Published by Revell on February 4, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense
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Three years ago, a collision between a fast-moving freight train and a school bus full of kids led to devastation and grief on an unimaginable scale. But a fresh clue leads San Antonio police detective Amara Alvarez to the unlikely conclusion that one of the children may still be alive. If she's correct, everything law enforcement believes about the accident is a lie.
With time running out, Amara must convince others--and herself--that despite all evidence to the contrary, the boy lives. And she will do everything in her power to bring him home.
A fresh voice in suspense, Tom Threadgill will have you questioning everything as you fly through the pages of this enthralling story.
A few years back, a school bus full of children collided with an oncoming train and the resultant explosion meant that there were no survivors. Nobody questioned this narrative. It was heart-wrenching. It was tragic. It was true.
And then, one of the parents received a short and unexpected phone call from her child. Her dead child. The only person who believes her is Amara Alvarez, a police detective for the San Antonio Police Department. She’s not even homicide, but pulls some strings to look into the case. And where it leads—well—it’s absolutely incredible.
Unfortunately, I mean incredible not in the shocking, exciting, fulfilling way, but as in not-credible. The story slow burns for about three-quarters of the novel, but with enough revelations to keep me reading. Twist after unexpected twist finally leads to a conclusion that you’ll in no way expect.
It’s like the story of the frog that is boiled alive because the temperature is slowly increased and he doesn’t notice. Collison of Lies takes its time, meandering through twist after twist, so that you barely notice how ridiculous the plot has gotten until it’s too late. Stories like this can work with big budgets on the big screen (Hello Fast and Furious franchise), but they are much more difficult to pull off in book form.
In the end, I’m willing to accept a far-fetched conclusion if you can make me believe it. Threadgill just couldn’t convince me. I could have even accepted a suspension of disbelief if the climax had been as over-the-top as the improbable chain of events that led there (Hello again, Fast and Furious), but it just doesn’t match.
But with that said, I got invested in the characters. You really feel and understand them as people, not just in the confines of the story but as real people. Maybe that’s what made the twists-for-twists’-sake plotting such a letdown. The characters deserved better. It’s a good story—and then it just keeps going off the rails.
That might be your thing. I don’t know. This is one of those weird books that I actually enjoyed reading—the first 75% for the storyline and the last 25% out of incredulity of where we’d gone—but am still only going to give an average mark. I won’t tell you what I think went off the rails or where it went off the rails. I want you to read it and see if we come to the same conclusion.
This is a bit of a bipolar book review, I know, but that pretty accurately sums up my feelings about this book. Give it a shot. You could do worse. But I also think Threadgill could have done better.