Living Lies – Natalie Walters – Harbored Secrets #1 – Revell – Published 21 May 2019
In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name–but no one knows your secret. At least that’s what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.
Lane must work with Walton’s newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she’ll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.
Living Lies is the first book in the Harbored Secrets series by debut novelist, Natalie Walters. Walters has done a superb job of crafting a thrilling suspense, with threads of heart-pounding romance and important messages about acceptance and removing the stigma of mental health and depression. I truly enjoyed this exciting book and I look forward to reading the subsequent titles in the series.
Lane Kent knows heartbreak. She knows the guilt of her past mistakes. Returning to her home town with her young daughter was supposed to be a fresh start but sometimes the secrets and family expectations feel suffocating. When Lane finds a dead body in the woods, she and Deputy Charlie Woods team up to solve the case.
I loved the relationship that builds between Lane and Charlie. I loved how the feelings of love and excitement of a new romance don’t change the facts of Lane’s depression – nothing is swept under the carpet and I loved the dedication to truth and reality. This isn’t a fairytale, but more closely resembles the harsh reality of life, which I though was both really important and helpful for readers, especially those who can relate to Lane’s experiences with suicidal thoughts and depression. Yet, there is a wonderful joy and glow you can feel emanate from Charlie and Lane as they manage to steal quick moments of time in amongst the murder investigation.
There is no shortage of action and tense moments in Living Lies. At first, with the inclusion of chapters from a secondary character, I thought the mystery would be easily laid out to readers and reduce the suspense a little, but the added details, while removing a little of the guess work, only serves to increase the tension and builds to a nail-biting climax.
The crime in Living Lies resolves around murder, drugs, art and basically all those things that make the good guys so eager to catch their bad guys. I loved Deputy Frost – genius, computer-geek, slightly awkward and all-round good guy. I do hope he and others of the wonderfully supportive and detailed secondary characters return in the next books in the series.
Living Lies is a complex, well-constructed and engaging story. With such important and positive messages about mental health, interwoven with the story of crime-fighting action, faith, and romance, I can very highly recommend Living Lies.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction
Genre: Christian – suspense.
Themes: Depression, murder, crime, suicide, grief, love, family, politics, justice.
Advisory: References to suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts. References to drug use and dealing. References to murder and violence.
Published: 21 May 2019 by Revell.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 336 pages.