TRUTH OR DEAD

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

Driving to work, Heather receives a phone call from a stranger who knows where her kids are, what they are wearing, and what Heather is currently doing.  The caller threatens that her children will die if Heather doesn't do what he wants.  

The book is full of twists and turns and is very suspenseful.  It was one of those books I didn't want to put down.  It is fast -paced and has an unexpected surprise ending.  I previously read Buried Secrets by this author, and I enjoyed both books.  I recommend this book as well as other books by T. J. Brearton.
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I really enjoyed this book.  I read the first in the series and this one is even better than the first. It's a great mystery and pulls you in and you can't put it down!
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Intriguing and interesting thriller. Unusual concepts. Strong characters who interacted well. Bit of a twist at the end.
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I couldnt get into this book ! It was very slow getting in to and i went and read another book before trying to finish this
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The synopsis caught my attention real quick so I was bound to give this a chance. Plus, I love mysteries and thrillers so it was quite expected of me to pick this up. Do I regret reading this? No. Do I hoped for something more? Definitely yes. 

The start hooked me right away because the pace was on fire and everything was fast enough for me to get my senses on alert--something I love from my thrillers. After all, doesn't thriller simply synonymous to excitement? I was by the edge of my seat and wanted to know how it would all connect to the revelation, or who the 'bad guy' was. However, all those dreams of mine were shattered (excuse my dramatics) when suddenly, almost like there was hole in the road in which the car went flying down, the pacing became turtle-ish. As much as the story was focused on the mysterious suspects, connecting links and Heather or her daughters, in the start, the middle parts were completely askew with too many things going on. Amidst all this, even romance, one that didn't even feel necessary to the plot or any character, was being highlighted all of a sudden. Anyway, I still stuck around this to get to the 'bad guy' but ugh, that wasn't very impressive either. Overall, this wasn't a very enjoyable read for me though I'm wondering if the fact that it's the second installment in a series I've never read before would be a contributor to my opinions. This wasn't my cup of tea and if someone coincides with my choices, I wouldn't be recommending it to them anytime soon.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for a review copy of Truth or Dead the second novel to feature FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) agent Tom Lange.

Single mother and widow Heather Moss is rushing to work after a fraught start to the day with her daughter's when she takes a call which will change her life. A robotic voice threatens her children if she doesn't deliver an envelope to an inmate at the prison where she works as a therapist. She complies and the inmate dies. Tom Lange and his boss Lauren Blythe are assigned the investigation which turns out to be much more complicated than it first seems.

I enjoyed Truth or Dead which is a complicated thriller with plenty of twists and turns. It is probably not the best novel I have read by Mr Brearton as it lacks the edginess of his best work but the convoluted plot partly mitigates this. I'm unsure if this reaction is down to me guessing the perpetrator early on or if it's just the way the novel is written. As I said the plot is convoluted and I felt sometimes that I was getting lost in some of the twists and turns and where the characters slotted into the overall scheme. 

I like Tom Lange. He's had his troubles in life and is still working on his anger management issues but he's kind, smart and compassionate if over involved with his witnesses. He's an interesting character whom I'd like to meet again on his journey. 

Truth or Dead is a difficult novel to review as it is plot driven and therefore impossible to discuss without issuing spoilers so all I can say is that it is cleverly plotted with a Machiavellian perpetrator. 3.5*
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I was intrigued by the plot of this book, but it fell a bit short for me. 

The middle part of the book was very slow going and it felt much longer than 300 pages. My main issue was that I did not care for any of the characters.
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This is book 2 in the Tom Lange series but the first I have read.  It works excellently as a stand-alone.  The adrenaline pumping intrigue starts from the very first page as the question is raised: What wouldn't you do to protect your children?

Tom is a special agent who is recovering from a traumatic case and the death of his brother.  He is called back to work when an inmate dies in a suicide watch cell.  From there his life becomes entangled with that of Heather Moss and her children.

Heather has had a difficult life and just as she is putting the pieces back together she receives a phone call that puts her whole world at risk.  She has little choice but to follow the instructions of the caller and from that point her life will never be the same again.

This is a fast paced, adrenaline pumping read that has you turning page after page.  It is full of twists and turns with a large dose of intrigue.  I kept reading chapter after chapter as I tried to work out who the person was that was causing all the deaths and it isn't until the very end that it is revealed.

I have read books by TJ before and was far from disappointed and I was even more impressed with this one.  It has a lot going on and many aspects of human nature are discussed throughout the story.  I love Tom's character he is a damaged individual with his own way of dealing with things and he has  skeletons in his closet that threaten to escape during the story.

This is a stunning read that left me going WOW now THAT was one brilliant read.  Definitely worth the 5 stars and I am looking forward to more from this author (in the meantime I have his backlist to read)
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3 stars

Heather Moss is on her way to work as a clinical therapist when she receives a phone call. The person on the phone tells her that she must do his bidding or he will kill her two daughters. He wants her to go to the jail and commit a crime. 

As a result, an inmate dies. Did she know that he was to testify against a well-known crime boss? 

Special Agent Tom Lange is convinced that the man behind the murder is Mario Palumbo – the crime boss. Tom believes that Palumbo had his brother killed. He wants to arrest him very badly. He interviews Heather Moss and investigates the case. He begins to think that perhaps Palumbo didn’t do it. Palumbo might be being framed. 

This book wanders a little. It is fairly well written, but meanders a little too much for me. I did like the way that the author interjected a little humor in places in the story. The action wasn’t too bad, but the story lost its way a few times. There was sufficient information given about the main characters – especially Tom – but not so much that it intruded in the story, I liked the book, I just didn’t love it. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Joffe Books for forwarding to me a copy of this book to read.
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I really enjoyed reading this one. There were plenty of twist and turns and I wanted to know how the story would end. As always with book with a "need-to-know" kind of story-line, I ended up reading through it in under a day just to find out how it ended. The story felt like it had been written by an actual member of law enforcement because it felt very realistic. Although I haven't read the first book in the series, I was able to follow this one.
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Although this is book 2 in the series involving Tom Lange but can easily be read as a stand alone book, which is what I did as I didn’t realise it was book 2 until after I had read it.

The book starts with a bang when a woman is on her way to work and gets a phone call telling her that if she doesn’t deliver a package to someone in prison when she goes to evaluate them that morning both her children will be killed.

That same morning Special Agent Tom Lange wakes up to his girlfriend’s phone ringing and finding out there has been a murder at the local prison.  She leaves to investigate and he then gets the same phone call so has to go as well.

From that moment on the book gets very exciting with drive by shootings, witness protection and lots of twists and turns until the stunning, and shocking, conclusion.

As I previously mentioned I haven’t read book 1 (Dead Gone) yet as I  didn’t realise that it was a sequel, but as you get into the book there is a lot of back story which is missing, and I kept waiting to read about.  You can guess a lot of the back story, and therefore most of what happened in book 1, so if you are planning on reading book 1 I would suggest you do it before this one.

The book is a brilliant read, which left me guessing all the way through and I also ‘knew’ that the main suspects wouldn’t have done it but you never can tell 100% and also whether the police would believe them or not.

I read this book over a couple of nights as once I had started it I found it really hard to put down as each chapter led on perfectly from the last and there were little bits of information given which made you want to carry on reading it.

I give this book 5 stars as it was a great read with enough twists and suspense to make it a worthwhile read.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Joffe books, for the opportunity to preview this book in return for my honest opinion.

This book has one of the best openers I’ve read in a thriller, I was gripped from the off. However, I would highly  recommend reading the previous  book. I hadn’t and there were references that were frustrating as they didn’t make immediate sense. It also appeared to meander at times, although, that could be due to references that didn’t mean anything to me as I’d not read the previous book. Characters and situations were dropped in that meant little or nothing to a first time reader, which was a shame. 
Despite that, I really enjoyed it. It’s got a great plot that kept my interest and I loved the build of suspense, not knowing whom to trust. Could not guess outcome at all.
In summary, despite my frustrations detailed,  I’d recommend.
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Just wow!  this book was amazing,  A tightly woven tale that was full of fear and tension that had me on the edge of my seat.  I had a hard time putting this one down it was a case of saying to myself just one more chapter, just one more chapter and on it went!  this story was gripping and full of twists that I didn't see coming. It was dark and suspenseful, you could feel the fear radiating off of the pages.  I loved this book if I could give it 6 stars I would it was an excellent read.
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Now I'm not going to lie, the synopsis for this book intrigued me but sadly I didn't enjoy. I really struggled to get through it and did think about DNF'ing it at one point, but that synopsis had me holding onto hope for something more. I haven't read a book by T.J Brearton before, but I am willing to give his books another chance because as I've come to learn, all authors have their 'good' books and their 'not so good' books, even really well-known authors. I also didn't realize this was book #2 of the Tom Lange series because it wasn't stated on Net Galley when I asked to review it, I just assumed it was a stand-alone unless stated otherwise.

When Heather Moss gets a call on her way to work, from someone claiming to be watching her children; describing what they are wearing, where they are, and what Heather herself is doing on the busy road on the way to work. They threaten to kill her two daughters if she doesn't do what they say- her life gets turned upside down the moment she picked up that phone.
An inmate dies whilst in the county jail, a witness who could have brought down crime boss Mario Palumbo. Is the crime boss behind whats happening?
That's what Special Agent Tom Lange wants to know. His brother was one of the many casualties due to relations with Mario Palumbo, and Lange wants nothing more than for this criminal to rot in jail, have Heather and her daughters safe and seek justice for his brother Nick.

The start of this novel was strong, it was fast-paced, captivating and had me on the edge of my seat but then there was a shift; it slowed right down, I lost interest in what was happening or who was behind everything- it's not like I don't like thrillers, so for me this was strange. There just wasn't anything that really wowed me besides the start which has me expecting so much more.

I don't think it was the writing itself, or the plot as a whole, but more about the characters.
I didn't really feel for any of them, I mean sure I cared about Heather and the girls at the start but as I kept reading I slowly lost interest in them too. There wasn't anything that made me feel connected to any of the characters and now that I think about it, I didn't really like any of them that much either.
Also, it felt like there was a slight attempt at romance, but was forgotten for most of the novel and then was remembered at the end. It wasn't something I enjoyed, there was no real effort, connection or spark between the two characters. Like there was but there wasn't. Things were spoken about but it wasn't shown, it didn't make you 'ship' them in anyway. Honestly, it might have been better to just leave the romance out of it.

I also didn't really like how everything was revealed towards the end, it felt like the evidence was going nowhere and then all of a sudden Lange had an epiphany and things just started being revealed all over the place. The 'who did it' as well was a little eh, it didn't have me like OMG, REALLY?! Was this because I had already lost interest? Or because it felt like it just came out of nowhere and there was no real build up or much show of this character throughout most of the novel?
I would definitely say the second one is more likely because I was still reading, hoping something would change my mind about what I had read up until that point.

I don't think this is a 'bad' book. I liked the plot and synopsis but not the characters, the romance, or the pacing. Maybe a lot of my problems would have been cleared up and made more sense had I read the first book, although I know it's not always necessary to do so in some cases. I think it would have made a big difference to my rating of this. Like I said, I will be giving T.J Brearton another go, I might even start with the first book and then alter my review of this if it does it fact change my opinions on this one, via the characters and the romance.
Don't let my review discourage you from reading this though, I think some people will like it and not struggle as much as I did. 
If this does interest you, if you like the plot, mystery thrillers or the author's other books still give it a go. Not all books are for everyone, and even I have read books and loved them where others I know have not. 

Recommened for: Thriller, Mystery.
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If someone called you and told you that unless you did exactly what they wanted, they would kill your children .. what choice would you make?

This is what happens to social worker Heather Moss.   What she did cost a county jail inmate his life.   Did she know he was a witness who could have brought down a well known criminal?

Special Agent Tom Lange wants this hit to be placed firmly at the feet of Mario Palumbo, the man who killed his brother.  But after meeting and investigating Heather Moss, he starts doubting the evidence.

Someone, it seems, is wanting to frame Palumbo .... a vigilante cop?  a rival crime lord? 

This is an excellent crime thriller, well written, with a terrific plot.  There's lots of action, lots of bodies, and a guessing game as to who knows what and when and what does it all mean.

Lange has issues ... all kinds of issues he's dealing with.  His brother's death ... mandatory therapy .. a recent break up with a girlfriend .. and someone knows about a secret he has.. one that could cost him everything.  

Secondary character lend an air of credibility to the mix.  His supervisor, who doesn't like .. or trust.. Lane.  The bad guys are very bad.  The good guys are really good.  But which are which?  Who do you trust when your life depends on the truth?

Many thanks to the author / Joffe Books / Netgalley for the advanced digital copy of this exciting crime thriller.  Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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