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Witness to the Truth Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1994


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Spectrum by Alan Jacobson
FBI profiler Karen Vail's current case takes readers back to the beginning, with flashbacks to her rookie days as an NYPD patrol officer. "Spectrum" is a great way for new readers of the series to jump into the action. Learn more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Fawcett (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449147940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449147948
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this debut novel, FBI agent Lindsay puts the heat on the agency's bosses in a no-holds-barred romp through high-crime Detroit. Special agent Mike Devlin sidesteps Bureau policy--as usual--by singlehandedly nailing a fugitive killer. Enraged at missing a photo-op (and a chance for quick career advancement), Devlin's superiors "reward" him with night-shift wiretap duty plus the burden of training a new agent. Both punishments backfire: novice Edgar Livingston, a black man straight from Devlin's mold, proves an instant ally against the self-serving bureaucrats; and the wiretap on the Pantatelli family reveals that an agent is selling the FBI's Detroit snitch list to the Mafia. When the bosses further enrage Devlin by refusing to declare one of their own agent's daughters as missing (for fear of bad press), he gathers a team of agents whom he and Livingston can trust to nail the Mafia contact and trace the missing girl. Lindsay's riotous style fuels a hard-driving narrative, and his insider knowledge gives the quirky plot twists welcome credibility. He manages to skewer stuffed-shirt bureaucrats while shining the badge of the dedicated agent right up to the perfect ending. Major ad/promo; film rights to Hollywood Pictures; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Special Agent Mike Devlin is in hot water. His bruising get-results style doesn't go well with the bureaucratic administrators of the "new" FBI. So when Devlin evades orders to bust a drug dealer, he's exiled to late-night wiretap duty. He hears a Mafia big shot make arrangements to buy a list of the FBI informants in the Detroit area, confirming a rumor about a mole already denied by his superiors. Assembling a crew of fellow malcontents, Devlin launches his own covert operation, at the same time secretly investigating the possible kidnapping of another agent's daughter. Written by an FBI agent, this has all the gritty procedural details of a Joseph Wambaugh novel, although the author lacks Wambaugh's ability to bring his characters to sympathetic life. But this isn't a novel to read for characterization; its gripping plot grabs you early on and won't let go. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/92.
-Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JD Schaefer on December 15, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This is the first time I agreed with all the reviewers, whether they panned the book or loved it. No it wasn't well written, the bad guys aren't all going to grovel in front of the FBI, the rookie black agent and his romance are not well addressed, the black characters are either all good or all bad, all characters are pretty stereotypical with the good guys idealized and the bad guys demonized. and yes the plot is more like a series of vignettes that tie together too neatly at the end.
But so what? This is a fun book. It wasn't meant to be the Bard. The characters in the trenches are likeable and the witticisms are often hilarious (they almost steal the book). The FBI doesn't get a lot of respect these days and no wonder since the general impression is the administrators care more about improving their careers than removing crime and in so doing, all too often forget good case solving technique and procedure. However this book gives hope to those of us who want to have good feelings about the FBI, that there are those agents who believe in what they're doing, not solely about career advancement.
This book stayed with me a little longer than the typical 3 books a week that I normally read. I've read Paul Lindsay's subsequent books and they're an improvement over this book in terms of character and plot development. If you like this book, then you should get the rest of them. I've asked Amazon to notify me when his next book is out.
P.S. I hope the former FBI agnt who reviewed this book (and gave it a positive review and whose reviews of other books I enjoyed), had a spell check feature on his computer when he wrote reports in his capacity as an FBI agent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Finnegan on October 15, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I retired from the FBI in 2004 after 20 years as a field agent and the FBI managers depicted as fictional in Lindsay's book were so real to me I can almost assign them names. No good work goes unpunished in the FBI, however, I intend to use Lindsey's book in a course I am teaching on "Detective novels and fiction". Great job Paul. We've never met but I feel I know you. This book has languished in "development" too long. It needs to get made.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam McNeal on June 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a former FBI agent i enjoy reading authors perspectives on the FBI. Lindsay, also former FBI, spent alot of time developing characters and procedural drama. I found the book to be entertaining and very authantic, made me remember what it was like to work for the Bureua. Also entertaining was Lindsays' portrail of the relationship between agents and management was much like the bureacracy i worked under.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael on May 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was enjoyable. Don't go into it thinking it is Shakespere it is not. It is a great action book that keeps you guessing....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Witness to the Truth, a glimpse of what the F.B.I. is really like,
rings awfully true, especially to anyone with a smattering of understanding
of our legal system's faults. Paul Lindsay has told a riveting story and
drawn clear and cool characters without succumbing to the temptation to get
too much into their innermost feelings. You understand the people well enough --
he doesn't have to tell you why they do what they do. There is no question
that the F.B.I. is "exposed" here -- and you can see why this book, which shatters
a lot of illusions -- could have cost Lindsay his job. It's a
a great eye-opener and a great story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "duprestars" on February 25, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Written by ex-FBI agent, this book follows a Detroit Irish FBI agent who searches for a serial killer and a leak inside the FBI, all the while battling an uncaring FBI bureaucracy, the Mafia, and various criminals. If you like detailed cops and robbers in a big town and the grim reality of fighting crime in spite of government red tape, you'll love this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Years ago I read Paul's book "Code Name: Gentkill." And absolutely loved it, as I was an agent at the time. This book is right along the same lines. One needs to understand the culture of the FBI to truly appreciate Paul's books. The way his twerpy little supervisor tries to undercut what he does is perfect. His depiction of the SAC who wants to take all the glory is equally well-done. The little group of agents trying to please the supervisor is excellent. Paul clearly gets it, or did - RIP to an excellent writer and storyteller. Now that I'm retired and writing my own books, I take the same tact toward the bureau - which can be stifling to anyone who truly wants to get the job done. Paul shows that the more you do the more you expose yourself to problems. No question that was/and probably still is the truth. I'm dying to re-read "Gentkill" and Paul's other books.
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By AC500Driver on November 18, 2013
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
This is the my third go around with this book and it gets better each time. Paul Lindsay, RIP, writes a real page turner that really shows the the conflict between the chairwarming pansies of the FBI vs the real agents. The underlying story is a good one and not to be missed.
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