Jay received a text from his estranged wife, Annalee, asking him to come over so they could talk about custody of their five-year-old son, Jackson. Feeling hopeful, he left his office and drove to the house they once shared. As he pulled up, he noticed a white truck in front of the house. Coming out of the house was someone in a clown costume, complete with wig and makeup. The clown waved at Jay, got in the truck and drove away. Thinking this was very odd, Jay walked up to the house, rang the bell, knocked, then got out his own house key from his pocket and let himself in.
He went from room to room calling her name, but there was no answer. He checked Jackson's empty room, and realized he must still be at day care. Hearing water running, he went upstairs to the hall bathroom. There he saw water seeping out from under the door. The door was locked, so he broke it down. Annalee was in the tub, fully clothed with pink water sloshing on the floor. She had been shot!
This is a murder mystery, but also a story about family, relationships, forgiveness and healing. I look forward to reading the other books in the Moonlighters series.
One of the fundamental rules of blogging is: "Once it's out there, it's out there." Once you hit the ENTER key, you can't delete it, you can't remove it, you can't retrieve it. And you certainly can't deny it.
Cathy Cramer is a former lawyer and investigative blogger who writes commentary on local 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 on her blog, she dismisses it as a harmless prank.
Then her brother becomes the principal suspect in the murder investigation of his ex-wife. Tried and convicted in the media, he is now scrutinized by the very society of bloggers and commentators of which Cathy is a card-carrying member. And it is up to Cathy and her two sisters, Holly and Juliet, to put aside their doubts and fears and learn the art of investigation. Because their brother is under the gun . . .and his 5-year old son is the killer's next target.
I'll confess . . . I read and reviewed Terri Blackstock's second book in the Moonlighter's Series, DISTORTION, first. It was so well-done that I had to have the entire series. And there was something niggling at the back of my brain; I'd seen TRUTH-STAINED LIES somewhere. Recently. Oh, yes . . . there it is, on my bookshelf!
Coming to the book (both of which are stand-alone, although if you read them as I did there are some potential spoilers in Book 2) with a pre-understanding of the principal characters was interesting. And it made reading the first book (despite the aforementioned potential spoilers) easier. It was like slipping on a comfortable pair of old slippers . . . it just felt right.
I've been a fan of Terri Blackstock since collecting her Cape Refuge series, and her craftsmanship has only improved over the years. With strong characters that nonetheless demonstrate the fatal flaws of original sin and the need for a Savior, Blackstock's fiction is inspirational without being preachy. And her skills as a scribe will keep you reading to the soul-satisfying conclusion.
5 stars for a universal story with an eternal message
I decided to read this story because I received the second book in this series from a publishing group to review. I don't like to start in the middle of a series, so I backtracked and read book one. Boy, I'm so glad I did! What a thriller! The first book is set in Panama City, Florida, with the main characters consisting of three sisters, their brother and a close family friend.
As the investigation progresses, her nephew becomes critically ill and is then kidnapped. Cathy calls Michael, her friend, her encourager in faith, her constant supporter. After an attempt on her life, she realizes she has developed feelings for Michael and he has feelings for her. Will her guilty feelings keep her from a possible happy relationship with him? Should she even consider this?
I just loved how this family stuck together throughout all the traumatic events. They protected one another and did whatever was necessary to help their family. Cathy struggled with her faith, but came to realize that God was listening to her and that He wanted to hear from her. He did hear her prayers and answered them. The plot was exciting, the characters well-developed and likeable and the action and thrills nonstop. I highly recommend this suspense-filled story. You won't be disappointed. I'll be reviewing the next book in the series, Distortion, on this site in the next few weeks.
Book Summary: 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.
Review: I really enjoyed this opening series. I liked that it was so clever of a plot - A clown shot Jay's wife. Truly a twisted twist and immediately made this a must read. I liked all of the siblings and can not wait for the next book. The book did not really over use any of the new characters. I found that the mystery did not take up too much of the book and yet it was fast paced and the mystery filled my head with who did it. The only thing that I did not understand is the connection between the murderer and why he wrote to Cathy_.. Overall a must read for me and a quick paced mystery.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.