In Firewall, DiAnn Mills latest offering, Taryn Young is on the hunt of her life. After living through an airport bombing as she was about to leave on her honeymoon, she finds out that her husband is a suspect in the bombing. Her best friend has been killed and that same friend’s daughter is missing. FBI agent Grayson Hall is on the case and Taryn is a person of interest in this crime and probably will become suspect. She escapes the hospital despite a concussion and strikes out on her own to prove her innocence. She does not have the strength or resources to find the perpertrator, so in an act of desperation, she contacts FBI Agent Hall and asks for help. She is able to convince him of her innocence and her status changes to “probable victim.” This begins a huge network of agents worldwide looking for the head man in this scheme. After working a long list of names they are able to start narrowing it down, but the brains behind the crime evades them until nearly the end. This is a detailed read and has lots of characters to keep up with but it can be done. It is a good plot line and well written, but I did see a few gaps that I could not completely get a handle on. The connection between Taryn and her best friend Clair does not have enough detail to get my buy in on how deep their friendship is and the circumstances that made them friends is not described until almost the end of the story. Taryn's faith is suffering and her relationship with God is non-existent at the start but her friend Clair is a witness to Taryn for the love of Christ before her death, which brings Taryn slowly back during her long ordeal as she begins to call on God once again. Agent Hall is a Christian which plays into their developing relationship. His Uncle Joe is a Christian. The part that faith plays in this book is small but still evident. The mastermind of all the evil deeds remains shrouded in mystery until close to the end, and then is revealed in a shocking manner which is a traumatic blow to Taryn. The evil enforcer's motivation does carry worldwide implications that tie every plot line together in the end. This novel has layers of intrigue between multiple characters and at times I was not sure how they were related but Ms. Mills succeeds in weaving all of them together into a neat package at the end. Good story with a good ending! I give Firewall four stars. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale Press in exchange for my honest review. These words are my opinion.
Included below is a guest post from the author, DiAnn Mills with pics from her training at the FBI Houston Citizens Academy.
FBI Houston Citizens Academy
When I received the invitation from the FBI Houston Community Outreach Coordinator to participate in their Citizens Academy, all I could think about was the research at my fingertips and the potential of taking a future suspense novel to the next notch of credibility. Actually, my aspirations were selfish. During the seven week course, I grew as a citizen who cared more deeply about stopping and preventing crime in my city.
The Citizens Academy is offered yearly to thirty of Houston’s citizens: professionals from all walks of life, religious leaders, and others who are actively involved in the community. I was the only writer and considered the invitation an honor. The nominations are made by FBI personnel and Citizen’s Academy alumni. I was recommended by Houston FBI’s media coordinator. We’d become good friends, and she knew my concern about providing accuracy in my novels where the FBI is depicted.
The goal of the academy is to give those taking the class a glimpse of the FBI and how its special agents serve within their investigations. This method of outreach is popular in cities all over our country.
“The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners. It performs these responsibilities in a way that is responsive to the needs of the public and faithful to the Constitution of the United States.”