Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mystery Book Review: Where Truth Lies by Christiane Heggan

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Where Truth Lies by Christiane Heggan. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Where Truth Lies by Christiane Heggan

Where Truth Lies by Christiane Heggan
Mira Books (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-7783-2337-4 (0778323374)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-2337-2 (9780778323372)
Publication Date: September 2006
List Price: $6.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): Beneath the small-town charm is a big-time secret.

Museum curator Grace McKenzie is shocked when she receives word that her ex-fiancé, Steven Hatfield, has been murdered. In his will, Steven has left her his art gallery in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Anticipating that she would turn down the bequest, he asked that she spend a week at the gallery before making her final decision. Motivated by a sense of duty to a man she once loved, Grace agrees to go to New Hope for one week.

She isn't the only person drawn to the small town. FBI agent Matt Baxter has returned to his hometown for one reason only -- to clear his father of a bogus murder charge. While he and Grace seek answers, they discover that beneath the surface of this charming, peaceful town lies an old secret a few of its citizens would rather keep buried. And when their search takes an unexpected turn, they have only hours to find out where the truth lies -- or be buried with it.

Review: Christiane Heggan cleverly weaves several disparate plot threads together in Where Truth Lies, a very intriguing suspense novel.

When Boston-based art curator Grace MacKenzie inherits an art gallery from Steven Hatfield, her former fiancĂ©, it comes with a stipulation—before she can refuse to accept it, she must spend a week running the gallery, located in New Hope PA.

Soon after arriving, Grace is faced with several aspects of Steven's life in New Hope that trouble her. A known womanizer, could Steven have been murdered by an outraged husband or jealous lover? Why did he have a forged painting for sale in the gallery? What was his relationship to a loner in the community? An outsider, why was he so adamant to prevent commercial development of a local farm? Grace, together with FBI agent Matt Baxter, devise an endgame that neatly answers these questions at the same time resolving the 20 year old disappearance of a young girl from the area.

Prologues are sometimes used to quickly grab the reader's interest or to provide continuity later in the book. In Where Truth Lies, the prologue achieves neither. It is not particularly provocative nor does it add any information that isn't otherwise disclosed elsewhere. If anything, it gives away too much too early, and should be avoided.

It has been reported that Christiane Heggan is retiring with the publication of Where Truth Lies. Though it is regrettable that she will no longer be writing outstanding suspense fiction, it is with pleasure to note that she ends her remarkable writing career on a high note.

Special thanks to Book Trends for providing an ARC of Where Truth Lies for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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