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Crescent Blues Book ViewsDell Publishing (Paperback), ISBN 0440237262
I read The Program by Stephen White while I ate breakfast. This is really not so odd -- I usually read something while I eat. But I also read it while I put my cereal bowl in the sink, while I brushed my teeth, while I walked up the stairs. I even tried to read it while I got dressed. I got so wrapped up in the story that I did not realize I was doing all this, until my husband pointed it out to me. Laughing at me, I might add.

Book: Stephen White, The ProgramStephen White, a psychologist by trade, uses his training to create a superb thriller that disturbs because of his insight into the psyches of his characters.

In the first six pages, Robert Lord dies in a brutal street shooting, victim of an assassination carried out on the orders of Ernesto Castro, an incarcerated drug lord. Kirsten Lord, Robert's wife, put Castro behind bars. As Kirsten watches her husband die, the words Ernesto spoke to her during his sentencing run through her head: "Remember this: Every precious thing I lose, you will lose two."

Realizing the danger Ernesto presents to everyone she loves, Kirsten and her daughter go into hiding, first on their own, and finally under the care of the Witness Security Program. Assigned the names of Peyton and Landon Francis, respectively, the two begin a new life in Boulder, Colo.

Book: Stephen White, Siberian LightEnter Alan Gregory, a psychologist doing a favor for a pregnant colleague. Peyton, not entirely trusting of the people in the Witness Security program because of some damaging testimony she gave during an inquiry into their practices, pours out her fear and doubts to Dr. Gregory.

As Peyton and Landon struggle to begin a new life, White introduces us to an expert using high tech equipment to scan the country trying to locate them. As Peyton feared, the program can't deliver on the security it promised. The bad guys locate her all too soon. If not for an unlikely friendship with Dr. Gregory's other patient in Witness Security, Carl Luppo, an ex-wise guy in La Cosa Nostra, Peyton and Landon would certainly be dead.

White's professional experience comes through in all the characters. He thoroughly explores their motivations and thoughts. As Alan Gregory struggles to counsel two people in such unique positions, White lets us into the head of a psychologist. Knowing when to gently nudge a patient and when to just be silent and let them find their own way constitute the art of the profession of psychology as shown by White.

Ceridwen S. Lewin

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