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DeKok slowly peels away layers of pain, heartache, and deception to reveal the true heartbeats of her characters, making Between the Lies nail-biting suspense with heart and soul. --Author of the bestselling Fredrickson Winery Novels, Barbara Ellen Brink
From the Author
A note from Joy:
When I started writing Between the Lies, I didn't know it would be a sesries and when I realized it was, I didn't have any idea what to call the series. I was leaning toward "The Olivia Morgan Series." Yeah. I know.
While talking to a potential reader about Between the Lies she said, "This story sounds like a murder mystery with a boatload of suspense." She was right. As important as that is to the story it's also full of flawed, strong, beautiful, courageous women. Including Olivia Morgan the often unlikeable, messed up, main character.
This is the line that I didn't know I was going to write, but that made all the difference. . .
"This time when I looked into the mirror, I saw three determined women. The south might be full of steel magnolias, but that night, three northern lights touched the hearts and checkbooks of some of Minnesota's wealthiest citizens."
The title came near the end of the book because I guess I wasn't ready for it before then. That's the way it is sometimes for writers. We don't know some stuff until we get there.
Ugh. You are supposed to like the lead character - a doormat of the first caliber. Mistress to a rich man, living off his wife's wealth and totally subsuming her humanity to said cheater. Yes, I am sorry for you that your daughter by the creep died, but the whole story was twisted beyond belief, and I couldn't find anything at all to like about the lead character - or anyone else who surrounded her. It's a shame... it could have been so much better - the potential for a good storyline was there, with some really tough issues to be addressed, but it simply didn't work.
I can't figure out who wrote this, because the writer had no idea how real people act and wrote like she was an elderly spinster stuck in the late 1800s. There is no romance in the novel, because the author can barely talk about "man-woman love." (That is literally how she refers to it.) The heroine, Olivia, is with a guy who is an utter jerk, but the book starts out with her bursting with love and hoping he will say that they will be together forever. There is no way, based on his behavior throughout the book, that he acted any differently in the years before the opening scene, but before then she was madly in love and afterwards she calls him a jerk. (She doesn't "cuss," because that would reveal her white trash roots.) It doesn't play. And that is the way it is with every character. No one acts like a real person would. One woman forces her husband to give up his long-term mistress and then volunteers to represent her as a criminal attorney and provides guidance and friendship. Another character starts off contemptuous of Olivia and then, snap, he is a steady, trustworthy protector. And on and on it goes. Olivia spends the whole book crying or throwing up or both at every adversity. And yet she can supposedly go to her "safe place" in her mind when things are at their most horrific and act completely normally. Huh? She is a complete victim, but she blithely announces facts about her sexually and physically abusive childhood like they were nothing. Every possible bad thing happens to her, but she just goes forward, sometimes brave and courageous, but mostly as an utter wimp, with no growth or impact on her character development. In this supposed mystery, clues are discussed by the characters, but off-stage so the reader can't see what they are and that is how the mystery is strung out. The villain is an unrealistic bogeyman and the ending is disappointing and completely out of character given the bad guy's personality. The book is chapter after chapter of people doing or recounting the most outrageous things. I am a voracious reader and have only once in my life not finished a book, but this was close. I wanted to see how the mystery ended, but then everything, everything was resolved in the most improbable way. And they all lived happily ever after. That might as well have been the ending. I gave the book two stars, because the mystery was interesting until it all fell apart. This review is a little scattered, because so much was so wrong and it was hard to discuss that without giving away spoilers. Do not waste your time on this book.
A very interesting book that was full of twists and turns. I was engaged from page 1 until the final paragraph. The author has the ability to spin a story that will keep you guessing and turn your dislike for one character (not the main character) into admiration for her grace and diplomacy. The story takes place in the St. Paul Minnesota area which was a plus for me.
I have rated this book 4.5 stars.
I obtained this book from Amazon in Kindle format.
Book is listed as a suspense although it reads more like a cozy mystery thus far as someone is shadowing the protagonist leaving her puzzling notes along with a red rose. Seems like the book is generally well-written including passages like "When he came home from being with you, your perfume lingered on his clothes and you joined us at our dining room table' and "When I opened it, I smelled glue, colored paper, and color crayons, as fragrant as any expensive perfume to my shattered heart." Kind of a shame that I'm not really clicking with any of the main characters 1/4th of the way through as that's generally the juncture at which I decide whether I want to continue. I will update my review later if I choose to finish it, best I can say currently is that it has been an ok book.
First, let me say that I really liked this book. There were only a couple things that kept this from being a 5 star review. I felt that the talks, to Jillian and Mickey, at the cemetery were used to relate some history. I would have preferred that she simply remembered, rather than using the talks to do so. It felt contrived. The other problem I had was with the "neat" wrap-up. I don't want to say anything specific about it, because I don't want to spoil it for others. Overall, it was a very good book and I would read others by this author.