Tuesday, July 19, 2011

3 Lies / Helen Hanson

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


A former employee of high-tech manufacturers in Silicon Valley, Helen Hanson now lives in Texas with her husband and son. She’s lived from coast to coast, worked a variety of jobs, and even has a pilot’s license, but what makes me jealous is that she “saw the Clash at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium sometime in the eighties.” For more, visit the author’s website.


The CIA discovers that either they have a computer glitch or several agents have gone missing. What has happened isn’t clear, with other nefarious possibilities, some involving those investigating the incident, as alternative explanations.

After co-founding a successful technology company, Clint Masters has burnt out. So he jumps off the corporate merry-go-round. This lifestyle change and his girlfriend Beth are the perfect antidote to the corporate grind and his soon-to-be-ex wife. Then Beth disappears, and without regular kidney dialysis, she will die.


3 Lies has several elements I found appealing. I’m a computer geek, so the portion involving the CIA’s computer issues was a natural fit. Clint, the protagonist, and his girlfriend Beth were both the kind of people I’d like to know, which helped pull me into the story and get me emotionally invested in the outcome. The contrast between Clint and his smarmy partner as well as the difference between Beth and Clint’s estranged wife made them look even better.

Another thing I liked was that the plot was involved, in that it had multiple threads that eventually came together, yet I didn’t have any difficulty keeping track of the different characters and threads. It takes talent for an author to keep a complex story with multiple things happening from becoming too difficult for the reader to keep everything straight.

None of this would matter were 3 Lies not a great story. The different story threads kept me guessing. Although it became apparent how they were related, how (or if) everything would resolve was never obvious, which maintained the suspense. Several twists near the end were big surprises and made the ending even more satisfying.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of typos and other errors.

Rating: ***** Five stars


Donna Fasano said...

What a great review. This book sounds interesting. I'll download a sample. Thanks, Al!


BooksAndPals said...

Thanks, Donna.

Helen Hanson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen Hanson said...

Thanks for taking the time to read my novel, Al. It’s a big commitment of time, and I appreciate your effort. Of course I’m delighted that you enjoyed it!

The English Beat opened for The Clash. It was an amazing concert. If you’re an REM fan, let me know. I have a story you would find interesting . . .

All the best,


p.s. I was honored to have you at my website. The giveaway was for the newest revision with typos corrected. Since I had four entrants before the deadline, I’ll send a fourth copy to you. Take care.

p.p.s. previous comment deleted to remove an errant comma.

RW Bennett said...

Congratulations, Helen on a great review. BTW, I came here from a Twitter link. I recognise you from Writers' Cafe.

Helen Hanson said...

Hi RW,

I recognize you too. I'd never forget a man in a tux holding a dog in a tux. Great photo!

I appreciate the kind words. Thanks.

Helen Hanson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen Hanson said...

Thanks to you, too, Donna!

Another from the Cafe.

p.s. I wish we could edit posts. My keyboard needs a new battery. Apparently, so do I.

Vicki said...

I already have 3 Lies on my reading list, but the review just makes me want to read it more.

So many good books, so little time...

BooksAndPals said...

How true, Vicki. I feel that way all the time. If only I had more hours to read. I think this is one that you're going to like.

Moses Siregar III said...

Great review. Congrats, Helen.