Title: Picture of Lies
Author: C.C. Harrison
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Investigative journalist Keegan Thomas has been living a nightmare of guilt and grief since her little girl, Daisy, was kidnapped practically in front of her eyes. When the police investigation stalled, she turned her grief to anger and buried herself in her work searching for missing children, her own included. The result was an award-winning series of articles on unsolved child abductions. Then came the inevitable burnout.
On what is supposed to be a working vacation, Keegan travels to Monument Valley on the Navajo Indian Reservation seeking the whereabouts of people in an old photograph found in her grandfather s belongings after his death.
But the Indians do not welcome this nosy stranger carrying a picture of their old people, some of them dead. While navigating the mysterious ways of the Navajo, Keegan is told one of the children in the photograph was kidnapped by missionaries and taken to a boarding school.
Keegan’s search for the child leads to a web of deception that stretches back two generations, and the truth Keegan learns about her own family is the most shocking betrayal of all. Nothing can prepare her for the danger she encounters when she becomes the target of a powerful U.S. senator who will do anything to stop her from telling what she knows about the Picture of Lies.
I devoured this book. I read the entire thing in three days. THREE DAYS! I never finish books in three days anymore. It was the perfect mix of mystery and romance. Of humor and seriousness. I’ve read enough mystery books to usually correctly guess who the bad guy will be, or what the ending will look like. But this book was full of twists and turns and surprises. I had no idea what would be happening next and gasped my way through it as mysteries were revealed.
I have to imagine mystery novels are hard to write, even harder to come up with original, strong plotlines but this book delivered on all accounts. The plot was solid and I kept wanting to learn more. And when all was revealed, it was a shock and something I wasn’t expecting.
The character development was good, too. I really enjoyed Harrison’s easy dialogue and way of writing. It all felt effortless and as if I really knew these characters. The romance part of the novel was more of a side story, not the main portion. But it felt more honest that way. Keegan’s main focus was on this mystery and also on finding out what happened to her daughter.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy as much was the ending, but I know it was an honest ending. (I’m just a sucker for everything tying up nicely at the end and not having to cry out, “NO! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?” when I finish.) I don’t want to give away any part of the book but I can tell there will be a sequel to this one by the way it ended.
All in all, if mystery fiction with a little romance thrown in is your thing, this is a solid book to read. I would definitely, definitely recommend it.
Are you a sucker for an “everything-ties-together-nicely” ending, or do you like ones that surprise you? I would say I’m fifty-fifty on this.
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.