Book: A Thorn Among The Lilies
Author: Michael Hiebert
Summary: Detective Leah Teal is privy to most of the secrets in her hometown of Alvin, but there are always surprises to be had. Like the day she agrees to take her daughter, Caroline, to see a psychic for a reading. The psychic hones in on Leah instead, hinting at a string of gruesome killings and insisting that she intervene to prevent more deaths. When you go looking for trouble, you never know how much you'll find. Sure enough, the psychic's scant clues lead Leah to a cold case from six years ago, when a young woman was found shot to death, her eyelids sewn shut. As Leah digs deeper into old files, a second unsolved case surfaces with the same grisly pattern. While her shrewd young son, Abe, observes from the sidelines, Leah races to prevent another horrific murder, unaware of just how deep the roots of evil can go. Taut, suspenseful, and rich in Southern atmosphere, A Thorn Among The Lilies is a mesmerizing novel of loss and vengeance, and the lengths some will go to out of loyalty and love. -Kensington Books, 2015.
Though this book is technically the third in a series, it didn't require reading the other two books. This is probably one of the most extreme cases of 'The cover design doesn't match the story at all.' I was drawn in by the haunting cover and the creepy summary. The story itself is anything but - and, let's face it, it was a little disappointing.
After being given a series of clues by a psychic, Leah Teal is brought into a cold case that may have been thawed by its latest victim. With only her instincts and the vague clues from the psychic, Leah must determine whether or not the "clues" have credence and, if they do, race to stop a serial killer in their tracks.
The story alternates between Leah, her daughter, and her son. While Leah and Carry, her daughter, are in third person narrative, her son is in first person. Adding in Leah's children with their adventures makes the book less of a gritty crime novel and more like a Saturday afternoon special of Murder She Wrote. It's quaint and charming rather than creepy and tense.
The writing is good and the mystery itself, while gruesome, did keep me on the edge of my toes trying to solve it. There were some pretty good red herrings in there too, so while the atmosphere and setting were unexpected, the main plot satisfied my simple need of a good mystery. I may pick up the next book in the series, but only after I go through all of my other books first.
I give A Thorn Among The Lilies an A.
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