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Book Review: With Evil Intent by Tracy Truesdale

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Just off I-95 north of Hendersonville, South Carolina, two vicious men sat waiting in their van With Evil Intent. They had waited for just the right family to pull into the rest stop — at just the right moment. Driving rain had forced several automobiles to pull into the rest area because even with wiper blades clearing windshield rain water as quickly as possible, any safe driving distance vision was obliterated. Maneuvering the roadway was hazardous.

A Buick sedan parked next to their van. As they watched, the driver dashed out through the downpour to the men’s room leaving his wife and two daughters inside the car. The two thugs were anxious and ready. They would commit their crime now. Within just a few moments, they rendered the children’s mother unconscious, left the youngest six-year-old daughter crying, lying face down in the puddles outside the rear of the Buick, and had driven off into the ominous storm with the family’s 12-year-old daughter.

Although this reviewer cannot imagine what really went through the father’s mind as he returned to find his family desecrated, author Tracy Truesdale attempts to describe this parent's mental anguish in his book, With Evil Intent. Practically insane with horror, the father sought immediate help by dialing 911 to alert local police. Arriving on the scene, they in turn engaged the help of State Police.

Special Agent Russell Stone spent 10 years working with the FBI on missing persons’ cases. But now, he had become somewhat frustrated working on a team “bound by departmental rules and regulations.” As a result, he established himself as a private investigation specialist, and decided to take on the case of the kidnapped 12-year-old girl when her desperate father phoned for help.

Thus begins the fascinating story written by Tracy Truesdale. The reader is forced to experience the desolate helplessness — almost despair — felt by the kidnapped girl’s family when no contact was made by the kidnappers for any kind of ransom. Initially, agent Stone can offer little hope. He was well aware of the number of cases where young women were torn from their families and consigned to slavery in countries of the world where exploitation is not only allowable, but acceptable.

In addition to being brilliant, because of his past connections with the FBI, Russell Stone has a deep network of friends — some in unsavory places, but most that are decent associates who have influence among the higher, mightier levels of law enforcement and government. He uses these folks to great advantage.The story With Evil Intent tells how Russell Stone uses his wit and his connections with well informed people to try to track the path of the abducted 12-year-old, often with minimal clues at best.

From the heart-wrenching paragraphs of its first pages described above until the final conclusion, the story is easy to follow and will maintain a reader’s interest. The influence of the actual work done by author Truesdale as an intelligence analyst while serving with the U.S. military in Augsburg, Germany prior to 1985 cannot be missed. He obviously knows the right people and the right procedures to get things done quickly and efficiently. In a way, the book is a tribute to the work done by him and others like him.

I would recommend the book to anyone interested in child abduction or cases of kidnapping. We’ve all heard or read about pathetic stories of people, particularly the young, who appear to drop off the earth and are never found. Like the family in this tale, we assume it could never happen to us or our loved ones, but hopefully, With Evil Intent will shock readers into being more vigilant.

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