Where the Lies Hide by Renee Roman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I liked this one more than I had expected to. I was afraid the main characters would have too much of the same dramas to deal with early on as I learned about their histories, but it wasn’t at all the case. I enjoyed the characters a great deal. They were unique compared to each other and interesting. The side characters felt pretty minor, but I think it worked in this case. Too much focus on them would have bogged down the story.
While I liked it more than I expected, there are some things I did not care for. There was a lot to this story. Various small storylines and bits of information introduced that, while minor, were forgotten, unresolved or not handled well.
This book borders closely on being a cop drama without actually being one, which was pleasant and pretty different for me personally. I’m glad the two main characters were happy in the end, but it did feel a little too neat and clean. There was just a tad bit too much, “and they all lived happily ever after” for me, but it wasn’t enough of an issue for me to have not enjoyed the rest of the book.
Full Review with Spoilers
I am pretty down the middle with this book. Overall, it kept me entertained. I don’t do suspense/thriller/cop drama much but this had a bit of a twist that I enjoyed. Main character Sarah is enjoyable. I like that she is a welder without the sterotypes you would expect to be attached to it. The other main character Cam, I was slightly less interested in, but it didn’t make her a bad character, just not quite as interesting.
These two characters are brought together when Sarah learns that her adopted parents knew she had a twin brother which she was seperated from at birth. Sarah learns this after both adopted parents have passed and she desperately wants to find him. So she hires Cam, the private investigator. This is a believable line of events to me. I will admit though, in my personal opinion, I am not as happy with Sarah’s way of thinking throughout the whole story. She treats her brother as her only family that matters and puts so much thought and emotion into this idea. I get that them being seperated wasn’t their choice, not like it is for the birth parents that gave them up. I, however, feel like the value of her adopted family got downplayed, like it wasn’t as important as the blood relative she never knew.
There were a lot of small story threads and details thrown into the mix as you are reading that kind of feel like they get forgotten when they aren’t needed anymore or just never resolved. Cam suffers from debilitating migraines that doctors explain is a result of head trama suffered during an abusive childhood in the foster system. Early on, and up to maybe halfway through the book, this is a constant thing for Cam. She’s suffering pretty often and it’s a big part in the relationship development between Cam and Sarah, but then it just kind of falls to the wayside and isn’t really brought up again until the end. In the same vein, Sarah is doing side projects sculpting with metal. She wants to pursue it as her true passion, but can’t pay the bills. We get a little bit of info about a commision that is a big deal and could get her exposure. We never really see where that goes.
Sarah is so set in having her twin brother in her life that she is willing to overlook his blatant dirty cop behavior that Cam is uncovering during her search for him. At some point I found myself rolling my eyes at her naivety. She wasn’t willing to listen to reason and still kept insisting it was important despite the fact the he was a total stranger and obviously a danger to her or others around him.
I can overlook all of these other minor faults in the story. I still enjoyed it. I struggle to accept the ending though. Everything is wrapped up in a nice neat bow. The rich, adopted parents of her angry, manipulative, druggy cop twin give her money to pay off her debts, intriduce her to people to kick of her art career, and become involved in her life after the brother dies in a drug raid. She reconnects with her birth father who all along really wanted to keep her. Cam and her are happily together and Cam’s mentor/ex-lover/savior from the streets is hosting ALL of them for a dinner. This is what I often times call a “picnic” ending. Everything goes perfectly and everyone get’s their way. I like happy endings, but this was just a bit too much for me.