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 Trey needs. And when he meets stunning fellow passenger Aariah 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. Aariah 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.
Unabridged audio book
Portrait of Lies is suspense just like I like it- just enough to keep you interested and on the edge of your seat but not too scary. Clair Poulsen is one of my favorite authors in the LDS suspense genre. His books are clean and have a great flow to them. I really enjoyed this one!
This book is primary set on a cruise ship and revolves around some paintings. There is a whole cast of characters and I suspected them all. Even though there were so many characters in this book I never felt as though I didn't know who was who. I had a clear picture of each character in my head and they all came into the story in a way that was easy to remember. That is always a huge thing in a book like this.
Trey is a character that is easy to root for. He is strong yet kind. He knows what he wants and works hard to get it. Ariah is less of a standout in this book, more needy than anything but a good contrast to Trey.
This book is an LDS suspense. The characters mention their religion and the book will say they talked about religious things but nothing is detailed or specific. There are some violent things, murders and such things that are usually found in suspense novels. Other than that, this book is squeaky clean- no swearing or sexual content.
The most fun thing about this book for me is that-- I was reading about this murder mystery that takes place on a cruise while actually being on a cruise-- it really brought it to life :)
Click HERE to read more about my cruise
Clair M. Poulson is one of my most favorite authors and I have been reading his books for a long time--
I was intrigued with this book and how just as someone confesses to the crime a twist was thrown in and the plot thickened and the mystery continued with another issue needing to be solved.
Really keeps you reading and wondering and scrambling to see what else could possibly be thrown into the story line--absolutely loved it!
This book has it all!
Cold case tie-in
Just like I like it!
Be sure to grab a copy of this one!
LOVED. LOVED. LOVED. IT!
(3.5 Stars) I've read a fair amount of this author's works and I love that he continues to branch out with his plots. This story mostly takes place on a cruise ship and the main character, Trey, is a British guy who lives in Australia. His parents are both famous artists, although his mother was murdered in a robbery when he was young. He vows to find the killer and is fortunate enough to find some clues in the stagnant mystery aboard this art cruise.
Trey is very resourceful and is able to piece things together in a realistic timeline. He's a nice guy and is very protective of those whom he cares for. I liked his perseverance--he's definitely not a quitter. I love how his edges soften when he meets Ariah. Ariah is such a sweet and caring girl and when she gets spooked by the men in the cabin next door, Trey steps in as a protector and comfort. I enjoyed the easy relationship the two of them form, although I would have liked to see it unfold with a little more dialogue between the them, instead of being told that it did. It was still very comfortable.
There are many twists and turns, including murder, and things get a little crazy at times, with so many suspicious characters. I love the way it was all tied up together in the end. This is a good read for those who enjoy a murder mystery without all of the gore.
Content: squeaky clean romance; no language; murder and mild violence--not graphic; mild religious elements--not preachy. Clean!
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
Portrait of Lies was a plot full of several suspects, murder, mayhem, friendships, art, a cruise ship, family, and some romance. It also had an unexpected inspirational aspect in regards to the main character who was Mormon and those he shares his beliefs with. It was interesting seeing everything come together in the end with several loose ends that needed to be tied up and not knowing which suspects were or were not responsible.
I found the characters somewhat intriguing. Trey was a young police officer but a very good one with some good connections. His relationship with his father was interesting as well as the relationships he builds with a few others on the cruise ship. The villains were sly and played their roles well. I would have liked the conversations to have flowed a little better and for the characters to have felt fuller, but they were all still unique and likable, well, except the villains were all definitely not likable. I especially thought Hans was a fun character and brought quite a bit to the story.
The plot was a little crazy - just in the fact that there are several different moving parts to it and figuring out who had a hand in what and why. I have a love and respect for art, so parts of the story that dealt with that and with signatures and such I found interesting. There was some violence that was fairly strong in what happened, but it wasn't detailed which kept it from being gruesome, and it fit the story and the genre. The religious aspect felt a little forced because it was brought up in parts that didn't quite feel natural and I would have liked it to be more in how Trey showed his religion instead of how he talked about it. I loved the setting of the cruise ship and then Australia. It was definitely a setting that I haven't experienced in a book before.
I'd recommend Portrait of Lies to those who enjoy cozy LDS romantic suspense that keeps you guessing and has some sweet romance that isn't the focal point of the story.
Source: I would like to thank Covenant for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.
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.