Friday, March 29, 2013

Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock

This novel marks the beginning of a new series by Blackstock, Moonlighters
The story starts out in such a way that I was sure I had missed a previous novel in the series.
At the opening, a woman is murdered. Her estranged husband, Jay, is a suspect as he discovered her body after he had received an email that she wanted to talk to him. Jay has three sisters, Cathy, Holly, and Juliet. Cathy was engaged to Joe, a policeman, when he was killed. This has happened sometime in the not too distant past. Joe's brother, Michael, is now a sort of private investigator. He can't carry a gun as he is not allowed a permit to do so. He was an up and coming police officer, just like his father, grandfather, and two brothers, when something happened. We read about his sense of failure, how his family must be disappointed in him, and so on. In fact, Joe's murderer is free on the streets because of what Michael did.
Jay is arrested for the murder of his wife and his sisters and Michael work hard to find the real murder. The action intensifies as it looks like Cathy's life is in danger too.
The novel goes on with periodic references to this terrible deed Michael did that got him booted off the police force and disgraced his family. There are also many references to Joe's death. I kept on thinking that I must have missed a novel that came before this one. I even went on line to make sure this was the first in the series.

Finally, on page 168, I read what Michael did as he reminisced about his actions. It made sense. Finally. The rest of the novel was a pleasure to read.
What I didn't like was wondering what Michael's back story was all about for over half the book. I would have much rather had that information near the beginning. It would have made the interactions between Michael and the other characters in the book more understandable and of greater impact.

That being said, this was a pretty good novel. It is not Blackstock's best, but it is a good mystery. There is lots of action and the suspense intensifies as we get near the end. Sometimes I felt the plot was a little convoluted but it was believable.
Also, the characters in the novel certainly have more of their story to tell. Now that I know Michael's back story, I look forward to the next in the series.

Terri Blackstock has sold over six million books and is a New York Times best-selling author. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty five. You can find out more about her at You can watch a video about her here.

Zondervan, 305 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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