You build relationships to betray relationships. That is the motto for the FBI’s undercover program, and special agent Lexie Montgomery is just beginning to understand what that means. Lexie’s first assignment is infiltrating a radical cell of the Animal Liberation Front. Underground and operating in splinter groups throughout Los Angeles, the only way in is through Savannah Riley, a new recruit. Savannah left the safety of her small southern town for the bright lights of the city. Pulled into the animal rights movement by her college roommate and a gorgeous anarchist, she sinks deeper and deeper into the dark, paranoid world of ALF extremists. As the actions of her cell escalate beyond simple demonstrations and graffiti, Savannah turns to Lexie to keep her grounded. But as the two women grow closer and the FBI’s case builds, Lexie is forced to decide what betrayal really means.
Behind the Mask
Dana Ridenour, author
Retired FBI undercover agent Ridenour, whose career included infiltrating the militant Animal Liberation Front, provides an inside look at that kind of operation in her page-turning debut. In May 2010, the bureau dispatches special agent Lexie Montgomery, who’s just received her undercover certification, to Los Angeles, where her mission is to gain the confidence of members of the ALF by posing as a sympathizer. A prologue set a year later, in which Savannah Riley, a woman in FBI custody charged with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, makes it obvious that Lexie succeeds in her assignment, but the sacrifice of some suspense is more than justified by Ridenour’s emphasis on the human aspects of undercover work. Lexie’s developing relationship with Savannah gains depth because the reader knows Savannah’s eventual fate. Lexie’s own struggles with maintaining her professionalism while sympathizing with the goals, rather than the means, of the animal rights terrorists helps make her a three-dimensional lead. With any luck, Lexie will be back in a sequel. (BookLife)