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Summary

Fans of Lee Child and David Baldacci will be gripped by this heart-racing FBI thriller from best-selling author Ed James.

Megan Holliday opens her eyes and finds herself slumped on her doorstep. The last thing she remembers is being in the car with her two kids. She sees a handwritten note on her lap - Don’t call the police. It’s then that she realizes her car is missing, and her children are gone....

Leading the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team, FBI agent Max Carter will stop at nothing to find children taken from their families. After all, he was once one of those taken children, so he knows exactly what’s at stake. When he hears that a young senator’s two children have been abducted and their mother left for dead, he races to the Holliday family home in Washington State.

Facing a wall of police cruisers and blacked-out SUVs, Carter quickly uncovers the facts. Megan Holliday was ambushed by a man with a gun as she returned home from taking her kids out for ice cream. Bound and drugged, the attacker left her unconscious on the doorstep with the sinister note on her lap.

As Senator Christopher Holliday walks through the halls of the US Federal Building in Seattle, his phone beeps with an alert. Frustrated by the interruption, he takes a cursory glance and is horrified by the image on the screen - his two children, Brandon and Avery, unconscious. The message he gets simply reads, Meet me or they die.

When Agent Carter tries to make contact with the busy senator, it seems the politician has gone missing, fleeing from the Federal Building and abandoning his distraught wife. If Carter knows one thing, it’s that Holliday has something to hide. And he just became Carter’s prime suspect.

©2020 Ed James (P)2020 Bookouture

What listeners say about Tell Me Lies

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A confident start to a new series

There seems to be a recent spate of authors from this side of the pond who are writing USA based thrillers in what (to me) sounds like a very authentic American voice. Take Steve Cavanagh and Adrian McKinty – both from Northern Ireland (although McKinty resides in the US). And now we have Scottish author, Ed James with the first in a new series. I listened to this novel on audio, and it was excellently narrated by Jared Hendrickson. I liked that the story is largely told from three different viewpoints, our protagonist, Max Carter’s, the kidnapper’s, and Senator Holliday’s. It was fast-paced, and whilst the prologue gave some clue to the kidnapper’s motivations, it really was the tiniest of clues, and the author did well to reveal things only very gradually. The story unfolds with all the twists and turns you’d expect from a novelist as experienced as Ed James, and I was surprised by the length of time that still seemed to be remaining when the story was apparently drawing to a close. It turned out that there was still plenty more story to tell. A confident start to a new series, and I’m looking forward to the next.

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Political thriller

A fast paced political thriller, but who can you trust? Switching between the main characters the story of why the Holliday children were abducted and a search for the truth captivates. Why has Senator Holliday vanished, what does he have to hide and will it save his children? The action keeps moving on and at times the story becomes complicated. Max Carter is an interesting character and hopefully in future books you will come to know him better. A good start to a series, one that I will definitely look out for more of.

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A fairly good start to a series.

Political thrillers are definitely my favourite genre, so I’m disappointed to only give this three stars overall. I enjoyed this first in a series,..... but I don’t have a great sense of Max Carter as my “hero”. Others may not agree with me on this of course, so I do have to point out that I enjoyed the story, the pace and the intricacies of the characters. Though I must admit,Most of my sympathies lay with the “bad guys”. I will definitely be looking out for number two in the series and look forward to being totally engaged with Max Carter.

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Review

I always enjoy a new series and Tell Me Lies was no different. I quickly became engaged in the plot and wanted to know what had happened to the children.  In Tell Me Lies we are introduced to Max Carter. Although the details of the case he was investigating seemed to be more prevalent than details about his character, I could see that he is a family man who cares deeply for his wife and daughter and this influences his actions on this case. There is definitely more to come from him and I look forward to seeing how the character develops.  James has engineered a complex plot in this novel and I was interested to see how it would all come together. There are sections of the novel that are set a few years previously and at first I found it difficult to see how this was related to the plot in the present  However, when everything is revealed, I found myself hooked in an investigation which is very relevant to events in the news at the moment and gave me lots of food for thought.  Jared Hendrickson narrates the audio version and whilst it took me some time to get used to his accent, I did find the narration easy to listen to whilst still conveying the tension in the novel. 

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Really good listen

This book was non stop. A kidnapping of a senators children, the reason at 1st unknown. Hard to decipher but Max Carter a FBI agents is brought into the case. He dives in deep and as the case starts to unravel he sees from all sides. Really good listen.

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Good start to a new series

This is an exciting, high octane political thriller which is told from various POVs, including the kidnapper, but it is still easy to follow. Many of the characters have secrets, hence the title. I don’t feel that we learned a lot about Max Carter but it is still a brilliant start to new series, and I look forward to seeing how Max’s character progresses in future books.

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A gripping story line but something didn't connect

I listed to this on Audible, and my first thought now I’ve come to review it is; I think I would have preferred to read the book than listen to it! I really wanted to rate this book, but unfortunately I was left feeling a bit disappointed. The storyline is certainly gripping - a Senators wife is drugged on the doorstep of their home and their 2 children abducted. Then it’s a who, what & why to find out the truth. There were parts of the book that I was excited by, gripped by the storyline and I was excited to listen to more. But then there were too many times where I was simply a bit lost with the story and dare I say it, bored?! I just didn’t feel I connected with the characters and some of their behaviour was very strange! I mean I’m not sure anybody would behave like that if your kids had been abducted? I also had real issues with the actors voice:-( I listened at a speeded up version (x1.25%) after a few chapters in as his Southern drawl had me falling asleep at times (and I run miles when I’m listening to Audible.. so that’s not great) The accents between characters weren’t always so clear. The voice he used to portray Megan made me grate my teeth and the British accent for his dad was pretty cringeworthy. In summary, and as I started with, a great storyline but I’d go for the book as opposed to listening on Audible!

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Great story!

I enjoyed listening to this story about an American senators children who are abducted. Without giving the story away, there are other cleverly interwoven stories that add to the suspense and wonder of the overall story. I found the characters interesting and well developed. The narrator helped to bring the story to life.! Would recommend.

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  • Jan M
  • 22-02-20

Max Carter, FBI

Tell Me Lies by ed James pulled me in from the very beginning. The author wrote some great twists and had multiple viewpoints narrating the story. The suspense was very well done. The characters were compelling and complicated. Jared Hendrickson has a good voice for police procedural stories. The storyline feels like it could have been ripped from the headlines, and some of the characters had very realistic reactions.

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  • jhanami
  • 22-02-20

Good start to a new series - lovely narration!

I’m new to both Ed James and Jared Hendrickson so I had no preconceived expectations for this audio book but I ended up really enjoying myself. As far as the plot is concerned, some of it might be a little predictable, a new invention of the genre it is not, but it’s a good start to a new series and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Max Carter. What kept me hooked all the way through was the lovely voice and narration of Jared Hendrickson. His Western seaboard twang felt like a warm hug to me, reminding me of traveling on the US west coast - so much so that this is one of the few audio books I have listened to without speeding it up. I will definitely seek out more of his narrations.

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  • Linda Phillips
  • 20-02-20

Has Potential

I think this series has potential, but didn't seem quite there for me yet. I think this book would have benefited from more than one narrator, at times I felt a little lost. By the end of the book I had sped up the narration. I would probably read book two rather than listen as it might be easier to follow.

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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 04-02-20

Action packed

First and foremost, I enjoyed this book overall. The story was interesting and I was invested enough to want to discover the outcome. The action comes at you thick and fast, so fast that at times I was overwhelmed. There were also occasions that I was so overwhelmed with the action that I just switched off and let it pass me by. I listen to a great many audio books and it's not often I struggle to keep up. Maybe this kind of book is better to read. All in all a good story and will listen to another Max Carter book to see if it was just my little brain that was the problem!

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  • Paula M. Williams
  • 03-02-20

Lots of adventure

This was a good mystery but there were a lot of characters involved in the crime and it was sometimes hard to keep track. The whole reason reason for the crime was also a little confusing but overall it was pretty good.