Below The Radar

Mysterious Book Report No. 385

by John Dwaine McKenna

A deep undercover mission infiltrating a violent extremist organization in a foreign country, by a female FBI agent with psychological issues rooted in a too-recent-to-be-recovered-from operation, with zero planning time beforehand, an inexperienced, unsophisticated partner and poorly-constructed legend—spies cover story—made up on the fly.  What could possibly go wrong?

That’s the exciting premise underlying retired FBI agent Dana Ridenour’s electrifying new thriller, Below The Radar, (Wise Ink Creative Publishing, PB, $14.99, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1-63489-224-7), the third installment in her award-winning Lexie Montgomery series.

As the novel begins, Lexie is trying to recover from the trauma of her last undercover assignment, in which her undercover partner lost his life.  She’s in therapy and deep in self-recrimination, endlessly watching the reply video in her mind, and playing the shudda-cudda-wudda guilt game over and over in her head.  Neither her FBI appointed shrink, nor her immediate supervisor think she’s ready and fit to return to active duty.  But when a Dutch Constable goes missing, presumably at the hands of an extremist animal rights group, the Dutch police turn to the FBI for help, looking for an agent who could go—or is already embedded—in the violent organization.  When the call comes down from FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C., Lexie answers, and less than a week later, finds herself in Holland at a semi-secret international conference known as the gathering, along with another FBI agent named Blake Bennett.

The Gathering is small, remote, high security and totally vegan . . . no small problem for the cheeseburger chompin’ Bennett, who’s more acclimated to the outlaw biker gang’s he’s infiltrated than the highly-educated animal rights activists he’s immersed with.  And although Blake’s out of his element and viewed with suspicion, Lexie fits right in.  Maybe too well.  As the conferees are breaking camp and preparing to leave, the agents haven’t a clue about the whereabouts of the Dutch Constable, but they do know that terrorists are planning a large scale attack on the United States, but not when or where.  Then, with the Gathering disbanding, the police closing in, the two undercover agents in open dispute and hints but no leads . . . Lexie disappears.

Unbeknownst to anyone on the law enforcement side, she’s been kidnapped.  At which point the tension goes up to a fever pitch as the action becomes a thrilling race against time in this great, action-packed yarn that’s a perfect summer read!

And hey . . . an added note, just so you know . . . half of Ms. Ridenour’s twenty year career with the FBI was spent in undercover activity including gang-related human trafficking, narcotics and domestic terrorism.  Shes’ the real, real deal; tough, brave and smart.  All honest citizens owe her a debt of gratitude and personal Thanks for what she’s done for all of us.

Like the review?  Let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report, because the greatest compliment you can give is to share our work with others.


And Hey!  When you have a moment, please check out our secure, all brand-new and combined website that’s redesigned, prettier, simple to use, and makes it as easy as pie to send us your comments!  Please do.  We’re looking forward to hearing from all of you.

Go to:


John McKenna-Facebook