Saturday, January 11, 2014
Review: Snapshot by Lis Wiehl
Snapshot by Lis Wiehl is the second book I've read by this author. FBI agent James Waldren is determined to make right his past failings. He is thrown into action once the date of execution for an innocent man accused of killing a civil rights activist in 1965, closes in. He enlists the help of his daughter, federal prosecutor, Lisa Waldren. They've been estranged for some years so she's less than enthusiastic about helping.
James sends Lisa a photo of her when she was young. The picture was taken the day of the assassination when a black civil rights activist was shot during a rally. This photo was taken of Lisa and another black child the moment of his death. James is hoping to find that other girl, now a woman, because he thinks she may have seen the killer. Ultimately, this probing into the past makes the present very dangerous for Lisa and her father. There is someone who doesn't want the truth of what happened to ever surface.
Much of this Snapshot centers around race relations. There isn't one opportunity missed where someone's race didn't matter. Lisa visits a black church and the first person to talk to her mentions her race as being the reason why she was noticed. I don't know if that is a southern thing but I've been to my fair share of black churches with few whites in the crowd, but I've never heard anyone say "oh! I noticed you because you're white!" Just the same I don't think a black person going to a predominately white church would expect that they are noticed because of them being black. I'm sorry but I had to get that off my chest. It was just weird to me to be reading it. I'm sure it may happen... maybe... but...
Back on subject after the last rant, this book deals a lot with race relations during the 60s. James paints the picture of that time in American history being one of the most tumultuous periods to live in. With the assassination of the Kennedy's, Dr. King, and the looming crisis with other countries, no one trusted anyone. Lis Wiehl also brings to surface that many past prejudices don't die easy.
Snapshot explores other relations besides race. James and Lisa have been estranged for some years and that tension is thick. They are both really well drawn characters. James battles his guilt of not being a better father and essentially doesn't really know how to change that. Lisa struggles with accepting her father's failures and forgiving him not realizing that this burden hinders her own personal growth. She's a workaholic with no life outside of her friend Drew. James and Lisa are what kept me interested in this novel.
I don't have any gripes with Snapshot besides the above rant. It's fast paced, interesting, and a good light mystery. There's nothing better to root for than seeing justice done and making what's wrong right. I look forward to reading more Lis Wiehl novels. She hasn't let me down yet. ***