A romantic suspense story that I had trouble with the romance although found the suspense and the setting of scenes quite clever, Ring of Lies is a “what do you do when all you thought you knew was untrue’ sort of story.
To the positive, the story was developed with clever scene setting and description that gave me a sense of being there. The twists and turns as Grace navigates her own grief and the uncovered secrets and peril in Miami felt plausible, but there was just something not quite meshing in the story for me.
Mostly I think it was a character issue: I didn’t find Grace particularly capable or strong, and while she did manage to take in information and make decisions, they still felt tentative and unsure. And she was more dithery and insecure – no anger, no real displays of furious after finding a whole life her dead husband had concealed. Sure, the shock was expected, but I also believe anyone would be angry – furious if truth be told. Then we have Jack – a bit too Stacey Keach in Mike Hammer, with the associated ‘trying to hide the golden heart within’ sort of attitude. Why can’t a dislikable character just be left to be competent but no one you’d want to have a drink with? I would have believed that more, and then there would be no need to flavor this story with a romance that just felt forced and untrue.
Not bad in the whole, with enough issues with character dialogue feeling stilted or utterly misplaced to the character that is speaking, and there seemed to be a great rush to finish the story in the last moment, a curious problem with many titles in this genre. Is there a checklist that says you have to end in X pages so pages R, S, T, U, V and W all must tie up every thread whether that seems to make sense or not? There were some pieces that required more exposition, even if the ending did feel appropriate for the situation, even though rushed.
Narration is provided quite capably by Michelle Ford, who manages to impart voice and accent changes neatly, add emotional impact without overreach, and provide enough variation in delivery and pacing to provide interest while remaining easy to follow.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 4 Story 2
Title: Ring of Lies
Author: Victoria Howard
Narrator: Michelle Ford
Published by: BookRite Books
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 10 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance
When accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident, his widow, Grace, is overcome with grief...and panic. Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of her. Or so she thought.
Grace soon discovers Daniel kept secrets: an alias, mob ties, a list of numbers, a mysterious beach house in Florida....and a girlfriend who looks like Grace. Swallowing her fear, she flies to Miami to claim the house Daniel left her.
But the price of her curiosity is peril. Underworld figures stalk her. And handsome, troubled FBI agent Jack West has crossed precarious paths with Grace before. With little to go on and danger at every turn, Grace must depend on Jack to help her navigate the criminal world of south Florida, and find the truth behind the Ring of Lies.
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.