A female FBI agent is at the center of the search for the bomber who evaded capture for almost two decades.
Beginning in 1978, a series of serious bombings around the United States thwarted the FBI’s ability to apprehend the persons responsible. By the time special agent Kathleen M. Puckett was recruited, the FBI had been working for years to achieve that goal. Puckett had a positive reputation, and her background in the Air Force and her work in counterintelligence made her a sought-after prospect—but that didn’t save her from sexist microaggressions. “Puckett didn’t want to be respected as a female agent. She wanted respect as an agent. Her day would come.” In fast-paced prose, Denson recounts how Puckett, a white woman, was determined to learn all she could about the case, diligently studying the old files and visiting the scenes of the attacks before the publication of the Unabomber’s manifesto in the New York Times and the Washington Post helped break the case. This page-turning true-crime narrative takes readers behind the scenes of the detailed work, decision-making, and sometimes luck that go into solving difficult cases. The writing is lively, and the principal players are fully dimensional. The author’s note gives insight into his own intriguing process.
This is the first in a series that will look at the important cases of the FBI, and it’s a highly auspicious opener. (timeline, additional facts, sources) (Nonfiction. 8-12)