Portrait of Lies by Clair M. Poulson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Book Description: It was a robbery gone bad, or so they said. For Detective Trey Shotwell, the murder of his mother, a prominent artist, was the catalyst for setting aside his own artistic aspirations to pursue a career in law enforcement—despite the opposition of his father, also a famous painter. When he agrees to attend an art auction featuring his father's work, the cruise ship locale provides the relaxation that Trey needs—and when he meets stunning fellow passenger Ariah Stanton, the undeniable chemistry they share is an unexpected bonus.
But the tranquil voyage quickly turns into a nightmare at sea. The Shotwell paintings have disappeared, and amidst the chaotic hunt for the thief, a murderer is free to roam the halls of the ship. Ariah finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and miraculously escapes the murderer—for now. But another victim is not so lucky...
The crime is eerily reminiscent of the death of Trey's mother so many years before. But this time, the young detective has the resources he needs to track the killer. As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, they paint the chilling picture of a sinister plot years in the making. In a manhunt that takes him from the high seas of the Pacific to the wilderness of Australia, Trey will stop at nothing to solve the crime and protect the woman he loves.
My thoughts: As a teen Trey Shotwell vowed that he would find his mother's murderer. Ten years have passed and while on a cruise with his father, a break in the case has finally been found. Murder and mayhem abound on the ship leaving a huge pool of suspects.
I really liked Trey's character. He is an honest and genuine man who makes a living as a police officer. His parents were/are famous painters and he chose his own path instead of the family legacy. He is smart and observant. He has good instincts when it comes to people and he does well when he follows them.
I liked the romance in the book. It is sweet and cute. There are actually two romances occurring at the same time and I liked both of them. There are murders that happen in the course of the book, but they were not graphic, and just described the basics.
The plot was well thought out and presented in a believable manner. The writing style was more of a narrative, it's not my favorite style. I felt as if I was being told the events rather than having them described to me. This didn't distract me too much from the plot and characters. I just didn't get to know them as well as I would have liked.
Overall, this was a good book to read. It is clean with a little bit of violence. It does contain religious elements. Trey's religion (LDS) is referred to frequently as a fundamental part of his character. The book was not preachy and can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys a good suspense/mystery book.
About the Author: Clair M. Poulson was born and raised in Duchesne, Utah. His father was a rancher and farmer, his mother a librarian. Clair has always been an avid reader, having found his love for books as a very young boy.
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