Behind the Mask Review

I love FBI thrillers.


The book I’m reviewing today is by a good friend and former FBI agent Dana Ridenour. SO you know it’s has to be good when a FBI agent is writing about the FBI! She is the real deal!


Let’s take a look at Behind the Mask.


  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English

You build relationships to betray relationships.
That is the motto for the FBI’s undercover program, and special agent Lexie Montgomery is just beginning to understand what that means. Lexie’s first assignment is infiltrating a radical cell of the Animal Liberation Front. Underground and operating in splinter groups throughout Los Angeles, the only way in is through Savannah Riley, a new recruit.
Savannah left the safety of her small southern town for the bright lights of the city. Pulled into the animal rights movement by her college roommate and a gorgeous anarchist, she sinks deeper and deeper into the dark, paranoid world of ALF extremists.
As the actions of her cell escalate beyond simple demonstrations and graffiti, Savannah turns to Lexie to keep her grounded. But as the two women grow closer and the FBI’s case builds, Lexie is forced to decide what betrayal really means.

Tawney’s Review: This was a strong debut novel by Dana. We are introduced to the world of the FBI with our protagonist Lexie Montgomery. Lexi is an undercover agent going out on a mission for the first time. She is tasked to uncover a group of violators of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Our other protagonist is Savannah, a college student who becomes entangled with the animal activist group Lexie is infiltrating.


Dana did a wonderful job and showing the turmoil of being undercover with the stress that accompanies it.  Lying and keeping secrets are a daily job for Lexie but when she meets Savannah they become friends and Lexie’s job just got harder. Lexi begins to sympathize with Savannah and as they grow closer Lexie’s emotions sway because she doesn’t want to see


The pace was fast and with each word the description throws the reader into Lexie and Savannah’s adventure. Dana did a wonderful job at immersing the reader into the FBI world. The characters were relatable in their struggles and wants. The story was thrilling and i couldn’t put this book down. I had fun reading this and look forward for more from Dana.


Should you read it? Yes! A thrilling read that has you rooting for both Lexie and Savannah.



About the author

Dana Ridenour is a retired FBI agent.  She recently released her debut novel, Behind the Mask.  Ridenour’s Behind the Mask follows Alexis Montgomery, an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates a radical underground mo
vement of the Animal Liberation Front.

Ridenour graduated from Meade County High School in 1984, then attended the University of Kentucky.  After two years at the University of Kentucky, she changed her major to Police Administration and transferred to Eastern Kentucky University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1989.  Ridenour earned her Juris Doctor in 1992 from Chase College of Law.

Over the years, Ridenour has been employed in a wide variety of jobs including first mate on a tour boat (her favorite job), lawyer, and Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Ridenour entered on duty with the FBI in November of 1995 and retired in April of 2016 after over twenty years of service.  Ridenour was assigned to four different FBI Field Divisions and had the opportunity to work a wide variety of cases to include multi faceted narcotics investigations, domestic sex trafficking of minors, and violent crime.  Over the years, Ridenour was a proud member of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team where she and her team traveled to New York City in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.  The highlight of Ridenour’s career came in 2003 when she attended and passed the FBI’s prestigious undercover school, thus allowing her to work as an undercover FBI agent.  This undercover certification opened the door for Ridenour to work a series of long term, deep cover cases focusing on domestic terrorism.  Ridenour had the rare experience of working a long term undercover investigation with her husband who was also an FBI agent.

Ridenour attributes her law enforcement career to her father and her love of books to her mother. Her mother instilled a love of reading from a young age.  It was her mother who also encouraged her to keep a journal while working as a Special Agent with the thought that one day a novel would materialize from the experiences.  Ridenour’s writing is a reflection of her career and life experiences.  Although she enjoys a wide variety of genres, her literary influences are her favorite southern writers such as Pat Conroy, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Anne Rivers Siddons.  Ridenour’s favorite novel is Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides which she has read many times.

An award winning author, Ridenour lives in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina with her wonderful husband. She is currently writing the second Alexis Montgomery novel.



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