P R E S S   &   R E V I E W S

Tulsa World (11-03)

Barnes & Noble (8-02)
Tulsa World (11-02)
I Love a Mystery (10-02)

Tulsa World (10-01)

Romantic Times (3-98)
Tulsa World (2-98)

Tulsa World (9-98)
BookBrowser (8-98)

Tulsa World (11-97)
Tulsa Woman (11-97)
Daily Oklahoman (1-97)


Tulsa World
Publishers Weekly (9-96)
The Darkest Night: "...The author's research again astonishes...you won't second guess Larsen. She's much too clever for that."  Patricia A. Jones, Tulsa World
"...In 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. " Jenifer Nightingale
"...Render Safe is as hypnotizing as the ticking of a bomb." Patricia A. Jones, Tulsa World
''...I'm not easily fooled or impressed, but Larsen held me mesmerized...'' Patricia A. Jones, Tulsa World
''Deadly Silence's plot is a parent's worst nightmare...'' Patricia A. Jones, Tulsa World
''...Ms. Larsen builds suspense from the first chapter...'' Joan Rhine, Tulsa Woman
''When 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
''...in this debut thriller, the writing is actually exciting; the narrative is smart, with violence that serves the plot rather than substituting for it...'' Publishers Weekly
''Larsen is strong on suspense.'' Ann DeFrange, Daily Oklahoman

By Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Tulsa World   11/03/03


     Larsen 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 K-9 team.

     Three 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

Fascinating Thriller
     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.

Jackie Nida
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Tulsa World   10/06/02


Jackie 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.

Nida's protagonist 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.

Lieutenant 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 wide.

"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


"Our 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."

After 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?

Simon 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 Jeff Jenkins.

Nida keeps 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 know.

Then, 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.

Nida brings 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.

Nida in 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.

I'll 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.

"Render 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.


(Jones is a published writer & literary critic)

By Jackie Nida
Berkley Prime Crime 10/02


     A 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.

     Sergeant 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?

     In 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.

     Between 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.

     Jackie 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.

Jenifer Nightingale

by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Tulsa World   10/28/01

     Tulsan 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 cringes.
      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 of discovery.
      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 psychological suspense.

(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.
         Best-selling 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?
         The awesome 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 laconic Ethan.
         Award-winning 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?
         The final 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?
         Slap 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 sisters.
         For this 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 mother’s suicide.
         The connecting 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 mother’s 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.
         Katherine Stone, of Seattle, Washington, is the best-selling author of 12 novels including ''Happy Endings'' and ''Pearl Moon''. Stone reveals Lauren’s 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. Stone’s tale is deftly drawn and filled with suspense.
         Anne 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 Ardath’s 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.
         Donna Julian, who makes her home in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, is also an award winning author of eight novels. Don’t miss her latest, ''Bad Moon Rising''. Julian relates Dinah’s story. This next to the youngest sister is an attorney with a punch. She’s a real lady of the 90’s and takes satisfaction in besting her male adversaries in the court room. Divorce is her specialty and she’s won more cases for her clients than she can count. It is just possible that she’s 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.
         Last, 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 sister’s stories as she offers up Yardley’s 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.
         Just 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
Tulsa World   9/20/98

         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 Patricia Cornwell."
        As in previous works, Larsen extensively researched the technology for "Deadly Rescue". Readers will appreciate this as they get deep into the novel.
        "From 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."
        The weapon 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 target.
        This story 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 America.
        Rae Majors 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.
        What she 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 consumers.
        Kelmar has set a plan in motion with the help of an insider at RESCUE to sabotage any new alternative fuels.
        Larsen's 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.
        In the 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
BookBrowser.com  8/19/98

         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 pair’s paranoia is raised several decibels when a stalker starts following them with the obvious intent of killing them.
        No one 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-genre’s lofty “C” level where the likes of Crichton, Cornwell, and Cook reside.

by Jodie Larsen
Reviewed by: Patricia A. Jones
Tulsa World   11/9/97

         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.
         In a 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.
         One of these deadly possibilities sent the gifted novelist to her keyboard. The result was ''Deadly Silence'' - a story that portrays every parent's worst nightmare.
         ''It 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.''
         Evan 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.
         Meanwhile, 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.
         Larsen's 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 at work.
         Another 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.
         Larsen's 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.
         When 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
Tulsa Woman   11/97

         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.
         Well, 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.
         The book 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.
         Makes 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 case.
         Their client is Senator Holt. The state's attorney general, Susan Stover, is attacking his personal and campaign finances.
         Suddenly, 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.
         Jodie 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.
         This 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.
         One last 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
Daily Oklahoman 1/25/97

         Larsen 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 writer.
         This 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.
         Nick 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.
         But the 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.
         Larsen 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.
         Meanwhile, 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 research company.
         But in 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.

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