Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spotlight Review:

THE SECOND LIE – Tara Taylor Quinn
The Chapman Files, Book 2
MIRA
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2838-4
October 2010
Romantic Suspense

Chandler , Ohio – August through September 2010

Dr. Kelly Chapman is a psychologist in the small town of Chandler . She does a lot of pro bono work so when a poor woman, Lori Winston, calls asking for help for her fourteen year-old daughter, Maggie, she makes an appointment for the following day. Lori worries that her A-student daughter has met an older man and is having sex. She doesn't want her daughter making the same mistakes that she did. Maggie has met an older man, but not in quite the way Lori thinks; Maggie is making deliveries for Mac. She knows her mother cannot pay for college tuition, so Maggie is earning money and thinks that she is doing good by delivering medicine for sick children. She has a crush on Mac. Kelly tricks Maggie into admitting she knows an older man, but then she is angry and walks out of Kelly's office. Mac is thirty-four years old and is attracted to Maggie, but is waiting for her to grow a little older before he acts on the attraction. Kelly confides in her friend Sam, who is a deputy sheriff, about Maggie, and although Sam watches her, she has not found any problems with the teenager.

Deputy Sheriff Samantha loves her job, but when she needs someone to talk to, she goes to visit her old friend and lover, Kyle Evans, a local farmer, who loves the outdoors and is trying to hang onto his farm. At one time, Sam thought they would marry, but she wanted her job more, and Kyle wanted a farm wife. He is experimenting with corn for ethanol hoping to make enough money to pay his debts and take care of his elderly grandfather.

A man high on meth murdered his wife and then shot himself. This horror really shakes Sam who is worried about all the meth that is popping up around the county and causing so much violence. Could there be a super lab nearby? She is determined to find out even though most of her friends don't believe it.

When Kelly tells her story, she speaks in first person, but other parts of THE SECOND LIE are told in third person. Kelly is a very caring, sympathetic woman always wanting to help. There is a lot of love between Sam and Kyle, but they were never able to give what the other wanted. With all they go through in THE SECOND LIE, they discover a lot about themselves and each other to come to a better understanding. Maggie is a fascinating secondary character, a fourteen year-old, half woman and half child, looking for love. She wants out of the old trailer park where she and her mother live, and craves the respect of her school mates.

THE SECOND LIE is well written with good dialogue and intriguing characters, but you can expect more suspense than romance as Sam does her job protecting her town. It is a satisfying tale, and a story that I enjoyed reading. The Chapman Files begins with THE FIRST WIFE (Harlequin Super Romance, September 2010), and continues in THE SECOND LIE (October), THE THIRD SECRET (November), and THE FOURTH VICTIM (December). I plan to be the first in line to read these fascinating suspenseful stories.

Marilyn Heyman

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