Source: Review copy, Netgalley
Publication: 21st January 2020 from Bookouture
As Senator Christopher Holliday walks through the halls of the US Federal Building in Seattle, his phone beeps with an alert. Frustrated by the interruption, he takes a quick glance and is horrified by the image on the screen – his two children, Brandon and Avery, unconscious. The message simply reads: Meet me or they die.
The race is on to find the children and leading the investigation is Special Agent Max Carter from the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team. He will stop at nothing to find children stolen from their families – after all, he was once one of those taken children, so he knows exactly what’s at stake.
Rushing to the Senator’s home in Washington State, Carter faces a wall of police cruisers and blacked-out SUVs. Megan Holliday, the senator’s wife, was ambushed by a man with a gun as she returned home from taking her kids out for ice cream. Bound and drugged, the attacker left her unconscious on the doorstep before messaging her husband.
When Senator Holliday flees the federal building, but fails to show up at home, Carter grows suspicious. The busy politician has vanished without telling anyone what he’s up to. If Carter knows one thing, it’s that Holliday has something to hide. And he just became Carter’s prime suspect.
I am delighted to be starting the blog tour for Ed James’ fantastic new character, FBI Special Agent Max Carter and Tell Me Lies.
Tell Me Lies starts off at a gallop and doesn’t slow down until this gripping and addictive storyline has ended. Our protoganist in this new series is Special Agent Max Carter of the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team (CARD). He is mobilised when Megan Holliday, wife of Senator Chris Holliday, awakes after an attack when she was out with her children – an attack in which she was drugged – to find her two young children missing.
But this is no ordinary abduction; the perpetrators want the Senator who, in turn, is doing his best to evade Max Carter and his team. The reader knows that Holliday is hiding something but James makes sure we have our work cut out to establish not only what people are hiding , but why – and from there to discern the kidnappers motivation.
Just when you think you have a handle on it, James neatly twists your expectations to lead you down an altogether different path.
Firmly based in today’s technological world, with political overtones and deadly manoeuvres that span countries and years, this is a story that makes the political personal to great effect.
Told from multiple perspectives, and with first person narration from the perpetrators, we learn just enough about Max Carter and what drives the man to work on these cases to whet our appetite for future books.
Verdict: James cleverly creates a very twisted and nicely intricate plot which keeps the tension high and the action fast and furious. An adrenaline fuelled thriller, Tell Me Lies is a terrific opener for a new series and Max Carter a fascinating new character.
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Ed James is the author of multiple series of crime novels.
The bestselling DI Simon Fenchurch series is set in East London and published by Thomas & Mercer.The self-published Scott Cullen series of Scottish police procedurals features a young Edinburgh Detective Constable investigating crimes from the bottom rung of the career ladder he’s desperate to climb. The first book, “Ghost in the Machine”, has been downloaded over 400,000 times, hitting both the Amazon UK & US top five.The Craig Hunter books is a sister series to the Cullen novels, with a PTSD-suffering ex-squaddie now working as a cop investigating sexual abuse cases. With lots of slapstick and banter.
Ed lives in East Lothian, Scotland and writes full-time, but used to work in IT project management, where he filled his weekly commute to London by literally writing on planes, trains and automobiles.