Recommended reading: ‘Under the Mask’ exposes the pressures and dangers of being an undercover FBI agent

behind the mask, by Dana Ridenour

Undercover FBI agents know that the mask must remain in place until the end of the assignment. Lives depend on it, especially theirs. Special Agent Alexis Montgomery, or Lexie, is fresh from training in Virginia and on her first case undercover in the entire country in Los Angeles. She is now under fire, she lives under a false identity and is infiltrating a dangerous cell of the Animal Liberation Front.

As Lexie goes to work connecting with members of the ALF, she begins to realize the emotional depth of this work. Over time, she is building friendships with suspects. She gets drawn into some of their beliefs as she sinks deeper into their lives. Of her She is filled with self-doubt at the betrayal her job demands of her. The job requires Lexie to build relationships to cheat on relationships. Is it something she can do to her new friends? If not, what danger will surround her?

While on the job, an undercover agent like Lexie, who lives for a long time in isolation from her real life, discovers the loneliness, high stress and despair that lies Behind the mask. Her agent liaison within the FBI, Kate, is also a new friend for Lexie, and they have a lot to learn about each other.

An opportunistic encounter with college freshman Savannah convinces Lexie that she may have found the key to making contact with the dangerous group suspected by the FBI of domestic terrorism. The Savannah connection brings key players Nick and Haley, but it also brings a devastating dilemma. Lexie and Savannah quickly became friends, real best friends. Could this heartfelt relationship be an Achilles heel to the entire FBI operation, or could Lexie turn it into the key to the prosecution? Will Lexie have to betray Savannah to get what she wants, and if so, how will Savannah and her fellow ALF members react?

Author Dana Ridenour creates a thrilling psychological puzzle with big unexpected twists. The storyline includes fascinating insights into the pressures and dangers of an undercover agent’s job. This first book in Lexie Montgomery of the FBI the series is a frantic read that still takes time to explore the multidimensional personalities of the characters and their relationships with each other.

Dana Ridenour is an award-winning author and retired FBI Special Agent. During her 20-year career, she has been assigned to four different FBI field divisions and has had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of cases, including multiple narcotics investigations, domestic child sex trafficking, and violent crimes. You have spent most of your career as an undercover FBI agent.

Dana’s first novel, Behind the mask, has won numerous literary awards and was named one of the best independent books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. His second novel, Beyond the cabin received the 2018 Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Thriller or Suspense Novel. The third book in the FBI Undercover series, Under the radar, was the 2020 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Fiction – Thriller – Terrorist Genre, as well as the Gold Winner/First Place of the 2021 Feathered Quill Book Awards for Best Fiction for Adults. Dana’s three novels are currently in development for television.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is an author of The Wild Rose Press. Her mysteries include Kat Out of the Bag and the prequel Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash. Her latest ebook is Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For.

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