#ThrowbackThursday! Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

11 Jan

I have seen a number of #ThrowbackThursday posts today and thought, I have got to get in on that action! What a great way to highlight books that are still with me — those I think about long after I have closed the cover. This week I am sharing Snapshot by Lis Wiehl. My book club read this suspense novel several years ago and it was a hit. Our favorite genre is definitely mystery/suspense so of course we had to read it, but it also brought back the turbulent times of the 1960s. If you haven’t read Snapshot, we recommend it to you. If you have, we’d love to know your thoughts.

Two little girls, frozen in black and white. One picture worth killing for.

The Civil Rights Movement is less than a distant memory to Lisa Waldren—it is someone else’s memory altogether, passed on to her through the pages of history. Her life as a federal prosecutor in Boston feels utterly remote from the marches in the South that changed her father’s generation—and the entire nation—forever.

But the truth is, she was there.

When a photograph surfaces showing a blond, four-year-old Lisa playing with an African-American girl at a civil rights march in Fort Worth, Lisa is faced with a jarring revelation: the girls may have been the only witnesses who observed the killer of civil rights leader Benjamin Gray . . . and therefore the only ones who can exonerate the death row inmate falsely accused of the murder.

Soon, Lisa finds herself in the dangerous world her father had shielded her from as a child. After some searching, the Waldrens find the other little girl from the photo and, in the process, uncover conspiracy mere steps away from the likes of Bobby Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and J. Edgar Hoover.

Lis Wiehl is one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded commentators. Currently, she is the legal analyst and reporter on the Fox News Channel and Bill O’Reilly’s sparring partner in the weekly “Is It Legal?” segment on The O’Reilly Factor. Prior to that she was O’Reilly’s co-host on the nationally syndicated show The Radio Factor. She is also a Professor of Law at New York Law School. Her column “Lis on Law” appears weekly on FoxNews.com.

Prior to joining 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 The 51% Minority, which won the 2008 award for Books for a Better Life in the motivational category, and Winning Every Time.

She lives with her husband and two children in New York.

My Impressions:

Lis Wiehl has become a favorite author of my book club, By The Book. We love suspense, so we chose Snapshot for our November selection. Inspired by Wiehl’s father and a real-life snapshot of Wiehl as a child, this novel has all the elements for those who love suspense — fast-paced plot, smart and savvy characters, and conspiracies galore. It also has a tie to real events in our nation’s history. Perfect for history buffs and mystery/suspense fans.

Federal prosecutor Lisa Waldren has had a strained relationship with her ex-FBI agent dad for years. When he calls with a plea to help him uncover the real killer of a Civil Rights activist from the 1960s, she is persuaded to join the case not just to bring justice to a man on death row, but to build some bridges. With the help of her father’s unconventional PI girlfriend, Lisa’s friend Drew and Molly the now grown up little girl from the long ago snapshot, the team uncovers long kept secrets and unearths the truth surrounding long lost friends.

I imagine that my book club will have lots to talk about when we meet at the end of the week. Snapshot is inspired by real events in Wiehl and her father’s past. There should be good discussion on the current state of race relations in the U.S. as well as what has or hasn’t changed from the mid-196os. We have a large age span in our group (from 30s to 90+), so it should be interesting to hear everyone’s insights. The plot of this novel should also satisfy those of us who like a good mystery. Although the bad actors are disclosed early on in the book, the reader is left guessing motivations. There are also a number of shadow characters that come to light at the end of the book. There are only brief references to faith in Snapshot. Only one character seems to really live her life for God and she is a minister. Her influence is big at the end and should elicit good discussion as well.

All in all, I liked Snapshot. In fact, it is probably my favorite by Wiehl to date. Have you read this one? We would love to hear your thoughts.


Audience: Adults

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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