Proof of Lies – Diana Rodriguez Wallach – Entangled:Teen – Published 7 March 2017
Some secrets are best kept hidden…
Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.
And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.
She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.
Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.
She will find her sister.
Proof of Lies takes family secrets to the next level. The mystery is intriguing and I’ve got to say I had no idea what was going on or what was going to happen next. The big reveals were made all the better by the surprise. High-speed boat chases, gelato, iconic European scenery, kidnappings, and numerous bad guys, Proof of Lies combines action, romance, and mystery with a touch of history.
Three years ago, Anastasia lost both her parents in a horrific car crash while they were on one of their research development trips. As top scientists at an engineering firm they took a lot of trips and moved Anastasia and her sister, Keira, around frequently. Three years on, Anastasia is living with Keira who has become her guardian. But one morning, Anastasia discovers her sister has disappeared and the bathroom filled with blood. The police seem to be doing nothing and, consumed by grief, Anastasia isn’t sure what to do until her sister’s friend and roommate (and amateur hacker) discovers that maybe there was more to Keira’s disappearance. Anastasia begins a globe-trekking hunt for clues, that reveals her parents weren’t who she thought them to be.
Anastasia is a competent heroine, but not overly ambitious or ridiculously confident in her abilities. She speaks multiple languages and is a martial arts black belt, but she doesn’t need to employ these skills until things get serious over halfway into the book. She is realistic about her assessment of situations and yet sometimes, amusingly, far fetched “This was beyond reckless. He could have a gun. He could have lots of guns. If he was a spy, or a criminal, he could have a weapon of mass destruction in the trunk.”
Anastasia’s relationship with her sister is equally realistic. They are at each other’s throats until Keira goes missing and then Anastasia doesn’t hesitate to risk her life to rescue Keira. There are plenty of great relationships in Proof of Lies, especially Anastasia’s friendship with roommate Charlotte. And the romantic interest is supplied by new classmate and fellow child of Dresden employees, Marcus. As they spend more time together, they realise they have more in common than expected. I really liked that Anastasia first resists her attraction to Marcus. Yes, there is attraction, which she readily acknowledges, but she is too worried about her sister and her own grief and guilt to feel right about following that attraction, which prevents this book slipping into romance territory too early. There was also a part of me that was suspicious of Marcus – when investigating crimes (even fictional ones) I find it best to suspect everyone. And there are plenty of suspects.
Proof of Lies is the first book in the Anastasia Phoenix series and sets the scene for what promises to be a very exciting series, combining world geography and history with intrigue, conspiracy theories, and family secrets. I really liked that the ending of Proof of Lies gives readers a tidy resolution to the main mystery but leaves many questions unanswered and a whole new mystery to be investigated in book two.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Family, espionage, siblings, missing persons, romance, relationships, action.
Reading age guide: Ages 12/13 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references and implied sex scenes. Infrequent coarse language, sl** (x1), f*** (x1), sh**, bit**, dou***. Violence, descriptions of injury, fighting and murder.
Published: 7 March 2017 by Entangled Teen.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 400 pages.