"Cathi Stoler is a master storyteller who reeled me in 'til the very end..."
--The Book Boost
Most of you know that I rarely accept books for review here at the Book Boost. Not because I don't like doing reviews (I really do!) and certainly not because I don't like reading (I really, really, really do!). But simply because I don't have enough hours in the day.
However, sometimes I make an exception and select a book that tickles my interest and forces me to share my thoughts with the world. Cathi Stoler's debut release Telling Lies is just such a book.
Here's a quick blurb for the book and then I'll tell you what I thought of this story.
How many lies does it take to get away with murder?
When a chance encounter in Florence’s Uffizi Museum plunges Women Now editor Laurel Imperiole and private investigator Helen McCorkendale into an investigation of missing persons and stolen Nazi art, the women find themselves ensnared in a deadly maze of greed and deceit.
Could the man Laurel bumped into have been Jeff Sargasso, an art dealer and friend who perished in the World Trade Center on 9/11? Was it possible he was still alive and had disappeared without a trace?
Laurel, who was vacationing in Italy with her boyfriend, Aaron Gerrad, a New York City detective, is thoroughly shaken by the experience of seemingly meeting a dead man. Sargasso was supposedly killed that day during a meeting regarding the sale of a 150 million dollar painting between a Japanese billionaire and a Wall Street tycoon.
Determined to get to the bottom of things, she and Helen investigate in Italy and in New York. As she delves deeper, Laurel leaves the truth behind, telling lies to Aaron about her actions and the liaison she’s formed with Lior Stern, an Israeli Mossad agent with an agenda of his own.
One lie leads to another, entangling everyone and everything the women encounter, including murder and the painting at the heart of the affair. Searching for answers, Laurel and Helen thread their way through a sinister skein of lies that take them on a whirlwind journey that could end in death.
Wow! There's a lot going on here.
Now, maybe I was swayed a tad bit by the fact that the tragedies of 9/11 come into play with this storyline. (For those of you who don't know, 9/11 is also my birthday.) Cause when I read the blurb about how someone could have used the chaos following that terrible day as a way to mastermind the "fakery" of their own death...I was instantly hooked. I had to know more. What a great idea for a storyline!
I could have read this book in a couple of sittings. It was all the things you hear about great books like "a page turner that never lets up" and "full of twists and turns that don't stop 'til the very end". But I forced myself to take my time and absorb each delicious chapter. The writing was quite good. The characters very interesting (although I found myself liking some of the secondary characters much more than the main characters--and hope they get their own story in the near future--hint, hint).
I really enjoyed this book from cover to cover. I was most surprised to learn that this was a debut release from author Cathi Stoler. In the story she refers back (several times) to how the characters all first met and it sounds like it was one heck of a meeting. I kept thinking that this was a sequel to another book but I don't believe that is the case. I'd really love to go back and hear more about the ordeal that brought all these unique personalities together on the pages of Telling Lies.
That being said, the book was well crafted, well edited (yay!) and readers will be left not so tenderly hanging on the edge of our seats until Ms. Stoler gives us another one (hopefully soon).
So, do I think you should pick up a copy of Telling Lies? Absolutely.
Will I look for more books from Cathi Stoler? No doubt.
What's my fave fun fact about the book? She gives a shout out to one of my all time fave music groups from the 60's cleverly inserted in a most unusual place. And, I mean, really...she got me with that. This is one of my all time fave groups and not the typically referenced shaggy haired foursome from that groovy decade either.
And that's pretty much all I can say about that except...go pick up a copy! You won't regret it! Would I lie to you?
Owner, The Book Boost
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