Book Review ~ A Thin Film of Lies

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!

From the book's cover description:  Fran Anders is a dedicated, no-frills homicide detective who takes her job seriously but has a wry sense of humor. She suffers from the unbearable heat, from unrelenting allergies, but does not suffer fools. As much as she wants to please her superiors, she knows her true boss is—God—and she answers first and foremost to his leading, which sometimes takes her beyond the call of duty, often to the ire of those around her. A middle-aged, divorced, single parent with two teens, Fran hopes someday to find a great man and remarry, but she’s not holding her breath. Right now, she just wants to be a good cop and mother, and use her faith to help those she encounters in her line of work learn there’s someone “up there” who truly cares for them.

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!  

Thanks for stopping by!
Big hugs,

Bigger Blessings!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.


  1. When I read your reviews, I think to myself, "Self, you need to get reading!" Seriously, I love it. I just need to make the time. My daughter said I could use her Nook too. :-)
    Great review!



  2. This sounds intriguing - thanks for the review Kelly - I particularly love Christian fiction where faith is a 'real' part of the storyline.

  3. I enjoyed reading your review. I don't think I have ever read a Christian fiction story before. I love mysteries and am intrigued now. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Glad you enjoyed the book, I'll look it up!

  5. That sounds like a good read Kelly!

  6. Sounds like a great read. I will add it to my ever growing list! Thanks!

  7. Thanks so much for the kind review. I have asked my publisher to please fix the formatting issues. I've even had people say they are lowering their 5-star rating of my novel to 4 because of it. Unfortunately I have no personal control over that. With the other ebooks I personally put up, I do. I would LOVE to encourage you all to get Intended for Harm on Amazon. It is FREE all the time on Kindle and is the modern-day story of Jacob and Joseph, with a very deep spiritual theme. If you enjoyed A Thin Film of Lies, you may love this book, which is my best IMHO. Thanks again, Susanne