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Georgie Hockett
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Half-Told Truths
Amy O. Lewis, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Book two of the critically acclaimed Colorado Skies series, Half-Told Truths weaves multiple mysteries into one seamless plot. Kim Jackson is starting to get used to life on the run. In Durango, Colorado, she has found work as a part-time bookkeeper and as a live-in housekeeper for Lena Fallon, an ex-cop paralyzed in the line of duty. Kim’s old life as a corporate accountant—when she was framed for murder and forced to go on the run—feels far away until someone from her past spots her in the tourist town. Too soon, danger comes to her doorstep, reminding her that she can’t be safe while the man who set her up remains free. Kim’s housemate and boss, Lena, is no stranger to the dark side of humanity. Lena is still reeling from the unsolved crime that ended her law enforcement career. She doesn’t give a damn about her latest housekeeper, until she senses Kim is hiding something. When Lena tries to pry out the truth, Kim demands to know why Lena isn’t solving the mystery in her own life: Who shot her, and why? While Kim and Lena forge an uneasy alliance to investigate Lena’s case, a new face in town is playing a cat-and-mouse game with a dangerous man. As Kim and Lena come closer to finding answers, their paths cross with the newcomer, and they are left to wonder if the price of uncovering the truth is too high.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: Book two of the Colorado Skies series sees protagonist Kim Jackson on the run from her former life and the crimes she was falsely accused of committing. Disparate mysteries intertwine in this propulsive thriller.

Prose: The prose is polished and well-crafted. The Durango, Colorado setting is richly conveyed, while characters are described with nuance and lyricism.

Originality: This narrative delivers an effective blend of mystery and character development in a distinctive setting.

Character Development/Execution: Both Kim and Lena are quite well-developed as individuals. Lewis deftly conveys how their pasts inform and complicate their present circumstances. 

Date Submitted: April 12, 2022

Reviews
The second installment in Lewis’s accomplished Colorado Skies thriller series, Half-Told Truths finds Kim Jackson on the run after being framed for murder, now working as a part-time caregiver and bookkeeper in small-town Colorado as she tries to make a new life for herself. Lena Fallon, the woman Kim is caring for, is a cantankerous ex-cop with her own secrets who was “left disabled and discredited” in the line of duty. Lena and Kim have a difficult relationship, but Lena convinces Kim to help figure out who injured her and why. As Kim gets closer to the truth, Lena demands she stop when the investigation starts to put innocent people at risk. Meanwhile, a mysterious new arrival in town, Jaye Dewey, complicates matters and may be the key to everything.

Lewis has crafted a tight, fast-paced plot that will keep readers engaged and guessing. The details of the investigation are carefully laid out and well-described, with themes of regret and trauma woven neatly throughout the narrative. Lena and Kim are both compelling characters with a tense and layered dynamic that’s engaging enough to power the story; their dialogue often has a cranky, comic edge. Lena starts to have concerns about Kim’s motivations, and buried secrets begin to emerge–still, despite their intriguing relationship, the two women at times seem too quick to veer from caring about each other and sharing common goals to being completely at odds, sometimes within the same chapter.

As it develops its memorable small-town community, Half-Told Truths presents a large cast to keep track of, and some readers may find the exposition heavy. Incorporating more levity could have added interesting texture to the narrative, but overall, this is an excellent, thoughtful genre read that will appeal to fans of character-driven thrillers, with a conclusion that leaves the door enticingly open for future installments.

Takeaway: An ex-cop and a woman on the run forge an unlikely alliance in this lively, thoughtful thriller.

Great for fans of: Harlan Coben’s Tell No One, Linwood Barclay’s The Accident.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A

Foreword Reviews

Praise for the first book in the Colorado Skies series, A Mountain of Evidence: 

"Set in a small town, the charming mystery novel A Mountain of Evidence centers on a fugitive whose vulnerability becomes her strength."

Kirkus Reviews

Praise for the first book in the Colorado Skies series, A Mountain of Evidence: 

"A multilayered thriller with a sympathetic protagonist. This is the first installment in Lewis's Colorado Skies series, and it unfolds at a brisk, action-packed clip, with enough suspense to satisfy thriller fans. The conclusion leaves the door open for potentially exciting sequels." 

News
02/03/2022
Author website

Amy O. Lewis grew up in western Pennsylvania. She attended university there, and pursued graduate studies in Boston. On a cross-country trip, she fell in love with the West. She lived in California and Colorado before settling in northern New Mexico.

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