Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Truth and Lies

Raleigh Harmon finds herself emmeshed in a tangle of lies. Her mother is in a mental hospital having suffered a psychotic break after learning that Raleigh lied to her about being a FBI agent. Raleigh is feeling depressed and guilty about her role in her mother's breakdown, and then she's forced into a life that is a complete lie. Rather than be suspended because of what happened on the Alaskan cruise, she's offered an undercover assignment as the niece of the owner of a thoroughbred racing stable. Her task is to discover who is fixing races at Emerald Downs. With her whole identity a lie, Raleigh is feeling very alone and depressed. It isn't helped by having Jack Stephanson as her case officer. The assignment is particularly upsetting because, it's not just race fixing. Someone is killing the horses and making them ill. As Raleigh tries to find out who is responsible, she finds herself the primary suspect.

I enjoyed this book. The setting at the track is very realistic and the descriptions of the thoroughbreds are wonderful. The idea of race fixing and hurting these marvelous animals pulls you into the story hoping that Raleigh can find out who is responsible and stop the killing. I did find the early part of the book rather strained. It seemed that the author was trying too hard to make Raleigh a suspect. However, the ending of the book is excellent, full of excitement and redemption for Raleigh.

I particularly liked the underlying theme of the book: truth and lies. Raleigh's struggle throughout the book is to escape the lies she's building around herself. When her life finally comes together and she can tell the truth about who she is and what she's doing, she becomes a much stronger person. It was a very well done transition. I highly recommend this book, if you're a Raleigh Harmon fan, if not maybe it's the time to get to know her.

I reviewed this book for the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze Program.