that Sanderson is unhinged, a man on a mission
that knows no mercy. He has one more victim to take and
his plans are carefully laid out to kidnap her. His next
victim? Kaycee Miller, of course. Masterson must feel
the agony, the suffering that Craig feels and that his
wife has endured.
Craig and his wife believe the SAR teams are arrogant
and remiss and must be made to suffer as they have suffered.
"It's the suffering that counts not the actual death.
They need to learn their actions, or inactions, have long-term
ramifications. Retribution can take many forms. That's
what will make up for . . . Dakota."
When Kaycee is drugged, kidnaped and secreted away in
the Ouachita National Forest near Mena, Arkansas the story
hits a peak of intensity sure to shock even the calmest
reader's nerves. Due to a progressive eye disease, Kaycee
has minimal night vision which skyrockets her fear level.
The SAR teams from both Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana
are brought into the search. The Ouachita National Forest
is 65,000 acres of mountainous terrain that runs from
east to west instead of the normal north to south. A nice
bit of information for future reference.
Larsen lets her readers in on more than the protagonists
can know. This creates tremendous tension and suspense.
The author's research again astonishes. Her research on
piloting a helicopter in treacherous mountains and weather
conditions come to the fore in this story. Also how SAR
teams work under the worst possible conditions, risking
life and limb, to effect rescues will be procedures most
readers have never read or experienced before.
There is even a twist in the plot that will astound readers.
This crept in on tiny red herring clues so quiet you'll
miss them if you aren't careful. I've said it before and
say again here, you won't second guess Larsen. She's much
too clever for that.
Once again, in Kaycee's disappearance, the presence of
the book "Vis Medicatrix Naturae," comes into play. "Is
the book discovered at each victim's home the only link
to the murders, or is the truth buried deep in the wilderness
on the darkest night many years ago?"
(Jones is a published writer & literary critic) Copyright
November 3, 2003 Patricia Ann Jones, all rights reserved
By Jackie Nida
Reviewed by: Barnes
& Noble 8/16/02
Kansas State Patrol Trooper
Sergeant Jamie Stone is assigned to the Hazardous Device
Unit because she is one of the best bomb techs around.
She disables devices that are attached to people and figures
out where secondary devices might be placed. Her partner
and the head of the Unit Lieutenant Nick Terell are a
brilliant team and have deactivated many bombs in their
tenure on the force.
Now they seem to be involved
with a serial bomber who the press have named the “Vest
Bomber” because he places his victims in vests that are
lined with explosives and varying on site and remote control
triggering devices. After saving the lives of his first
few victims, the Vest Bomber targets Jamie and Nick making
the case very personal when the perp kidnaps Jamie’s son.
Talk about an adrenaline
racing heart-thumping thriller. This novel has all that
and more as the protagonists race from one bomb disarming
incident to another. Readers get an insider’s look at
the daily tension those who work on the bomb squad must
face and we can admire their dedication and courage. RENDER
SAFE is a fascinating thriller.
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Nida is a pseudonym for a well-known Tulsa author. Nida
spent a year researching the real-life experiences of
bomb squad technicians, and even went through training
exercises. Her research is notable. Each gritty detail
gives a greater appreciation for members of the courageous
BombSquads across America.
is Sergeant Jamie Stone a bomb technician with the Kansas
State Patrol Hazardous Device Unit. Jamie is a 38-year-old
single mother with a 14-year-old son, Matthew. Stone
is the only woman on thebomb
squad, but her physical strength and mental toughness
have proven she can do the job.
Nick Terrell is Jamie's partner and best friend. Together
the two have worked an escalating string of terrorist
attacks on the Kansas City area the "Vest Bomber" harnesses
his victims into vests packed with explosives. Each
bomb is trickier than the last, each trigger less predictable,
and each job more and more heated for Stone and Terrell.
. . Nick very softly announced, 'We're
cycling down at five . . .
four . . . three
. . . two . . . one.' The instant the timer hit one,
the clock in the back of the vest began to rhythmically
squeal. Delores (the victim) tensed, and her eyes went
"Can you make it stop?" I yelled.
"He nodded, slipping the battery out with a grin
that quickly faded.
'What the hell?' he muttered, tugging out a tiny piece
of paper that had been hidden behind the battery.
"Together, Nick and I read the simple, block printing
on the slip of
trance was shattered by an unmistakable sound echoing
through the empty store. Beep! Beep! Beep! was
the last thing we heard before all hell broke loose."
this third vest bomb has been defused, and hidden bombs
in the store exploded, it became apparent that the bomber
was targeting Stone and Terrell. Each call to duty came
on their shift, why? There are six members on the squad,
why would anyone target these two officers?
Stanley and Frank Nichols, ATF agents work each case
with the bomb squad often being more trouble than help.
Then there is Carl Layman, a trooper who shows up on
the crime scenes even when he's not on duty. As the
suspense builds, these three men plus Lt. Colonel Jones,
the big boss, become a suspect along with squad member
the suspense building as the bomber comes closer and
closer to Stone and Terrell and their loved ones. Questions
about the "vest bomber" having a partner arise,
the rumor mill says that there are leaks from inside
the department. Someone knows too much about Stone and
Terrell, personal information that no one else should
Jamie's house is broken into and booby-trapped. Finally,
her worst fear is realized--her son is kidnapped. The
last 92 pages of this story make you feel as if you've
just gone over Niagra Falls in a barrel.
the resolution of her story down to the last moment
just before disaster destroys her world. The upshot
of this psychological suspense story is that in spite
of the horror experienced, you feel uplifted knowing
that in real life we have people like Jamie Stone and
Nick Terrell and their fellow bomb squad officers out
in the field working to keep us safe.
her author's note says, "Although the characters
and story in "Render Safe" are fictional,
the danger faced on a daily basis by hazardous device
technicians around the world is all too real. The technology,
science, and procedures I have described in this book
are based on fact. Like all works of fiction, my goal
is to entertain, fascinate, and hopefully inspire the
imagination of the reader. For the safety of those who
routinely risk their lives to protect the innocent,
I have slightly altered certain forensic elements to
prevent the technology I've described from ever being
used to endanger the life of a bomb technician.
join my voice with Jackie Nida
in saying, at the next opportunity, we should all shake
the hands of our local police officers and let them
know that their work is appreciated, and that their
dedication and sacrifice really does make a difference.
Safe" is as hypnotizing as the ticking of a bomb.
The style and voice of the author are confident as she
shows us the harrowing real-life work of a group of
American heroes in the 21st Century.
is a published writer & literary critic)
By Jackie Nida
Reviewed by: JENIFER
Berkley Prime Crime 10/02
book about disarming bombs offers a very different kind
of puzzle mystery. Instead of the butler in the library
with the candlestick, we find the tripwire in the doorway
with the mousetrap detonator. It makes for an interesting
and suspenseful change.
Jamie Stone of the Kansas City Hazardous Device Unit
faces the most difficult challenge of her career in
the Vest Bomber, a terrorist who binds his victims with
increasingly intricate explosive devices. As the bombs
become more complex and the detonations more difficult
to avoid, she comes to realize that he may not be driven
solely by the desire to spread fear. Could his ultimate
targets be Jamie and her partner, Nick Terrell?
RENDER SAFE, Jackie Nida shows that she has indeed
done her homework. The disarming scenes are written
with arresting detail, the procedures both believable
and occasionally heart-stopping. She keeps the pace
fast even while she slows down time for those last few
moments before a possible detonation. I found myself
holding my breath more than once.
encounters with the Vest Bomber's handiwork, the plot
is fairly pedestrian. Jamie is a single mother and the
only female bomb tech in her unit, with all the angst
and problems one would expect from a character in her
position. These scenes are interesting but not brilliant,
perhaps helping to illustrate the dichotomy of her professional
and private lives. Fortunately, most of our time is
spent caught up in the investigation. And the ending,
if you'll pardon the expression, blew me away.
Nida has previously published under a different name.
She intends this book to be the first of a series, perhaps
a very timely one considering the events unfolding around
our world today. For a generation of readers that have
come to truly appreciate our unsung heroes' willingness
to risk their lives on a daily basis, Jamie Stone fills
a fairly unique niche in the mystery genre. RENDER
SAFE stands solid with its insights into the experiences
of a Hazardous Device Unit tech. I will be checking
my doorways for some time to come.
by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Jodie Larsen's first three suspense novels, "Deadly Company,"
"Deadly Silence," and "Deadly Rescue," were exceptional.
I had the pleasure to review all three. Today, my pleasure
is quadrupled as I review her fourth and most compelling
work, "At First Sight."
Kaycee Miller, a psychiatrist
with a specialty in graphology, is interviewed by the
New Mexico parole board for a consulting position. She
is not surprised that the Board wants to test her abilities
to analyze handwriting samples. "To most of the psychiatric
profession, graphology was on the controversial fringe
of their science . . . Only a handful of her colleagues
had taken the time to study the results of her groundbreaking
research, to see the evolution of a valuable, exciting
new technique." Kaycee's work has already impressed several
parole boards in Oklahoma, but she couldn't shake the
feeling that this board meeting was far from normal. One
should always trust first impressions.
After an initial test,
she's given a set of writing samples to examine. In these
six samples she finds something far different, something
unique. First, they were all written by the same person,
and secondly, they were written over a period of several
months. "For years she had lived and breathed graphology,
studied how the mind and body blend to create the personal
portrait that each person's writing was of their soul."
Even so, from the first glance, she finds these writings
shocking, so shocking, in fact, that she instinctively
Kaycee doesn't know his
name, but she does know he is a man who shows the control
he's capable of, and the intelligence that fuels it. "Obviously,
he knew he was being watched, felt the constraint of the
test, the need to perform. But even when he tries to obey,
he doesn't quite succeed." The man is violent, overly
suspicious with a tendency to extreme cruelty. He's a
loner who holds little value for human life, even his
own." She tells the board, that this man is society's
worst nightmare a brilliant psychopath.
Kaycee is unaware that
the Board just gave this man a parole from prison. She
will learn soon enough his name and just how accurate
her analysis of him is.
What follows is a tale
at once so bizarre, so filled with psychological suspense,
you are compelled to read every word lest you miss some
vital clue or nuance. In unimaginable ways, Kaycee Miller's
life changes forever in the week following her meeting
with the New Mexico Parole Board.
The novel writer's first
job is to help the reader to suspend disbelief. Larsen
is a master when it comes to this facet of writing. You
believe Kaycee Miller and the events that lead her into
life-threatening situations that bring out not only a
Certified Search and Rescue team with their K- 9 dogs,
but the FBI. You believe and live each scene as a sociopath
kidnaps his own five-year-old daughter, kills a cohort
in crime to cover his tracks, then tries to murder a girl
whose only crime is being naive and an unwitting accomplice.
The personal threat Kaycee faces of an illness that will
eventually rob her of her eyesight only adds to the tension.
As the plot grows, others
come on the scene like Max Masterson, a rancher from Oklahoma
and a member of the SAR team, who befriends Kaycee, Niki,
Kaycee's crippled sister, who becomes a victim of the
killer Willy Thornton, and Bob Palmer who is not only
a member of the New Mexico Parole Board, but the owner
of the CSI Company. This is a plot that defies review
as each foreshadow, each entry of a new character, deepens
the mystery. To say more would spoil the readers' fun
The harrowing climax is
full of unforeseen twists and turns as Kaycee and Max
use all their skills to stay alive and ultimately discover
the horrifying secret that lies at the heart of the kidnaping,
and mayhem Thornton creates.
I've said it before, and
I'll say it again, I'm not easily fooled or impressed,
but Larsen held me out on a limb, mesmerized with her
slight of mind tricks, characters so clever Sherlock Holmes
would have found it impossible to uncover their secrets,
and a thrilling storyline that informs and entertains
on many levels.
With "At First Sight,"
Larsen stands proudly among her peers in the genre of
(Jones is a published writer & literary critic)
by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Jill M. Smith
Romantic Times Magazine 3/98
Four sisters whose lives are haunted by their mother's
suicide connect the stories in this powerful anthology.
An heirloom Lady Smith revolver is the talisman that will
bring change to each of them.
author Katherine Stone profiles the oldest daughter, Dr.
Lauren Smith. Despondent, Lauren takes a vacation to resolve
her feelings about the past, when she is pushed into the
present by meeting handsome Peter Cain. Billionaire Peter
is being stalked by a Black Widow killer, is Lauren his
dream woman or his worst nightmare?
Anne Stuart tells second sister Ardath's story. Ardath
Smith holds writer Ethan Jameson responsible for her mother's
long-ago suicide. Arriving on his isolated doorstep with
a loaded gun, Ardath plans to get even. Unfortunately,
nothing could have prepared her for her reaction to the
author Donna Julian tells attorney Dinah's story. Dinah
has been on a winning streak, so much so that she is now
on a killer's hit list. Jake Jacobs, the brother of the
man police believe is trying to kill her, kidnaps Dinah.
Jake insists his brother is innocent and he will protect
her...but what if he's wrong?
story is delivered by the very talented Jodie Larsen.
Artist and real estate agent Yardley is both attracted
and wary upon meeting builder Kyle Baker. A murderer dubbed
''The Open House Killer'' has been stalking real estate
agents in town...is Kyle too good to be true?
your money down quick and make sure you don't miss this
outstanding anthology by four of today's premier authors.
by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Tulsa World 2/98
On Christmas Eve 1977, Zoe Smith used her small, pearl
handled revolver to commit suicide. She left behind a
bereaved husband and four little daughters to suffer the
consequences of her selfishness. ''Sisters & Secrets''
tells the stories of the effect of suicide on these four
unique novel, Onyx brought together four highly acclaimed
novelists in the romantic suspense genre: Katherine Stone,
Anne Stuart, Donna Julian, and Tulsan Jodie Larsen. The
significance of the number four echoes throughout the
book. It is written in four parts; takes place in four
diverse locales, four seasons, and each segment concerns
one of the four sisters haunted by their mothers
thread in their lives is the delicate silver revolver
which their mother used to kill herself. the gun has been
inherited by the eldest daughter, Lauren Smith, who after
finally facing the truth of her mothers suicide
passes the gun on to her siblings. As each sister takes
possession of the weapon that holds so much meaning for
them all, she experiences danger, revelation and love.
Stone, of Seattle, Washington, is the best-selling author
of 12 novels including ''Happy Endings'' and ''Pearl Moon''.
Stone reveals Laurens story. Dr. Lauren Smith is
beautiful, of course, and is a successful radiologist.
Unfortunately, her private life is neither beautiful nor
successful. After yet another failed relationship with
a man of her dreams, Lauren seeks refuge and reflection
in a Pacific Northwest resort. Here, along the flower
strewn walkways, she finds herself a primary suspect in
a life threatening mystery. Stones tale is deftly
drawn and filled with suspense.
Stuart, of Vermont, is celebrating 20 years as a novelist
and specializes in her own brand of romance, suspense
and black humor. She has won every major award in the
romance genre. In the telling of Ardaths story,
Stuart shows this sister to be as fiery, artistic, and
impractical as her mother had been. And if Ardath doesn't
do something about the dubious legacy that haunts her,
she may also die by her own hand before her thirty-fifth
birthday. Stuart once again brings her characters to life
in a tale that tingles the nerves and has a twist at the
end to delight the most exacting mystery buff.
Julian, who makes her home in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri,
is also an award winning author of eight novels. Dont
miss her latest, ''Bad Moon Rising''. Julian relates Dinahs
story. This next to the youngest sister is an attorney
with a punch. Shes a real lady of the 90s
and takes satisfaction in besting her male adversaries
in the court room. Divorce is her specialty and shes
won more cases for her clients than she can count. It
is just possible that shes won one too many. Suddenly
she finds herself the target of a death threat that not
even she can ignore. Julian mixes romance with suspense
and takes it to the wire with an ending that will make
your hair sizzle.
but certainly not least, Jodie Larsen of Tulsa, Oklahoma,
the acclaimed author of ''Deadly Company'' and ''Deadly
Silence'', steps on stage. Larsen rounds out the sisters
stories as she offers up Yardleys adventure. Yardley,
in the spring of 1998 is having a busy season as a Tulsa
Real Estate Agent. Little does she know that all the fears
and turmoil of her yesterdays are about to culminate in
one horrific moment at the hands of a serial killer. Yardley
has enjoyed about as much success in her love life as
her older sister Lauren. For over a year, Yardley, who
has been invisible to anything with a Y chromosome, finds
herself with two very eligible men beating down her door.
Humor, suspense, and murder most foul will keep readers
entranced as Larsen spins her surprising conclusion.
as the book jacket promises, ''...Stone, Stuart, Julian,
and Larsen have created an unforgettable portrait of four
women shadowed by their past, but ready to embrace a future
filled with the promise of hope, forgiveness, and love.''
By Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Jodie Larsen, author of "Deadly Company", "Deadly
Silence", and co-author of "Sisters & Secrets",
scaled the corporate ladder as a CPA before making the
leap to writing suspense. "Deadly Rescue", Larsen's
third solo novel, proves that my comment in a review of
her previous work is true - "No holds-barred suspense...Larsen
can hold her own with the likes of Michael Crichton and
previous works, Larsen extensively researched the technology
for "Deadly Rescue". Readers will appreciate
this as they get deep into the novel.
the corner of his eye, the killer glanced at the specially
modified briefcase, confident his unique weapon was secure.
Lightning bolts, he thought. Silent, powerful, and visible
only for a few deadly seconds. If they worked half as
well on human flesh as he expected, the painstakingly
carved molds would almost certainly be used again."
worked as well as "the killer" expected. Two
United States senators might have testified to this, except
that it would be impossible, considering the men's jugulars
and windpipes were pierced as each icy bolt found its
of corporate lies, fatal greed, and one woman caught in
the ultimate trap, shocks the senses and causes one to
consider what goes on behind the closed doors of corporate
lost her husband in the Oklahoma City bombing and spent
four years rebuilding her life. She completes her education
and receives her degree in geology, and now she's landed
the perfect job with RESCUE. RESCUE is an environmental
corporation committed to saving the earth's resources.
does not know is that she has stepped into a nightmare
world of corporate intrigue. Rae, with all her bright
hopes, shares her ideas for HDR technology, an ecologically
friendly source of energy. The proverbial fly in the ointment
is PetroCo., a giant oil company who wants desperately
to keep this alternative fuel source from the public.
In truth, PetroCo and its president, Chuck Kelmar will
go to any lengths to see that this technology never reaches
has set a plan in motion with the help of an insider at
RESCUE to sabotage any new alternative fuels.
forte is the plot. She creates a sizzling plot that reads
like this morning's news. No need to suspend disbelief,
because you recognize truth when you read it. The subplots
are well drawn and each one enhances the main plot. I
saw no weak characters. Larsen knows how to take you inside
each of them so you feel comfortable in their skin. Well,
maybe not Walter's skin...Dean Koontz might love to claim
this fellow as one of his own eerie characters.
past eight years as a book critic and reviewer, I've found
only two new novelists who can keep me turning the pages
and who entertain and inform me. Larsen is one of the
two. I recommend "Deadly Rescue" as a suspense
thriller sure to escalate Americans' awareness of the
dangers to our environment.
by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Harriet Klausner
Since her beloved spouse Ken died in the Oklahoma City
bombing, Rae has tried to start over again, though it
has not been easy. She returned to school and only last
month graduated with a geology degree from Oklahoma University.
When Nathan Greenwall, head of Renewable Energy Sources
for the Conservation and Unity of Earth (RESCUE) Inc.,
read an article written by Rae on hot dry rock energy,
he invites her for a job interview. That is why the thirty-eight-year
old woman has traveled over a thousand miles in the hope
of obtaining her first professional job as a geologist.
She is hired by the firm. However,
her dream job soon turns into a nightmare as she and a
fellow research scientist Ashe Freeman begin to wonder
if someone is trying to destroy the large corporation,
especially when an unexplainable accident leaves a chemist
in a coma. However, the pairs paranoia is raised
several decibels when a stalker starts following them
with the obvious intent of killing them.
scribes a thriller that could be headlines news better
than Jodie Larsen does. Her current chiller, DEADLY RESCUE,
is pulse pounding, non-stop action that must be read in
one sitting. The characters are real and the frightening
story line feels authentic enough to leave the audience
in pleasurable shock. With this novel and her previous
works (see DEADLY COMPANY and DEADLY SILENCE), there can
be no doubt that Ms. Larsen has reached the sub-genres
lofty C level where the likes of Crichton,
Cornwell, and Cook reside.
by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing Jodie Larsen's
debut suspense thriller, ''Deadly Company''. Larsen's
second contemporary suspense novel, ''Deadly Silence''
is now available and it is a spine-tingling success.
recent conversation, Larsen revealed that the idea for
this story came 10 years ago after a frightening visit
to La Fortune Park with her children. ''I was pushing
my toddlers in the swings when I noticed a man hiding
in the bushes taking pictures of the children with a telephoto
lens,'' she said. At first she thought the man might be
on an assigned photo shoot for a newspaper or magazine.
But the next time she glanced in his direction, he had
disappeared. She couldn't understand why a stranger would
be taking pictures of her children. Larsen's writer's
mind began spinning out horrific possibilities.
these deadly possibilities sent the gifted novelist to
her keyboard. The result was ''Deadly Silence'' - a story
that portrays every parent's worst nightmare.
was a powerful feeling, the need to dominate, to prevail
at any cost. In a matter of seconds, he could change the
destiny of any of the children before him. Smiling, he
knew at once that he was still invincible, a predator
among his prey.''
Peterson slid back into the bushes in a park in Savannah
as he focused his camera with practiced precision. His
choice for today was an infant, a boy. The baby seemed
well cared for, healthy and was blond and blue-eyed. a
perfect specimen. No, Evan Peterson is not a pedophile.
He is a sharp-eyed businessman. He and his partner, Tony
Montegra, have been in the field for 15 years photographing
babies for their prospective clients. And when the order
is received, they also deliver the live product.
in Oklahoma City, an up and coming attorney, Nick Hunter,
is congratulating himself for landing a plum position
at the prestigious firm of Kellars and Kellars. Angela
Anderson, the firm's dynamic public relations director
also thinks her future is made. Of course, this is before
Nick and Angela are brought together on an important case...before
their research arouses chilling suspicions about the firm
and a possible link to a horrifying series of infant abductions.
tightly woven plot jumps to a sprint right at the starting
line. After her first book, I was ready for the dizzying
pace she would set, expected it and was not disappointed.
Her plot development is flawless. as she unravels her
complex story, complete with interesting subplots, all
you have to do is sit back and enjoy a master storyteller
trait I've learned to appreciate with this author is her
ability to bring into the mix a cast of intriguing characters
enhanced by believable dialogue and adrenaline pumping
suspense. For instance, the lovely Jamaican woman, Annissa
Jamison. She manages an elite travel service next door
to Kellars and Kellars, but there is an aura of mystery
surrounding her. One that raises your antenna of suspicion.
You won't know why until later when you meet her brother
Jax. When Sen. Holt and his deceptive young wife enter
the scene, you'll know the stakes are high, wild and handsome.
style and voice take you into places with such credibility
there is no question of disbelieving the action taking
place. You're present with these characters, experiencing
the dangers, the unbearable grief, the avarice and the
motivations behind all those involved. Something else
Larsen uses to delight even the most persnickety readers
is all six senses. That's right, six. Intuition comes
to the front and warns of impending disaster, but those
refusing to heed its call find themselves tangled in a
web of deception from which no escape seems possible.
you come to the end of this heart-stopping expose of man's
inhumanity to man, you'll come away not only entertained
but informed. Even a trip to the mall with your toddlers
and/or grandbabies will be an adventure in observation.
Never say never to complacency.
By Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Joan Rhine
In her second novel, Ms. Larsen builds suspense from the
first chapter. FBI agent, Lesley Jaggers has lived a decade
trying to track down a kidnapping ring. The pattern is
always the same: children are spirited away at night from
their beds and their parents never receive ransom notes,
little evidence is ever found and there are no witnesses.
Although the cities and pattern seem to be random, there
are too many striking similarities for the FBI not to
think they are connected. And each time a child vanishes
into thin air, Lesley has to visit another empty crib,
and hear another house's deadly silence.
the children didn't quite vanish. The infants materialize
in Jamaica. There, the next team in the ring keep the
infants until their future adoptive parents pay hefty
fees and come to take them to their new lives and identities.
opens near the point of a Georgia kidnapping, giving the
reader the details of how the kidnappers scout for the
kids in neighborhood parks. They pretend to photograph
nature while choosing their next victims. Then, using
rental cars and disguises, the men follow the mothers
home and get the addresses they will need later.
you want to just grab your kids and never let go, huh?
The headquarters of this international ring is located
next door to the Kellars & Kellars law firm. Newly
hired attorney Nick Hunter is assigned to work with the
firm's publicist, Angela Anderson, on the latest high-profile
client is Senator Holt. The state's attorney general,
Susan Stover, is attacking his personal and campaign finances.
the pattern of the ring is broken. Instead of waiting
months before the next kidnapping, another is ordered,
with the child - Susan Stover's granddaughter - already
selected. The timing is too soon and the kidnappers must
use a different method than normal. When mistakes are
made, the FBI gets its biggest break ever.
Larsen keeps the pace up and the heat on, leading readers
racing through the twists and turns riddling this story.
She's a master at creating suspense through what seem
like everyday events - but are really anything but innocent.
And for a bonus, she adds a dash of romance to keep things
lively and the dialogue snappy. When the chase begins,
hold on tight and remember to breathe.
book will make you hesitate letting your kids sleep alone,
and leave you looking over your shoulder at any public
occasion where children are being photographed.
note: If you read the teaser at the back of Ms. Larsen's
first book, ''Deadly Company'' for the upcoming ''Deadly
Portraits'', this is the same book - now titled ''Deadly
Silence''. The title was changed for reasons only New
York can understand.
By Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Ann DeFrange
lives in Tulsa, and previously lived in Oklahoma City,
where she worked as a certified public accountant before
her first novel, "Deadly Company" made her a
second effort picks up a currently popular mystery and
terror topic - kidnapping children. A team of crude crooks
selects babies and steals them from happy homes, then
markets them to wealthy couples desperate for children,
using a go-between in the Cayman Islands.
Hunter, rising young attorney, gets a job at a prestigious
law firm in Oklahoma City. He and the firm's public relations
director, Angela Anderson, are about to find happiness
in the corporate world, and in each other's company.
kidnappers snatch the grandchild of the Oklahoma attorney
general, a young grandmother highly visible to the public.
Hunter and Anderson begin to fit together connections
between their firm and the kidnap ring.
is strong on suspense. She adds a surprise villain to
the plot and she blows up an Oklahoma City building.
by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Publishers Weekly 9/26/96
Classified as a real Type-A employee, JoAnn Rayburn had
spent much of her time at TechLab buried in research on
a drug that would help in her personal vendetta against
brain tumors. But when her colleague is brutally murdered,
she finds herself heir to her predecessor's job, company
car, and secrets.
children at a local elementary school have become quietly
angelic, worrying the teacher and at least one parent.
Once again, the villain is a profit-mad, amoral medical
this debut thriller, the writing is actually exciting,
the narrative is smart, with violence that serves the
plot instead of substituting for it; the dialogue isn't
canned; and the heroes, or more precisely, heroines, aren't
thick as clotted cream.