Ann Silver is a cop’s cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region’s most trusted investigative positions.
Paul Falcon is the FBI’s top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.
Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn’t expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.
The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former vice president. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is….
Read the First Chapter of Full Disclosure:
I was thrilled at Dee’s long awaited and highly anticipated return so it pains me to give this book anything but a glowing review. I had every intention of loving this book and heralding it as the comeback we had all wished years for, but I have surrendered myself to the reality that Full Disclosure and I will part ways tainted in disappointment. Now before you start with the rotten tomato throwing, please hear me out. I am still a fan of Dee Henderson and the O’Malley series will forever hold a coveted place in this reader’s heart…BUT…in the interest of full disclosure, I was sorely letdown with this new book. I still regard Dee as an exceptional writer (she could never be faulted on that front) but the character profiles and plot did not connect with me as a reader.
This was a different approach for storytelling for Dee. Her previous books had a harmonious balance of unsettling suspense, captivating characters and tangible passion (both for the job and between characters); Full Disclosure is a digression from this perfected formula because the whole purpose can be summarized in one word: Ann. Ann is the driving force, the beginning and end, the raison d’être for this whole book. Every event and interaction is the vehicle through which Ann is dissected and laid out for all to be in awe of her complex perfection. Even her flaws are portrayed as captivating and intriguing. Literally page upon page of dialogue is consumed extolling her virtues as a friend, investigator, pilot, and-most significantly-storyteller and author. And this is where an unexpected and (in my opinion) disconcerting twists occurs: Ann is credited for being the author of all of Dee’s books. Every one of Dee’s beloved characters is actually a friend of Ann’s who has asked her to capture their love story in fiction.
Yes, the lines between fiction and reality have been blurred but there is one tidbit that brought clarity to the whole bizarre puzzle. Ann is not an enigma…she is Dee-right down to the background in engineering, love of pink roses, solving puzzles, taking long walks with God, staying up late, drinking copious amounts of Coca-Cola—and middle name Ann. So what is paraded as a new fiction title can in fact be interpreted as a self-indulgent fictionalized memoir.
There is very little left over for a plot or other characters to stand out when they are cast in the shadow of Ann’s consuming page presence. Paul-who is assumedly the older brother of Luke Falcon from Dee’s True Courage-is the quintessential star FBI agent. I was dubious to believe that Ann and Paul had no inkling of their close ties to one another in spite of all the overlap with Paul’s family and friends. So much effort was placed on linking these too on all fronts so that their union would be an inevitability. Too say that Paul was determined to romance Ann would be a stretch; he had some fine moments of wooing but he seemed more determined to understand her and convince her to marry him than to make her fall in love with him. Their match is based upon intellectual and professional respect, common faith, and attraction which eventually grew to love (although I am still not wholly convinced). Their relationship has many quirks and agreements that redefine the boundaries of a modern relationship, and I struggled with identifying with their decisions.
The mystery subplot carried Dee’s signature twists and turns that entice readers to dig deep for answers. Unfortunately, most of the action was behind-the-scenes and presented to the audience from a second hand point of view. I missed the adrenaline rush of action that is so notable in Dee’s previous books even though there was the potential to make this a nail-biting thriller.
My intention was not to be mean spirited in this review and I apologize if that is how it comes across. I respect Dee as an author and fictional visionary and hope that this marks her return to the publishing world. I will certainly continue to read her books and to reread the favourites that are already in my collection. The majority of readers have adored Full Disclosure so don’t let my opinion deter you from discovering it for yourself. In fact, I would love to hear your thoughts!
**Disclosure: Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by Bethany House for review consideration**