Average Joe

Lies

Wow! My first pick from Netgalley proves to be a gem.

T. M. Logan’s “Lies” is a psychological thriller with nail-biting twists and turns. Granted the plot and prose are well crafted, but the protagonist ultimately drives this story from the exhilarating beginning to the unforeseen end. Joe Lynch doesn’t possess the quality or attribute that distinguishes him from ordinary people. Actually, he is an ordinary person whose life unravels and turns upside down because he decides to chase after his wife’s car in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Joe—average Joe—appeals to the reader right from the start with these lovely opening lines: “My son’s first word wasn’t Daddy or Mummy. His first word was Audi. Which was strange because I’d never owned an Audi, and on my salary probably never would.” Joe’s most endearing quality is his love for his precocious son, his beautiful wife, and his humble background. He’s a teacher. His wife and her friend, Ben, consider him an underachiever.  Sadly, a car accident had left him with metal pins in his ankle and took away his chance of being a hockey pro. Since then, he has lived a complacent life as a teacher while his wife works in human resources of a big retail chain. He has a feminist quality about him. He believes in strong women. In fact, he sees his wife, Melissa (“Mel”), as “the extrovert, the leader, the sporty alpha female.” He admires her for going after what she wants. “Mel had gone back to work full-time after four months’ maternity leave, but that was her choice, and I totally understood it. She brought in more than my teacher’s salary anyway, she liked her job, and she was bloody good at it. We fitted together perfectly, like interlocking pieces of a puzzle.” Meanwhile, he views Beth, Mel’s friend, as “the clever, kind, quiet counterpoint, but just as much an achiever in her own.” Moreover, he sees her husband, Ben, pushes her around and cheats on her. He wishes she would be strong enough to leave him and be on her own. “It occurred to me that not once had she said—not once—that she would kick Ben out. Not once had she suggested she would get the locks changed, cut up his favorite suits, put one of his cars on eBay with a reserve price of a penny. She had not said she would talk to a lawyer or think about starting divorce proceedings. He had betrayed her, broken his marriage vows to her, humiliated her, but since her fury on Sunday, all the fight seemed to have gone out of her.”

Little does Joe know that Mel, Ben, Beth or any other people close to him are not what they seem.  Joe may have been tremendously observant of his surrounding; but like many people, he sees only the surface. His trusting nature shows how weak and vulnerable he is as a person.  Therefore, he can be easily manipulated or misdirected and framed for murder.  How will this cuckolded husband save himself and his family? Will it be too late for him by the time he connects the dots?

If you have a few hours to spare, then sit down with a glass of wine and enjoy this riveting thriller. It’s a fast read. By the end of the book, you’ll say, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming. What a story!”

 

 

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