Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DARK TRUTH by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: October 2005
ISBN: 978-0345476692
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained via: self-purchase

Sixteen years ago Nina Madden's life was golden. She studied at the university where her father taught, she had some terrific friends and was invited to pledge the sorority she most aspired to. Hurrying across campus her mind raced with the news that she'd soon be living in the sorority house and with all the benefits it entailed. As she hurried up the steps to her father's office she was met not only by her father but by a cadre of police officers. As they led him away in handcuffs little did Nina realize it would be the last time she saw him or that it would be left to her to discover the secrets of the Stone River Rapist.

Despite the dark cloud of her past, today Nina is a successful editor for a well known publisher. Her top client is Regan Landry, daughter of deceased true crime writer, Josh Landry. When Nina is called back to Stone River to attend her step-mother's funeral she takes time to meet with her favorite client. When she tells her step-brother, Kyle, she wants nothing to do with her father's house he still tries to do the right thing. All Nina takes away with her is a box of her father's belongings. What she finds in the box opens up a door to the past and answers she never expected.

DARK TRUTH, the third of Mariah Stewart's Truth series is an easy read. Regan Landry is one of the most likeable characters, someone anyone would be pleased to call their friend. Nina's reactions to the allegations of her father's crimes are highly credible and how I think most of us would react if the same thing happened to us in our college years. She's a likeable, although not really a memorable character. DARK TRUTH is closer to a true crime novel rather than a suspense although at the end there are some strong suspenseful elements It has the flavor, as well, of a women's fiction because of the friendship between Regan and Nina. Walking that line between two generally different genres takes a fine talent and storytelling ability.

There were a few elements in the story that didn't ring true. While Wes, Nina's eventual romantic interest, talks about his son, he gives every indication of being married. It seems to be implied that Nina knows he's divorced, but his comments seem to indicate he is still married. The DNA discussion isn't quite accurate – you don't need the direct source if you have a family member and at times Nina seems to know more about police work than Detective Powell.

All of the books of the Truth series are stand-alone's and don't necessarily need to be read in order. I would recommend that if you read one, do read them all because there is a fantastic story about Regan brewing and I can't wait to see it unfold.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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