Keeping with this year’s mystery novel theme, I selected Willow Rose’s Don’t Lie to Me to read and review in March. I have read several books by this author in the past. Those novels were well-written, so I didn’t expect anything less when I ordered Don’t Lie to Me on my Kindle. I wasn’t disappointed. Don’t lie to Me became a thrilling and intriguing reading experience. Parts of the story kept my eyes glued to my Kindle. The plot twist at the end was unexpected, proving families can keep secrets that turn into nightmares.
Quick summary of Willow Rose’s Don’t Lie to Me
After her husband trades her in for a newer model, FBI profiler, Eva Rae Thomas, moves home to Cocoa Beach, Florida. Eva Rae resigned from her position with the FBI to be a full-time mom and work on a new book. Her parents live in Cocoa Beach, and she wants to be close to them. Issues between her and her mother existed due to her sister’s disappearance when she was young. Those issues carried on into Eva Rae’s adulthood. She still has nightmares about the faceless man snatching Sydney while the family was shopping at Walmart.
Sophie Williams has been kidnapped from Seminole Springs campground while sleeping in her tent. Her Girl Scout troop leader franticly searches for her. The prominent young surfer with a promising future in the sport vanishes without a trace. Aubrey Simms is on vacation with her small daughter when she finds a sleeping bag lying in the middle of the road with Sophie’s body tucked inside. She panics and runs screaming into the middle of the street in front of the car being driven by Eva Rea.
The discovery of the body of Sophie Williams zipped into the sleeping bag taken with her the night she went missing leads to Eva Rea working with the Cocoa Beach police department. Children are going missing, including the son of her old friend Matt Miller, the lead detective on the case. Eva Rea and Matt Miller have a romantic history.
Secrets buried in Eva Rea’s family past will play a large role in the plot twist identifying the person responsible for abducting and murdering the mothers and children. The ending leaves one important issue unresolved that will undoubtedly come up in other novels in this series. (I know. I’m hooked on another series, but what’s a person to do?)
Story development and worldbuilding in Willow Rose’s Don’t Lie to Me
I enjoyed the way Willow Rose spun this mysterious story. The way she injected Eva Rae’s nightmares about her near obduction and her sister Sydney’s disappearance into the story created a dramatic effect. Also, the narrative told by the boy added a great deal of suspense. She uses this method to introduce the killer, which is a perfect way of telling the back story. At first, the reader didn’t know the narratives were the young voice of the killer. The voice might be coming from one of the victims. As it turns out, the person was a victim in a sense.
There were times I could almost feel my toes in the sand and see the waves out in the ocean in the pages of this book. I remember visiting a friend in Palm Bay who lives close to Cocoa Beach. Therefore, I found the world Rose built where her characters exist very realistic.
Character development in Willow Rose’s Don’t Lie to Me
I found all the characters very believable. Eva Rae has a lot on her plate. She’s trying to do the best for her kids, but a continuous stream of complications is in the way. Her youngest kid has behavior problems, and her mother is a cold-hearted person who makes her feel like she can’t do anything right. She carries way more guilt than she should about a lot of things.
Her father seems like a really good guy, but appearances can be deceiving. I liked the character Matt. I feel like he will play an important part in the series. The daughters are the typical girls trying to understand why their dad left. They do the normal thing and blame mom. By the end of the story, I had a good idea about who these characters were moving forward in the series. I found the people in her story believable, and I sort of got attached.
Summary of Willow Rose’s Don’t Lie to Me
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading the next one in the series. I already have it stored on my Kindle. Still, I had one issue with the book. Eva Rea hadn’t unpacking when her daughters had picked up all of these after-school activities, such as being part of a sports team and choir. Maybe things have changed a lot since I had kids who did those things, but unless you had a good past school history proving you were super talented being a part of those activities, a kid would have to wait for the next year to try out to become a part of the group.
I also found the mother very irritating, but there might be a big attitude adjustment in the future. Eva Rea will have issues with the husband that left her high and dry. I figure he’s going to create a lot of drama and create a lot of guilt in her life. I can see that coming a mile away. Oh, well, it’s time for me to read and find out if I’m right.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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