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Simply Lies


Simply Lies

I continue to marvel at how David Baldacci is able to juggle multiple releases each year without sacrificing one iota of suspense, narrative or ingenious plot. His latest novel, SIMPLY LIES, is a stand-alone thriller featuring two lead characters who are so engaging that I hope he considers revisiting them.

As the book opens, former detective Mickey Gibson is doing battle with two individuals who consistently best her at every turn --- her two- and three-year-old children, who she is raising on her own. She is now applying her investigatory skills with ProEye, a company that allows her the benefit of working remotely and specializes in taking down wealthy tax and credit cheats.

"In the hands of the great David Baldacci, [Mickey and Clarisse] spin a tale that is gripping and unpredictable from start to finish. Fingers crossed that this is not the last we see of them!"

After Mickey’s boss commends her on a great case and gives her a well-earned bonus, she gets a call from a colleague named Arlene Robinson, who claims to be phoning her from the company’s corporate headquarters. Arlene knows specific details about the last conversation Mickey had with her boss and has a special assignment for her in nearby coastal Virginia. She assures Mickey that she has approval from her boss to give her this task as he is tied up in an important meeting.

Mickey is sent to an abandoned mansion that was allegedly owned by a billionaire whose name is familiar to her. Arlene asks her to look around and report on what she sees. Mickey is shocked to find a hidden room with a corpse inside. She makes sure not to contaminate the crime scene as she notifies the police. Detective Wilson Sullivan shows up and tells Mickey that she is a suspect in the murder, at least until she can be cleared. It turns out that her boss knew nothing about this assignment, and no one by the name of Arlene Robinson works at ProEye.

The mysterious Arlene reconnects with Mickey and apologizes for the subterfuge. She eventually reveals her real name (Clarisse) and the identity of the deceased man whom Mickey found. She desperately wants to bring down a criminal enterprise but can’t do it without Mickey’s help. It will take a while before Mickey can completely trust Clarisse, despite her burning desire to get back in the crime game.

The two women, unlikely allies in a relationship initially built on deceit, are a wonder to behold. In the hands of the great David Baldacci, they spin a tale that is gripping and unpredictable from start to finish. Fingers crossed that this is not the last we see of them!

Reviewed by Ray Palen on April 21, 2023

Simply Lies
by David Baldacci