I have just finished reading Captured Lies by Maggie Thom and my review follows after the author’s blurb found on Amazon.
“He jammed his knee into the back of hers. She closed her eyes for a second, trying to will away the pain. “There have been no photos in my life. My mom didn’t believe in them. I… DON’T… HAVE… ANY.”
Grabbing her left arm, he twisted it behind her back which brought her around. He marched her into the living room. In the dim light she could barely see her way and stumbled over the mess on the floor.
“What’s in those bags?”
She was kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead because of it….
Her life was a lie!
Bailey knew her upbringing wasn’t normal but she’s worked hard to stabilize her life. At 29, she finally has a good business, a stable home; her life is miles from that of her childhood. Then suddenly her mother dies, leaving a gaping hole and a discovery that they may not even be related. If Guy, the private investigator is to be believed, her life is a lie. Using the skills she learned on the streets, Bailey travels back through a sketchy and dangerous past, to find answers. Dodging bullets, staying ahead of those who want her dead and convincing Guy she can do it alone, are making it difficult to discover not only the secrets of her mother’s past but that of a family claiming she is theirs.
Everyone seems to have a story… but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? Is Guy part of the solution? Or part of the problem? To discover the facts, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets, dating back over thirty years”
I was literally enthralled by this book. Thom has written a fast paced, literally running pace at times, in this thriller that is rife with suspense, mystery, and danger. Romance only came into play near the very end, and so those who want romance with their thrillers; this book isn’t for you. Imagine a life in which you are on the run most of the time, almost 30 years of running. Then your mother dies and your life is turned upside down in every way possible. Bailey does everything she can to survive, and survive she does, since birth.
I think that the characters need more development, and partly because there are so many characters in play. Thom did well in describing clothing, landscape, buildings, and all surrounding used in the story, but again, the characters lacked true depth. This may be due in part to sheer number of characters used. Thom has writer a truly fast paced, frenetic at times, book; once you get past the first few chapters. For a freshman novel, the author has spun a tale that is normally seen with writers who are more advanced in the business. This book has the potential to become a best seller, or even a great feature film, if Thom hires a professional editor. If this novel had just a few editing issues, it wouldn’t take away from the story. However, the editing issues are numerous, commas needed or wrongly placed, numerous grammar and spelling issues, that I had a hard time getting my head around, thus being on the fence about how many stars I would give this book. In the end, I just couldn’t see how I could give more than three stars. For example: “Mr. Lund? Miss Bailey Saunders is here to see you.” Bailey stood by the reception desk tapping her fingernails on the polished wood surface. The secretary glared, sniffed indignantly and then turned sideways, her hand cupped around the phone mike (should be phone mic or microphone) resting against her cheek. This book has too many missing letters, words, and usage of “then versus than”, etc.
Note: the word ‘mike’ was used to denote a microphone from 1927, yet in the last thirty or so years the word ‘mic’ has taken its place. For a contemporary book, ‘mic’ is the version to use.