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If a picture paints a thousand words, then surely the 1965 photo of two little girls --- one black, one white --- sitting together at a civil rights rally, speaks volumes. Oblivious to the racial tension surrounding them, the four-year-olds seem happy to have found each other. But minutes after that photo, gunshots ring out and chaos ensues. People run and scream. Some rush toward Benjamin Gray, the peacemaker at the forefront of the rally, but the bullets found their mark. Lying bloody and still on the street, Gray has been forever silenced. A few feet away, police encircle and arrest a suspect. He will spend a lifetime behind bars. But did he do it? The only ones who might be able to right the wrong that took place that day are the two little girls in the snapshot.

As one life ends, another is changed forever. Leonard Dubois had not even planned on attending the rally that day, but his last-minute decision to do so has landed him in jail, with nothing but a death sentence in his future. As his execution draws near, Leonard is unaware that an FBI agent, who attended the rally with his little daughter 50 years prior, has decided to reopen the case.  James Waldren knows he can’t get very far on his own. He has long since retired from the FBI, the case is cold as ice, key witnesses are dead or missing, and the evidence was immediately compromised as crowds converged on the scene.

"Author Lis Wiehl weaves an intriguing plot inspired by actual events and embellished with colorful characters and plenty of suspense."

Complicating matters are layers of secrets and mysteries that may or may not play into the crime and Dubois’s conviction. But James has a secret weapon --- one with the power and expertise to help him make his case: a successful federal prosecutor with meritorious credentials and an imperishable tie to the past. She was the little white girl in the photo…and she’s his daughter.

Lisa Waldren had only a moment to celebrate the successful ending of a case that had taken up three years of her life. Before she could bask in the victory, her estranged father called to ask her help with an old case --- an unprecedented move on his part. They had talked very little since her mother remarried and saw each other even less. But the call intrigued her, and with a nudge from her boyfriend, she decides to fly from Boston to Texas just for a few days. But from the moment she lands, she is swept into a journey that reaches into her childhood, clutching at a day that powerfully changed the lives of many people. And in an effort to create order from chaos, she and her father, along with his unconventional girlfriend/PI, will have to find a missing key, missing photos, and the little girl who sat next to Lisa in that long-ago snapshot. As each task is accomplished, they grow closer to their goal, knowing someone does not want them to reach it --- someone powerful, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to prevent secrets from being unveiled.

Author Lis Wiehl weaves an intriguing plot inspired by actual events and embellished with colorful characters and plenty of suspense. A legal analyst, bestselling novelist and former federal prosecutor, Wiehl infuses the book with ample doses of history, justice, greed, power and the human condition. All in all, SNAPSHOT is a great read.

Reviewed by Susan Miura on January 23, 2014

by Lis Wiehl