Title: Truth Stained Lies
Author: Terrie Blackstock
Genre: Christian Mystery Thriller
Goodreads Overall Rating: 4.10
Published: February 12th, 2013 by Zondervan
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Truth Stained Lies was my first Terri Blackstock book, and after devouring this book I’ve bought more and more of her books. Blackstock has easily become one of my favorite authors of all time. This is a great fast-paced read that leaves you thinking about the thrilling aspect long after finishing the book.
Cathy once was a lawyer in her hometown and loved her job, but when a tragedy strikes in Cathy’s life and the justice system lets her down she walks away from her job and her faith. Now Cathy is a true-crime blogger with a large following. Her new job is something of a dream of mine! The true-crime junkie in me devoured the idea of her job and it instantly made me connect with Cathy. When Cathy is leaving the courtroom where she has sat through another open to the public hearing she finds a threating letter on her windshield, and then tragedy hits her family once again causing Cathy to wonder if the letter is linked to the newest hit to her family.
Cathy’s brother is going through a divorce and an ugly custody battle. When he receives an email from his wife asking for him to come over to talk about the custody agreement he jumps on the chance to have a civil conversation without lawyers. When he arrives at her house he meets a clown leaving her house, and his wife dead. Who is going to believe that a clown truly killed his wife? Cathy has no choice but to dust off her lawyer’s skills and defend her brother. With the help of her two sisters, and a family friend who is a PI Cathy’s family works hard to track down the real killer.
I was hooked with the action and thriller aspect of this book. What made it so much fun was the fact that Cathy’s two sisters who have had no experience in PI work find their own individual niche to help the case. The two sisters couldn’t be more opposite and the bond, loyalty, and frustrations with one another were written in such an extraordinary way that had me relating to their relationship in ways that really tugged at my heart. One sister has what seems like a perfect life. Two boys, a wealthy husband, faith that’s so strong, admirable, but also intimidating to her sisters. On the surface, her life seems picture-perfect, but her faith was built on hard times and learning to cling to the one constant in her life. Juliet was a joy and she really did bring a sense of peace to the sisters and optimism that helped them get through this hard situation.
Holly is the youngest and she’s the party sister. With her pink hair, late nights, and substance abuse Holly took the road of covering her hurt past with numbing it in any way she could. Holly’s hiding a secret that she believes can ruin her life and the very fragile relationship with her siblings. Holly was the character I was rooting for the most. I wanted her to succeed so bad, and to find her faith again. Like most people I have a loved one who suffers from substance abuse and Blackstock wrote Holly’s character so well that it made me think of my loved one throughout the entire book, and I was rooting for Holly just as much as my real loved one.
Truth Stained Lies dealt with issues that hit home in so many ways and brought light to some very important situations that are very relevant today. Blackstock discusses things such as addiction, judgemental churchgoers, adultery, abortion, and broken families. These are all heavy topics and while Blackstock didn’t beat around the bush she adds waves of hope, love, and faith that balances well with the heavy topics. There is also a character who has Alzheimer’s and for me, that is a trigger warning if you’ve had a loved one to suffer from this disease as I have. Know that it does it in a respectable way, and it isn’t talked about too much. I was able to get through it without having to stop. I was absolutely blown away by how Blackstock handled all these heavy topics, and how she showed how faith helps us deal with these tough situations. She made sure to take all of these hard topics and lace them with how we can lean on God through these tough times.
The faith aspect woven through this book was tremendous! It left me with all the warm and fuzzies and left me with the sweet reminder of God’s grace and forgiveness. The topic of God’s faithfulness and steadfastness through hard times reminded me of how He is faithful in my own life. I loved and needed the reminders Blackstock gave us, and I was rooting for the characters to find their way back to God and to lean on His hope.
Now the reason and the only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because I figured out the murderer pretty quickly. I will say however though because sneak peek I finished this series already! The suspense gets better and better with each book, and I didn’t figure out the mysteries like I did in this one. The mystery did feel realistic and I’ve actually read about some real crimes that are somewhat similar. I just wish that it had me guessing a little bit more, but I was still very happy that I read this book!
I highly highly highly recommend this book! It’s a fast read and would be a great read for someone who is just starting with thrillers, and a great gift to give someone who loves to read but thinks Christian Fiction isn’t for them. I love Terri Blackstock’s writing and how relevant and relatable it is. She is now an auto-buy author for me and I can’t recommend her enough!