Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ray's Reviews: Seized by Elizabeth Heiter

        “Seized” by University of Michigan graduate Elizabeth Heiter (Mira Books,
$7.99) is a taut thriller that could be torn from tomorrow’s newspaper
        The third paperback in the acclaimed “Profiler” series again focuses on
biracial FBI profiler Evelyn Baine.
        She is sent out to Montana State Prison to interview a bomber
who’d blown up two black churches and a mosque.
        Baine had been assigned there by her boss at the FBI’s Behavioral
Analysis Unit as punishment for not following orders months earlier.
        Getting ready to fly back, Baine is approached by Jen Martinez, from a
different FBI Unit. Martinez suspects that a nearby survivalist cult is
planning terrorist activities but can’t get her superiors to respond.
        Baine’s interest is piqued; she joins Martinez on a trip to “Butler’s
Compound”, where she’s met by Ward Butler, the group’s forceful leader.
        Soon Baine and the other agent are held captive; when the Hostage Rescue
Unit arrives, the exceptionally stressful situation boils over.
        Locked away at the compound, the two agents seek a way out – but there’s
little opportunity as danger abounds and the terrorist threat becomes
        The fast-paced novel gets considerably more complicated; significant
problems arise when carefully-orchestrated efforts don’t work exactly as
        Baine doesn’t really get to use her special profiler talents much until
the last third of the book, when she realizes that some of her earlier
observations were not based on all the facts.
        The convoluted plot twists and turns in so many ways that the reader may
need to keep a scorecard to keep track of it all.
        Fortunately, Heiter provides a bit of assistance with a detailed two-page
list of the FBI’s terms and acronyms.
        This is a well-researched novel showcasing a flawed character who must
make quick decisions – sometimes with dire consequences.
        There’s significantly less romance in this installment than the last
book, “Vanished”. Heiter began the series with “Hunted” and more books
are on the way.
        The Profiler series could easily be turned into a dandy television
series.  Heiter’s latest is a thought-provoking thriller by a rising star
in contemporary crime fiction.
        The author has also written another series featuring the F.B.I., “The
Lawmen” but they are romances showcasing different female main

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime
novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.

Find these books and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on February 14, 2016.