Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

Federal prosecutor Lisa Waldren’s estranged father wants her to investigate a cold case from his FBI days. Lisa nearly refuses, even though a wrongly convicted man faces execution for murder. Then her father reveals a photograph: a little white girl playing alongside a little black girl at a rally in 1965 where the shooting of a civil rights leader took place. She recognizes herself in the photo. She was there.

Lisa agrees to help, resolved to boldly seek answers she’s skirted for decades. What she discovers are layers of deception, both personal and professional, reaching as high as the head of the FBI. Possibly even the president.

And though Lisa and the other girl may have escaped the 1965 shooting physically unharmed, her little friend, now grown, bears the scars of it. All because of the color of her skin. As Lisa and her father get closer to the truth, the real killer turns the hunt around.

Snapshot by Lis Wiehl was a beautiful yet haunting picture of the racial tension that existed in the 1960's and how even two little girls could still be affected by it decades later. I loved how the author used an actual photograph taken of her and another girl, plus the fact that her father was also an FBI agent, to craft this story. These facts make the story more credible and certainly more realistic and helped draw me into the story. The storylines started in the 1960's and then jumped forward to present day.The plot line was also well written and contained multiple suspenseful twists that kept me glued to the pages. There were many themes that were clear and well written in this novel, but the two largest that jumped out at me were the importance of forgiveness and family and the sad truth of racial tensions that ruled America even in the 1960's. These tensions are the reasons for all tragedy, injustice, and violence that occurs in this novel. Even the decisions that are made in the present day portions of this novel are marred by past and present racist behaviors. It is a sad testament to what our country used to be like and still faces (though often less openly) today. The narration of the story was primarily from Lisa's perspective, but there were a few sections told from her father and another important character.

One of the best parts of this novel were the character interactions. There were many different and unique characters that were all well developed and realistic. At first it seemed hard to see how they were all related to one another, but as the story continued and more of the truth was revealed, they were all drawn together by past and present situations in sometimes a surprising fashion. I really liked Lisa, and I enjoyed watching her grow as she learned more about trusting God, her father's character and the reasons for his past decisions, and why having friendships and closer relationships is important. Her father also experienced some growth as he tried to reconcile with his daughter and right his past mistakes. There were two father-daughter pairs in this novel. One was Lisa and her father, the other was Gwen and her father. These pairings really demonstrate the differences in what can happen when you seek forgiveness and to do good versus choosing evil and pain at the expense of other relationships. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and I would highly recommend it to any reader looking for a thought-provoking and suspenseful thriller.

I received this novel for free from and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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