Review of “Dead Lies” by Cybele Loening

Dead Lies by Cybele LoeningA review by Maria.

First off, a big thank you to author Cybele Loening for allowing Fangirls Read It First to read an advanced copy of Dead Lies.

Web hears the unthinkable on a phone call with his sister – the sound of her murder. Police officer Anna Valentine, who moved to a small town to recover from a family tragedy, investigates the murder as her first big case in town. Older, seasoned detective Jerry Kreeger is lead on the case and takes Anna on as a partner. But solving the case will be far from easy, revealing twists and lies along the way.

Anna was a surprisingly self-conscious character, even though being a police officer usually comes with confidence. She had good instincts, but would often make mistakes in the move from NYPD procedure to the suburbs. She has baggage in the form of an addicted husband and a traumatized son. She also is still reeling from the death of her son’s identical twin. She’s self-conscious about her baggage and dating again. She also feels she not very attractive or desirable in general because of the bunions on her feet. She was very interesting and easy to relate to as the main character.

Web was a character who I didn’t initially like but as soon as his sister died he became a different person right away. He took stock in his life and those around him and began to live more for others instead of himself. It was very realistic, the grief he went through being so much deeper since he had lost a twin sister. Being a twin myself, I found that very easy to imagine. I liked how Loening added in the twin connection into his grief. He also became very charming and sweet with Anna and I found myself very torn between the love interests.

Jerry knows how old he is, and that he has no business crushing on his partner Anna. He feels old enough to be her father, but he still is attracted to her and scared to make a move. I liked the exchanges these two shared while working together on the case. A real partnership developed in this book and the two were able to lean on each other in the case and open up about their lives. I liked how, even though Anna would constantly make mistakes, Jerry would let her know she was busted but also let her recover and learn from them.

The pacing of this book was great, it was slow when it needed to be and still had fast paced moments. The mystery was excellent, full of plot twists that kept the reader second guessing everything. I liked how the author balanced insights into the mystery and character development at the same time.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

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