Thursday, April 13, 2023

Where They Lie

Where They Lie by Joe Hart
5/1/23; 240 pages
Thomas & Mercer
Nora McTavish #1

Where They Lie by Joe Hart is a highly recommended domestic mystery.

Kaylee Volk is a vlogger and influencer whose focus is family life. She is unable to conceive so Kaylee and her husband, Justin, have three foster children Bethany, Mason, and Andrea. The children are a focus of her content. When the family's private plane crashes into the ocean only Kaylee survives. She claims Andrea caused the plane crash.

Nora McTavish is a child protective services (CPS) agent who had a troubled childhood herself. She is also familiar with the Volk family from an earlier call she had to investigate a fight between Andrea and Mason. The police are satisfied with the answers they have for the plane crash, but Nora suspects there is more going on and begins her own investigation.

Since this is the first novel in what will be a series featuring Nora, the trauma from her troubling childhood experiences are covered to help establish her personality and reactions. There is plenty of room left to further develop her character in future novels. She is a sympathetic but damaged character and readers will trust her judgment as she investigates what happened with the Volk family. There are also some fine clues to how much Nora really cares about the people she is helping.

The mystery within the novel is interesting and Nora uncovers secrets within the Volk family. There are threatening incidents to Nora personally and a break-in at her home after she brought home a broken iPad from the Volk's home. The iPad wasn't taken, and her dog wasn't hurt, but the threat of violence increases the tension. As she uncovers clues it becomes clear that the iPad may contain information about the case that someone is trying to hide, but first she will have to find a way to get the information off the broken device.  A quick, satisfying mystery.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.

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