Book Review ~ Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock



Moonlighters Series, Book 1

About the book:

When truth doesn't make sense, will lies prevail? Cathy Cramer is a former lawyer and investigative blogger who writes commentary on high-profile homicides. When she finds a threatening note warning her that she's about to experience the same kind of judgment and speculation that she dishes out in her blog, Cathy writes it off as mischief . . . until her brother's wife is murdered and all the 'facts' point to him. The killer has staged the crime to make the truth too far-fetched to believe. Working to solve the murder and clear her brother's name, Cathy and her two sisters, Holly and Juliet, moonlight as part-time private investigators. Juliet, a stay-at-home mom of two boys, and Holly, a scattered ne'er-do-well who drives a taxi, put aside their fear to hunt down the real killer. Stakes rise when their brother's grieving five-year-old son is kidnapped. As police focus on the wrong set of clues, the three sisters and their battered detective friend are the only hope for solving this bizarre crime, saving the child, and freeing their brother.

My thoughts:

Starting a new series by Terri Blackstock is definitely on my favorite things list. The story for this installment centers around four siblings that collectively have a difficult background. They are preacher’s kids that had to endure the backlash of their father’s affair with his secretary. They also each have a difficult individual story and that is what we learn most about. Cathy has lost a fiancé to a senseless murder in which the murderer got off on a technicality. Jay is going through a difficult divorce that he doesn’t want. Julie is a stay-at-home mom with what seems like a picture perfect life . . . but something just isn’t right in her marriage. Finally we have Holly who has been the family mess for as long as anyone can remember.

The story begins with a mysterious note and some questionable email exchanges. A murder is committed and Jay is framed. His story is just unbelievable to the police. His siblings and a former cop turned investigator set out to prove his innocence. Now here’s where it gets good and turns into a quintessential Terri Blackstock novel.

By the halfway point I figured out who the murderer was. Did that ruin the story? Not in the least. By about three quarters of the way I even knew the motive and the means to the killing. Did that ruin the story? On the contrary it enhanced it. You see Terri has a way of telling the story that lets you in on it but keeps you completely intrigued. She does a marvelous job of developing her characters. She tells the story from different perspectives so you find yourself tensing up for a character because you already know what is going on but the character doesn’t!

This was a great start to what promises to be a riveting series. If you need a book that you can finish in a relatively short time pick this one up because it is definitely a page turner. I’m looking forward to the next installment. Let’s just hold our breath that the next book comes out very soon!

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