Monday, May 23, 2011
FBI and other members of the Government Alphabet Soup
Held captive in a tiny hut deep in the Guatemalan rain forest, Ted Bohannon and his friend, Donald Gregory, have one goal: take the four children imprisoned with them and escape. Two years later, Ted's widowed sister Jennifer Ryaan paces in her living room. A mysterious note with a Guatemalan postmark appeared in her mailbox that afternoon. Someone knows her missing brother's fate. And her friends couldn't have picked a worse time to set her up on a blind date with airline pilot Jack McGowan. FBI agents, who investigated the original case, received new information about Jennifer's brother from a confidential informant. With Jennifer's permission, they set up phone taps and surveillance. A clandestine meeting in Paris brings Jack under the cross hairs of their suspicion. Jennifer refuses to believe Jack is involved, but how can she argue with such compelling evidence as photos of Jack with two international crime bosses? A tug-of-war between Jennifer's feelings for Jack and her determination to locate her missing brother is overshadowed by two strange men from Guatemala. Are they stalking her? _______________________________________________ My research for this novel began with visits to the Department of State website. I chose Guatemala because of the crime reports and warnings listed on this site. From there I visited the FBI's national website, where I requested information via an e-mail message. Neal Schiff, their liaison in Washington, DC called me the next day. Through many phone calls, he gave me the "inside scoop" (as much as he could without having to kill me-tee hee) of the Bureau's methods of handling this type of international incident. One of my co-workers, who has relatives who served in missions in Central America, confirmed my earlier research. Her uncle was kidnapped while living in Guatemala and held for several months before the family could come up with the ransom. After receiving payment, his abductors returned him (albeit a mere shadow of his former self). Unfortunately, not all victims survive their captivity. One purpose of this novel is to hint at this oft' swept under the rug multi-million dollar industry that continues to grow in Central America, as well the horrendous market of child trafficking. When you plan to travel abroad, please check the D.o.S. website, and heed their warnings. (www.state.gov) And hang onto your children, even if you're at a theme park in Main Street, USA.