From start to finish, “A Thin Film of Lies” by C. S. Lakin had me turning pages long after the sun went down. I received this as an e-book and it’s truly a rare gem – a mystery/crime novel with a christian theme entwined. This “whodunit” is the total package ~ murder, suspense, accusations, betrayal and ultimately redemption. Just when you think you have it figured out and think you know who it is, you don’t!
Fran's current case throws her into the lives of Mike and Alisa Jepson, a couple whose marriage is disintegrating fast. When leads coming into the precinct point at Mike Jepson as guilty of murder, Fran watches the damage wrought on this couple, yet is unable to ignore the incriminating evidence. When Mike ends up arrested and in jail, Alisa takes comfort in a friend—Dee Dee—who moves in with her.. Mike hires a PI who uncovers clues to who is setting Mike up, but Alisa is caught in a trap before Mike can protect her. Although Fran reaches out to Alisa during her crisis of faith, she is unable to stop events from barreling toward a crash.
The characters are so real-life and you soon get the feel they are just like your neighbors, colleagues, and friends from church. You meet them all in a purposeful way ~ from the thrilling opening of a hit and run to the dramatic conclusion of fingers pointed in the wrong direction in vengeance. The pain and betrayal that Alisa and Mike face is often fustrating, a sign of a really well developed characters. Detective Fran Anders’ intuition played a huge part in this novel as does her reliance on God, with whom she discusses her every day cases at length and in continual conversation. Both Alisa and Fran are fighters of faith – It might be uphill, but they don’t give up or let go. Serendipity, not just in meaning, holds a key position in this mystery and the irony that builds around it is part of what makes this novel so interesting. From mysterious letters, hidden photographs, car damage and more, it keeps you guessing and trying to fit it all together like a pieces to an intricate puzzle.
My favorite quotes in the book: “The darkest hours usually mean victory is just around the corner. Joseph in prison. Abraham at the altar. Christ on the cross.”
“God develops us in the dark. Like a roll of film. So that when he’s done, it’s no longer a negative, but a positive.” Brilliantly stated!
The only drawback to the e-book copy I received had some issues with the fonts and format. Often from one sentence and/or paragraph to the other, it would change between 3-4 font styles with no reference to the book. In other words, it wasn’t a different person, chapter or a need and it was terribly confusing at first bordering on difficult to decipher what the author was trying to say. Once I figured out the pattern and true meaning, it allowed the plot to unfold naturally. Overall, I’m blessed to have been given this e-book. As a fan of mystery/intrigue/crime novels, to have one with a faith-based theme throughout is an absolute winner!
About the author: C.S. Lakin is novelist and writing coach who spends her time divided between developing new book ideas and helping writers polish theirs. She is the author of twelve novels – six contemporary novels and six in the fantasy/sci-fi genre. Whether she is exploring the depths of the human psyche and pushing her characters to the edge of desperation, or embellishing an imaginary world replete with talking pigs and ancient magical curses, she is doing what she loves best – using her creativity and skills to inspire and affect her readers. In all her books she seeks to journey to the heart of human motivation, to uncover unmet needs, and show the path to healing and grace. To read more, visit her website here!
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