THE FACE OF THE LOCUST
by Sheila L. Stephens
Sheila L. Stephens brings years of law enforcement experience to this series about the first female ATF special agent in Alabama.
Alex Stewart has a powerful, but faceless, enemy. The first female ATF special agent in the state of Alabama, one of the first in the nation, she receives a frosty welcome from the staff at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Glencoe, Georgia.
It is 1984. The FLETC staff is male. Many display open contempt for female trainees. With preening condescension, Instructor Taylor admits that Alex is expected to wash out. When a questionable accident threatens to sideline her, it's clear that someone has engineered her defeat. Someone wants to prevent her from wearing the badge of special agent.
At least Instructor Harris is on her side. When Alex stumbles upon suspicious bruises on his young daughter, Sydney, she vows to find the abuser. Harris is a player, yes. But, a child abuser? Never. Could the child's care-giver have hurt her, or even the mother, hard drinking Angela Harris? What Alex discovers, changes everything.
With the help of a loyal group of unconventional friends, and an unlikely ally, Alex must discover who, in this bastion of historically-white-maleness, has set her up for failure.
She is drawn to U.S. Customs trainee Ben Lincoln, yet an old fear strangles her heart. A secret has followed Alex to this remote Georgia landscape, a secret that threatens her success--and her sanity. To keep the past buried, Alex fights her feelings for Ben with the same intensity with which she battles for her career.
What are Alex's feelings for Drew Wilson? Should this relationship cross the line into something that has long been taboo in both their upbringings? Caring for Drew causes her to examine long-held beliefs.
As training takes unexpected turns, she must confront armed outlaw motorcycle gangs, vengeful townies and arrogant instructors. She meets her match, however, in Claire Lincoln, a woman determined to save her son from Alex.
Tests of her ability intensify, forcing Alex to prove that she has what it takes to be a special agent. This calls to something in her murky past, resurrecting the faceless man of her nightmares, and forcing her to confront what is buried there. As pieces of her past come together, Alex makes choices, knowing that each will have consequences, not only for her career, her freedom and her sanity, but for those she loves.
THE FACE OF THE LOCUST is the story of a woman who forces an in-road into the world of men, as demons of a forgotten past whisper a fearful truth into her mind.
It is the story of a woman who must exorcise the grim spirits of an old life before she can find the freedom to live a new one.
In the second and third books of this series, Alex learns the life of a female special agent. Full of wacky characters and tragic cases based on true-life experiences, these books open a portal into the real world of federal law enforcement.