Category: Christian Thriller/Suspense

Quote from State of Lies: Not too many employers were looking for quantum physicists. People tended to look at you strangely when you spoke of things like time travel, parallel dimensions, and wormholes as matters of fact.

Book Review | State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

It’s been a while since I’ve read a novel by Siri Mitchell. Her first novels were contemporary Christian romance, and I enjoyed the writing and the humour. She then moved into Christian historical romance. I read a couple and enjoyed Flirtation Walk, but didn’t enjoy the other—I didn’t like the characters, and found the language bloated when compared with her contemporary reads. However, after reading the other reviews, I see mine was a minority opinion.

I then read and enjoyed The Miracle Thief, the first of two general market historical novels released under the pen name of Iris Anthony. I thought it was a wonderful story, and was pleasantly surprised to find it actually had more Christian content than many of the Christian novels I read (and I’m not sure what it says about the publishing industry that the Christian publishers weren’t prepared to publish a novel featuring miracles, but a general market publisher was).

And now Siri Michell is back, and writing in a fourth genre: romantic suspense.

State of Lies is published by Thomas Nelson, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, and is like many current Thomas Nelson books: well-written with a great plot and characters, but no overt Christian content. Despite that, it’s a great read.

Georgia Brennan is a physicist in Washington, DC. She’s married to Sean, a historian, is the mother of six-year-old Sam, and the daughter of a US Army general who might just be the next secretary of defence. Life is great.

Sean is killed in a car accident on his way to pick up a part he needed to fix the kitchen sink.

Months later, when Georgie goes to fix the sink, she realises Sean was lying. That starts Georgie following a trail of lies and leaves her questioning everything she knows to be true.

The novel is Georgie’s story, written in first person point of view. She is an intelligent woman, which is something I always like to see in fiction. She is a strong character with a strong voice, a voice which drives the narration forward without slowing the pace.

State of Lies is a brilliant thriller, with political and military links as befits the Washington DC setting. It’s well-written, with excellent characterisation, and just the right balance between red herrings and genuine clues … along with plenty of surprises. I like to be able to figure some things out when I read a thriller or suspense novel, but I also like to be wrong occasionally.

I hope this is the first of many suspense novels from Siri Mitchell. Recommended for fans of the Criss Cross series by CC Warrens, and the If I Run trilogy by Terri Blackstock.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Siri Mitchell

Siri MitchellSiri Mitchell is the author of 14 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri is a big fan of the semi-colon but thinks the Oxford comma is irritatingly redundant.

Find Siri Mitchell online at:

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About State of Lies

The secrets of those closet to us can be the most dangerous of all.

Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.

With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.

The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Not her friends.

Not her parents.

Maybe not even herself.

Find State of Lies online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo icon | Koorong

Click here to find State of Lies and other great Christian fiction in my Amazon store!

When someone tells you a lie you want to believe, it is still a lie.

Book Review | West of Famous (Compass Crimes 3) by Joni M Fisher

Things go wrong when college student Martina Ramos takes a job as a body double for a famous teen singer while the singer goes to rehab. Instead of spending her time at film openings or in clubs, Martina is kidnapped. The first line takes us straight into the story:

Martina Ramos opened her eyes in hazy darkness on a cold floor that reeked of vomit and a chemical she couldn't identify.

West of Famous is the third book in a series, following South of Justice and North of the Killing Hand. I haven’t read the earlier books and West of Famous can definitely be read as a standalone novel. But it is obvious West of Famous is part of a series because the characters obviously know each other (and the reader knows them). This can be a little confusing at first, but does give the characters depth. It also means the author isn’t tempted to overshare their backstory, as often happens in first novels.

It does mean there are a lot of characters, and it takes a while to sort out some of the relationships. But that’s not entirely important: the essential part of the story is that Martina has been kidnapped by two men who think she’s a pop star, and who won’t hesitate to kill her if they find out she’s merely a graduate student at Oxford.

So the story has two parts:

Martina trying to stay safe on board the yacht she’d being held captive on, and Ruis’s efforts to find her before time runs out. The two parts meld together perfectly, giving us an action-packed story that never lets up on the tension.

The plotting is excellent, as are the characters and the way they work together to save Martina. The story is set in 2010, when social media wasn’t quite so prevalent as it is today, so it is believable that Martina is able to pass herself off as Ruby (especially as she’s surrounded by Ruby’s friends and boyfriend). There is another aspect of the plot that works better in 2010, but I won’t say what because #Spoilers.

I was also impressed by the faith elements.

Martina and her family are strong Catholics, and the importance of their faith comes through strongly. But it’s a realistic kind of faith, not something that feels like it’s been added for the sake of it (as often happens in inspirational/Christian fiction).

I very much enjoyed West of Famous, and recommend it to fans of thrillers from authors like Terri Blackstock and CC Warrens. I’m looking forward to reading the earlier books in the series.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Joni M Fisher

Joni M FisherAfter working decades in journalism, Joni M. Fisher turned to crime. Her Compass Crimes collection has garnered attention in Publisher’s Weekly and earned recognition in the 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards, the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Awards, and others. She serves on the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board for Southeastern University and is a member of the Florida Writers Association and Sisters in Crime. An instrument-rated private pilot, she’s also a contributing reporter for General Aviation News.

Find Joni M Fisher online at:

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About West of Famous

This contemporary suspense story, set in Florida, features a strong female protagonist facing the issues of identity, mortality, and survival after kidnappers mistake her for a celebrity. The boating community known as Loopers play a key role in the story.

This is the third book in the Compass Crimes series, which is a collection of stories linked by an ensemble cast of characters. Each book can stand alone. Each book features a different heroine and a life-changing crime. The stories are linked by the alliances, friendships, and occupations of the characters common to the stories. While some of the stories contain a romantic subplot, some do not. In the aftermath of each crime, the relationships between these characters grow deeper and stronger.

You can find West of Famous online at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads | Kobo

You can read the introduction to West of Famous below: