Detective Lily Blanchette is in charge of her first homicide case, and it is horribly reminiscent of her sister’s murder 6 months before. Is the killer back for more? ‘Promised Lies’ by Marguerite Ashton is the first in a three-part series featuring Lily Blanchette and her team.
‘Promised Lies’ – What’s it about?
The story begins with Tanya, stuck in a hole in the shed of a man she knows only as CtryGeek23 and whom she met online. Also in the hole is the dead body of her friend, Sam. Tanya knows she is next to die. She tries to escape, but it is futile. When the bodies of the two women are discovered dumped next to a road, Lily has to step up as lead investigator on the case.
As well as being thrown in at the deep end with the murder investigation, Lily has a lot on her plate. Her father, also a homicide detective, and her mother, an overbearing, self-centred woman are on the verge of divorce, not helped by the murder of her sister, Celine, six months previously. There are also rumours circulating of her mother’s affair with the police department psychiatrist. Added to this, Lily’s failed relationship with her colleague, Evan, led her to marry on the rebound. Her new husband, Julius, a newspaper reporter, is not popular with Lily’s friends and is jealous of her ongoing friendship with her ex.
Lily and Julius have an agreement to not discuss each other’s work, which proves problematic when Lily discovers Julius has information which could possibly lead to finding her sister’s killer, amongst other things. Lily also discovers family secrets buried deep that will push her already fragile relationship with her mother, Deena, to the limits.
When the killer ups his game and the body count rises, it becomes apparent that there may even be more than one person involved. Lily and the team must untangle the messy clues and witness statements they have to work out who the murderer is before he – or they- strike again.
‘Promised Lies’ – What did I think?
I’ll be honest; it’s been a while since I read a crime novel set in the US as I am into UK-based police procedurals more lately. However, once I’d re-familiarised myself with the terminology, I was quickly sucked into the story of the somewhat maverick female detective and her tangled personal life. Ashton has a conversational way of writing which dispenses with much of the unnecessary prose many authors use when describing the action. This makes the story easy to read and it almost played like a film in my mind as I read.
I quite liked the lead character, Lily. Apart from wondering why on earth she married Julius, I felt a little sorry for her situation; her parents are clearly travelling in different directions and her mother is pretty unpleasant. The loss of her sister has affected them all and the memories are still raw. She has good, loyal friends/colleagues who have her back, both with the investigation and with her personal life, especially when things take an unhappy turn. Lily is something of a loose cannon, but seems confident in her abilities to keep the investigation moving, even when things aren’t looking good for a successful outcome. As for the other characters? It almost feels a little incestuous, with affairs and exes and secret meetings and everyone knowing everyone else’s business! I like that the female characters are all strong women, although not surprising given that the author is female.
The story itself isn’t too complicated and, if I’m honest, I was a little disappointed with the slightly predictable outcome, although it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future books. However, If you like a good, character-based police thriller, you’ll most likely enjoy this.
If you’d like to know more about ‘Promised Lies’ or Marguerite Ashton, why not follow her blog tour? Dates are below – check out the blogs for more reviews, author interviews and guest posts!
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