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Tell No Lies

Review

Tell No Lies

While TELL NO LIES is the second book in Allison Brennan’s latest series, readers jumping in with this one won't feel that they are missing anything.

FBI agent Matt Costa and LAPD detective Kara Quinn are investigating a murder that we "witness" firsthand at the beginning of the story. A student who is a passionate environmentalist at the University of Arizona in Tucson loses her life while searching for evidence of poisoned water that killed wildlife in the desert south of the city. She had suspected that illegal dumping of slag from one of the nearby mines was to blame. Costa, Quinn and their team are determined to find out how she died and why.

"Those who enjoy thrillers and detective novels with lots of action will appreciate the multiple possibilities that Brennan presents before sharing who the bad guys really are."

It turns out that there's much more than dumped slag from a copper mine happening in this lonely stretch of desert. While Kara works undercover as a temporary bartender at the local Patagonia bar, Matt coordinates the others on his team as they investigate one of the workers at the nearby copper processing plant they suspect of being responsible for the illegal dumping. Another member of the team, Michael, is working undercover at the mine, and the local sheriff is also coordinating with them.

Kara and Matt worked together on a case two months before the crime occurred. When Kara’s cover was blown by another member of law enforcement, she had to leave LA for her own safety and has been assigned to work on Matt's team. Spunky, tough and independent, Kara is also likable and compassionate, and we really get to know and care about her. Matt is rather one-dimensional, though it appears that Brennan will develop both characters more fully as the series progresses.

While Kara, Matt and the others on the team are investigating the college student's murder, we read about the many border problems that beset the Southwest area. Not only are there drug cartels moving narcotics and arms across the border, human trafficking of men, women and children is rampant and executed by those same cartels. We witness all of those firsthand and see how the trafficked are moved around before they are brought to their final destinations. We also learn about how cheaply human life is valued by the cartels and the traffickers.

TELL NO LIES is engaging from the beginning, and while the cast is large, an omniscient third person narrator means that we know what many of the various characters are thinking. It all works to help us understand what is going on. In addition to Kara, Matt and Michael, there is Ryder, whose ability to unravel threads of paperwork to find the culpable is almost magical. We meet others who we know will appear in future installments of the series, and we can't wait to get better acquainted with them.

Those who enjoy thrillers and detective novels with lots of action will appreciate the multiple possibilities that Brennan presents before sharing who the bad guys really are. We have a pretty good idea of where the plot is going, and there are no major twists at the end, but rather a solid nail-biting climax when the FBI team must save the day.

Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on April 2, 2021

Tell No Lies
by Allison Brennan

  • Publication Date: March 30, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Mira
  • ISBN-10: 0778331466
  • ISBN-13: 9780778331469