Thursday, February 3, 2022

ARC Review: Behind the Lie by Emilya Naymark

Behind the Lie

Emilya Naymark
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)

Description: NYPD detective turned small town PI Laney Bird is in a fight to save lives—including her own—after a neighborhood block party turns deadly.

A transplant to the upstate New York hamlet of Sylvan, all Laney wants is a peaceful life for herself and her son. But things rarely remain calm in Laney’s life—and when her neighborhood summer block party explodes in shocking violence and ends with the disappearance of her friend and another woman, she’ll need all her skills as a PI to solve a mystery that reaches far beyond her small town.

As people closest to Laney fall under suspicion, the local authorities and even her colleagues question her own complicity. And then there’s fifteen-year-old Alfie, her complicated and enigmatic son, obviously hiding something. Even as Laney struggles to bury evidence of her boy’s involvement, his cagey behavior rings every maternal alarm.

Laney’s personal life unravels as she’s drawn into her missing friend’s dark secrets and she realizes she and Alfie are in danger. With treachery blazing hot as the searing summer sun, Laney fights to save lives, her family’s included.

My Thoughts: A summer block party on Laney Bird's block goes massively wrong when one of the neighbors is shot in the butt, another drives a stolen pick-up into his own living room, and two women go missing. 

Laney is a former NYPD detective who moved to small, rural Sylvan, New York, with her son Alfie after a difficult divorce. She is now working as a private investigator for a local firm specializing in tracking down runaways. Alfie is fifteen and a unique individual who's somewhere on the Asperger's Spectrum. He seems to have a talent for choosing really inappropriate friends.

One of the missing women is Holly Dubois who is also a one of the viewpoint characters, and Laney's first and only friend since her move to Sylvan. It is her husband who drove into their living room. The other missing woman is Vera Volkin whose husband was the gunshot victim. 

Holly is the glue of the neighborhood. She's constantly busy taking care of her home, her husband, her three children, her brothers - one of whom is battling cancer and the other is recently out of drug rehab, and anyone else who comes to her attention. Holly is overcompensating because of the guilt she still feels over the death of her sister who drowned while high on drugs when Holly was only thirteen. 

Holly's need to be everything to everyone has led her deep into debt. The house she inherited from her grandparent's and on which she has taken several mortgages is going to be foreclosed. Vera and Step Volkin have wormed their way into her life and have a really great plan to get her out of debt; all she has to do is steal proprietary information from her husband's lab where he is working on longevity drugs.

Meanwhile, Laney is investigating the disappearance of a teen from a camp nearby. The same camp where her son's new much-older girlfriend Mona worked. Laney learns that the boy's disappearance isn't the first from the camp and that the Volkins and Mona were instrumental in the boy's disappearance. 

This is a twisty tale including missing teens, corporate espionage, and foreign agents with nasty agendas. It was a bit slow at the start, but the action picked up quickly and the story became a real page turner.

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes life made sense only when she was investigating. There was a gloriously abstract aspect to analyzing strangers. She could use her brains without tripping over emotions at every breath.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful and in depth review! I'm happy you enjoyed the book.


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