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Burden of Proof

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BURDEN OF PROOF
FBI Rapid Response, #1
by
DiANN MILLS
Genre: Inspirational / Mystery / Suspense / Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Date of Publication: October 9, 2018
Number of Pages: 416
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Reeling from a negotiation gone wrong, FBI Special Agent April Ramos is caught off guard when a frazzled young woman shoves a crying baby into her arms, then disappears. Worry for the child’s safety quickly turns to fear when a man claiming to be the girl’s father abducts them at gunpoint. April puts her hostage negotiation skills to use to learn more about who she’s dealing with: Jason Snyder, a fugitive accused of murder.

As Jason spins a tall tale about being framed for the killing of his business partner, April must sort through his claims to find the truth. A truth that becomes all the more evident after April overhears a conversation between Jason and the local sheriff and realizes something more sinister may be happening in their small town of Sweet Briar, Texas. But aligning herself with a known fugitive to uncover the burden of proof could cost April her job . . . or worse, her life and the lives of other innocent people.

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PRAISE FOR DiANN MILLS:
“The tension level rises as layers of lies are peeled away in multiple plot twists.”
— Library Journal
“DiAnn Mills is a master of fast-paced and intricately plotted romantic suspense.”
— Colleen Coble, Bestselling author
“”[A] fast-moving, intricately plotted thriller.”
— Publishers Weekly
Pull quote: "Before they'd let me out of rehab someone had to agree to act as my legal custodian. There it is, the snappy truth about why, at the age of thirty-two, I live with my mother." FBI Special Agent April Ramos
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Clueless Gent’s Rating

4 1/2 star rating

Burden of Proof will keep your knuckles white as you cling to the book and follow this exciting story! It’s no surprise to me that this rollercoaster of a story was written my DiAnn Mills. She is definitely making a name for herself in this genre.
This newest addition by Mills has an abundance of switchbacks, pitfalls and betrayals. Despite the story being predominantly set in a small Texas town, the author constructed a literary obstacle course that would make the Marines proud!
It was highly entertaining to be privy to their thoughts as the characters are bombarded with setback after setback. Mills changes the POV several times to ensure that the reader doesn’t miss a thing. That, my friend, is what good fiction is all about, in my humble opinion.

Burden of Proof Protagonists – How They Met

Our two protagonists could not be more different. Jason Snyder is a father frantically searching for his kidnapped baby daughter. The other is April Ramos, an FBI special agent trained in hostage negotiation. Jason is a highly successful builder in the small town of Sweet Briar, Texas. Rachel works out of the Houston FBI office.
When they first meet, Jason kidnaps Rachel at gunpoint in a donut shop because she is holding Jason’s young daughter in her arms. Isn’t that an oddly exciting opening for a story? Yeah, I thought so too!
Jason and Rachel are both flawed characters – which is good – but they’re flawed in entirely different ways – which is even better. Jason’s wife died about a year earlier, shortly after giving birth to their only child. Jason continues to question whether he did everything he could for his wife, who was dying from cancer. Now, he’s accused of killing his best friend, and he’s on the run from a very corrupt sheriff.
Enter Rachel, who is still reeling from an unsuccessful effort in talking a man down from a ledge. After being kidnapped by Jason, she uses her hostage negotiation skills to listen to Jason and put a damper on his hotheadedness. Slowly, she begins to believe his innocence, but with a brutal sheriff on Jason’s trail, she has her hands full with keeping him away from the sheriff and trying to find the real killer.

Technically Speaking

Despite this being an advance copy, I don’t recall finding any SPAG issues. Props to the editing team!

Let’s talk about the pacing. Some suspense novels keep a pretty consistent pace from the beginning to the climax. Not this one. This one is stop. And go. And stop. And go. But I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. Think of it as a bunch of mini-climaxes along the road to a big reveal.

These two characters keep getting smacked down by so many obstacles, like being run off the road and a broken bone, they have to stop and regroup. Oh, and let’s not forget the snake and the trips to the ER! But each time they get back up, dust themselves off, and they’re back at it. As I was reading, my eyes kept wanting to skip ahead a few paragraphs, while my mind struggled to keep them in place so I wouldn’t miss anything. In my reading experience, that’s another sign of great storytelling!

Lastly, we have the character arcs. They’re unexpected, yet wonderful! Even though this story takes place over just a handful of days, both protagonists are profoundly changed by the end of the story.

Speaking of the end of the story, I fully admit that I never saw that reveal coming!

This is not the first DiAnn Mills novel I’ve read, and I seriously doubt it’ll be the last.

I highly recommend this particular Mills book to anyone who enjoys a story that’ll get your blood pumping and even tug at your heart a little bit!

I received a free copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.
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DiAnn Mills Author Photo

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian fiction books of 2014.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers.
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October 9-18, 2018
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2 thoughts on “Burden of Proof

  1. I have got to read this book! Your review is really enticing — I love what you said about having to force your eyes to not skip ahead so you didn’t miss a thing. Thanks for the post!

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