Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words
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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.
A small number of typos and other errors.
Rating: ***** Five stars