Judith D Collins
By Lis Wiehl
Publisher: Thomas Nelson--FICTION
Publication Date: 1/14/2014
My Rating: 5 Stars
Two little girls, frozen in black and white. One picture worth killing for.
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 civil rights rally in 1965 where the crime—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.
WOW! If I had to describe my favorite genre, and the perfect book—Lis Wiehl’s SNAPSHOT, would be it, wrapped in one unique package. I loved everything about this profound and captivating novel. A mix of a human interest story, family drama, historical mystery, suspense, and a thriller.
When reading the advanced reading copy of Lis’ A Deadly Business (6/10/14)— at the end of the novel, a teaser, for SNAPSHOT was included—I knew this book was for me! Immediately requested it through NetGalley and was delighted to be approved.
When I started reading SNAPSHOT it was late in the evening, on my e-reader, and was hooked immediately, as so intriguing—these two little girls (one black and one white), a shooting, a suicide, a civil right march, a FBI agent and his daughter. Bummer, had to travel for a six hour drive the next morning—this would not work—could not wait to see what would happen next.
So, did what we obsessed readers do—purchased the audiobook. It was perfect, as was able to finish it the next day, while driving (it made my day when I was stuck in traffic for three hours). Amazing read—intense! Then back to the e-book to bookmark all the wonderful references and dive into the tidbits at the end.
SNAPSHOT is like getting an inside look into the scandals of our leaders—secrets, lies, power, and deceit; a powerful history and best of all the personal twist, as you get a glimpse into the author’s life, her family relationship, and the inspiration for the book--which is special and unique.
Thank you, Lis for sharing this remarkable story! A story that had to be told. I hope you meet this girl/woman in real life one day, by writing this moving novel, as agree it is bigger than we know. One of the main attractions of SNAPSHOT was the parallels between the story and the author’s life. How incredible is this!
Everyone loves a good mystery, and especially combined with historical events and intrigues wrapped around our nation’s past. Mixed in, the family dynamics and relationship between former FBI agent, James and federal prosecutor, Lisa. At the heart of the novel these two little girls—and their connection to the real truth. Some powerful fathers—with strong daughters, here as well.
From flashbacks to 1965 in Fort Worth, Texas, where a FBI agent had spent countless hours and overtime investigating the JFK assignation and was assigned to the killer, the deceased Lee Harvey Oswald—his activities, friends, and his Russian wife, Marina Oswald; however, this day he was trying to blend in.
Just another bystander, a normal guy who has his daughter with him to witness a historical event. A white dad who happened to have a revolver and FBI credentials. A special agent with the FBI was never off duty and his wife would be furious if she knew he had brought his four year old here. Things he would keep secret for decades, to protect this family.
In the blink of an eye, a photo was taken and at the same time a shot was fired, and a man (a civil rights activist) was killed. However, the wrong man was charged and has been in prison for more than five decades—now he is nearing execution. The wrongful charged man sends this retired FBI agent a message to ask for help before he is executed.
The events which happen next takes us from present day back to Texas in 1965 and to New York in 1971, to Washington, DC when a series of secrets and lies are uncovered layer by layer as one man and his daughter work together to solve a mystery which changed the course of history, with a photo of two little girls which may hold clues to secrets of the past.
Having lived through the sixties, personally— was in the sixth grade when President Kennedy was shot, seems like yesterday. From the racial tensions, Martin Luther King, Jr. Robert Kennedy, The Vietnam War, nuclear water threats, and the hippie generation—some tough times.
As Lis mentions in her book, we live a different life today in America, yet 1965 was not so long ago, and is should not be forgotten. We have not eradicated hatred over skin color, over birthplace, or over differences in beliefs, race, and culture. Some Americans will never know such prejudice, while other Americans live it on a constant basis, even today.
Richard L. Wiehl served as an FBI agent, Federal Prosecutor, and Lawyers from 1960-2003. He is also the father to Lis Wiehl, the author. His word became part of the famous Warren Commission that reported to the President and the world what happened that tragic November day in 1963 after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Readers will love the interview at the end of SNAPSHOT, also an Essay from Juan Williams, former NPR News Consultant and Author of Eyes on the Prize: American’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965, and an Interview with Bill O’Riley, Television Host regarding his own experiences reporting during the American Civil Rights Movement.
This was the age in which two little girls, one black and one white, sat together with all the promise of friendship. Highly recommend this entertaining, and highly-moving complex novel and look forward to reading more from this talented author!
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson--FICTION and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Lis Wiehl is one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded commentators. She is a regular commentator for CNN and also appears often on CBS, NPR and other news outlets. For fifteen years, she was a legal analyst and reporter on the Fox News Channel. Prior to that she was the co-host on the nationally syndicated show The Radio Factor. She was also a tenured law professor at the University of Washington School of Law, in Seattle.
Prior to joining the Fox News Channel in New York City, Wiehl served as a legal analyst and reporter for NBC News and NPR’s All Things Considered. Before that, Wiehl served as a Federal Prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s office.
Wiehl earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland.
Wiehl is also the author of over 19 books including The 51% Minority, which won the 2008 award for Books for a Better Life in the motivational category, and Winning Every Time. Website