Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Moonlighters Series #2
A husband's lies can have deadly consequences.
When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.
Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers' demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband's dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?
Distortion by Terri Blackstock is a highly recommended faith based thriller.
After Juliet Cole witnesses the murder of her husband, it becomes clear that after 15 years of marriage she really didn't know him. Bob Cole was a successful doctor but what else and who else was he involved with and how is his secret life going to affect grieving Juliet and her two sons, 12 year old Zach and 9 year old Abe. Juliet turns to her two sisters, Holly and Cathy, as well as her brother Jay, and PI Michael Hogan to investigate what Bob was really doing and why he was murdered.
The plot is action packed and based right on today's headlines. While Blackstock is well known as a successful Christian writer, truth be told, she's simply a good writer. She knows how to execute a plot full of action and intrigue and how to carry that plot on to the end. Her Christian values insure readers that while there might be some harsh, cruel actions taking place (sin happens), there won't be swearing or gratuitous sex scenes. That is refreshing. The characters will struggle but will turn to their faith.
“Lord,” she said through her teeth, “I believe Romans 8:28 is true. But I can’t imagine how all of this is going to work for good, because all I see is tragedy and heartache, and shock after shock. We need some real miracles here.”
Distortion continues the story found in Truth Stained Lies. Sometimes a continued story doesn't put the reader at a disadvantage but that isn't the case here. The two stories really are tied together and it might behoove readers to read the first before this second book. There are also some incredible coincidences/backstory that strained my acceptance. I know bad things happen to good people and often seemingly all at once but consider the following excerpt:
"How strange that three of four of these siblings had lost their loved ones to murder. It was too much of a coincidence, but he couldn’t make the crimes fit together. His own brother Joe, who’d been engaged to Cathy, had been murdered by a drug dealer he’d been investigating. Leonard Miller had been acquitted by his jury, even though there were eyewitnesses. Jay’s wife’s murder had been completely unrelated to Joe’s. And Bob’s seemed unrelated to both of them. A guy driving up in a parking lot and gunning him down. A threat by telephone. Michael’s training as a police detective had honed his instincts, but they weren’t guiding him now. He had to focus on facts. He just didn’t have enough of them. (page 34)
Another fact worth noting is that the story will be continued because it doesn't wrap up at the end. You might want to consider the series aspect of this book and decide if a series is what you are looking to invest your time in or if a stand-alone novel would be a better choice.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Zondervan via Netgalley for review purposes.