Truth-Stained Lies Review

Truth-Stained Lies

By: Terri Blackstock

Genre: Christian suspense, thriller, mystery, crime drama

I haven’t read a Terri Blackstock book in such a long time! This one was discounted on my BookBub email so I snatched it up. The book begins with Jay getting an email from his ex-wife, Annalee, about coming over. The two have been in a custody battle over their son, Jackson, and Jay is so excited to get it resolved that he rushes over there. A clown is leaving her house when he arrives and he doesn’t think that much of it, until he finds her dead in the bathtub. No one believes his clown story and he is the main suspect. Luckily, his three sisters, Cathy, Juliet, and Holly are going to do whatever they can to prove his innocence. Cathy used to be a lawyer and now runs a crime blog. Cathy’s fiance was murdered years ago. Her fiance’s brother, Michael, a private investigator now, offers to help the girls solve the crime. His other brother is still on the police force. Juliet is the mother of two boys and Holly is a girl who has made a lot of mistakes in the past. The siblings are still haunted by the memory of their father’s wrong doings. He was a pastor who abandoned his family after having an affair.

If that seems like a lot of characters and sub-plots, it is! I tended to confuse the characters as I was reading, but the sub-plots tied in nicely to the story. I liked reading about the investigation and the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I did not guess the ending until right before the characters did. This was a very thrilling and suspenseful book. I had to stay up late to finish the ending and find out what happened. There was a Christian aspect to this book that I liked, but it was a good story for anyone, regardless of beliefs. The note at the end of the book really tied the book-writing process into Christianity and I LOVED it. It was really inspiring and made me think of things in a different and new way.

This is the first book in a series, but it didn’t end on a cliffhanger or anything. The ending was very satisfying, but I am still interested in reading the other books because I liked the characters. This book is a great read for fans of Christian suspense, mysteries, and crime dramas.

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Little Prisoners Review

Little Prisoners: A Tragic Story of Siblings Trapped in a World of Abuse and Suffering 

By: Casey Watson
Genre: Non-fiction

I am an avid Cathy Glass reader so when this similar-sounding book popped up in my BookBub email, I knew I had to snag it. Casey Watson is a foster carer in England, trained in a specific rewards/consequences program to meet the most challenging of foster care children. As a favor, she takes on two siblings temporarily, she is told. These siblings, Ashton age 9 and Olivia age 6, have been severely neglected. They come to Casey with horrible lice, skin disease, and looking very malnourished. The longer that Casey has them, the more horrific things she finds out about their childhoods. Sadly, she does not get a lot of help to deal with these kids’ very challenging issues.

I loved Casey’s voice in this story. Sometimes when I read Cathy Glass, I feel like Cathy is such a perfect carer and never makes mistakes. I like that Casey admitted that she occasionally said the wrong thing and wasn’t perfect. It was reassuring and made her feel like more of a real person. Since Cathy is divorced in most of her stories, it was also interesting to read about being a married foster carer and the occasional differences in opinion a husband and wife can have. Casey’s biological children were also both adults in this story, so that was a change. I had to laugh in irony at how much of a “clean freak” Casey is, especially when she got two very dirty children who became paranoid whenever she would begin to clean!

Of course, the situation in this story is absolutely horrific to read about. It broke my heart, as all of these books do. It ended with an update on the children, so that was nice. It’s amazing what loving people can do to help children in need and shocking what perverse people can do to hurt children! These books truly show the full scale of humanity. Overall, I would recommend this book to those who are interested in teaching, fostering, adopting, social work, etc. I would love to read more stories from Casey Watson in the future.

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