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Tell No Lies

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Tell No Lies Allison Brennan

You can always be assured of excellent writing from this author; but this plot requires you hold 2 thoughts at the same time to appreciate the full beauty of this intricate storyline. Masterfully woven plot kicks in after the introduction to hold you spellbound until the end. Can’t wait for more from Quinn and Costa.
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Kara and Matt are back with their new team and this time it's very complicated. There are three cases going and a host of suspects. There is some more development of the characters. I really liked Michael this book. Matt and Kara have a slow burn romance building and you can't help but be invested. This author weaves a complex plot in a way that grips you. Dark and gritty, there are surprises at every turn. I can't wait for the next one!
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It's the second book from Quinn & Costa Thriller! Enough said. I was super excited and totally enjoyed it.

I lovee the story. I loveee the mystery it's dark and twisted. The journey to find the truth was superb. It keeps me turning page after page. As always the details of the murder was superb. It was start with a bang but in the middle it's kinda missing something and I felt too much going on, although not as exciteing as the first book but it still entertaining and I enjoyed it nonetheless.
My fav is Quinn and Costa duet. They're such a great team and I wish the attraction between them growing more and more. I'm expecting a love relationship here, but I guess I have to wait for the next book and I get to know Quinn and Costa more, love the touch of their personal life, so yes I'm a happy girl.

If you love mystery read, you must try this series.
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Another page turner from Allison Brennan. The suspense was good and I enjoyed the intertwining storytlines.
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Full review to follow on blog tour - 3.5/5 stars rounded up for rating

A good amount of suspense to keep your attention from start to finish! Can't wait for more from this new-to-me author.
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2021; Mira/Harlequin

Kara, Matt and the FBI newest Mobile Response Team are back to capture another killer. This sequel picks up from the last book, with Kara still undecided about joining MRT permanently. Matt is back at the helm, keeping peace with all the other law enforcement units. Kara and Michael are going undercover to see if they can solve the murder of a young intern, and find out who is contaminating the water source. The murdered intern was investigating on her own after no one seemed to take her seriously. I enjoyed this novel, but not as much as the first one. It seemed like there was a lot going on in this small town. Some of it was predictable, and some of it seemed to be a stretch. But...when it comes to Brennan's novels, I am willing to overlook how realistic this would be in real life. This is another solid book in the series, and I am looking forward to more! 

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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College student, Emma Perez, is determined to find out what is killing the wildlife in the Tucson, Arizona area.  She and her boyfriend investigate on their own, but instead of finding out anything, Emma is killed and her boyfriend wants answers.

Matt Costa, head of the Mobile Response Team, calls his task force into action.  Kara Quinn goes undercover, but Costa makes sure she’s under his watchful eye, as well as the rest of the team.  Things take a nasty turn as another dead body turns up and the team realizes they are onto something really big and something they never saw coming.

This story is rich in drama.  There are a couple of different storylines that become intertwined with each other.  The story takes a darker turn than expected involving child trafficking.  This is an engrossing police procedural.  I was trying to figure it all out as the detectives did, although I did realize a couple of things sooner than they did.  LOL  

It’s the second book of a series but can be read as a standalone.  Although it’s nice to read the first book to get introduced to the team, the mystery is contained in this book from start to finish.  

I really enjoy getting to know the members of the mobile response team.  I’m hoping future books will focus on other team members as well.  They all seem to have something going on in their personal lives.

The characters and story are well written.  There’s a hint of romance between Costa and Quinn, but it’s really just a hint.  The mystery takes center stage and that’s the way I like it.  The book is filled with suspense, mystery, greed and betrayal.  All the ingredients to make this an exciting adventure with a thrilling finale.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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I loved this book! 

I love the team of characters that Brennan has created. I love her writing skills. I love the complicated plot of this story.

Allison Brennan has assembled a diverse and intriguing cast of characters that work together to solve a complicated mystery in her latest book, Tell No Lies.

At first, I was concerned with the number of characters being introduced. How in the world would I keep track of them all? But I trusted that Brennan would help me keep them straight, and she did. With gentle reminders, Brennan made it clear who the various characters were as they came back on scene. The beginning of the story was filled with a lot of telling and information overload, but once the story got going, I was sucked in and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I also realized that some of my frustration with the beginning was actually because it took a while for Kara Quinn to appear in the story. She was my favorite character from the first book in the series, The Third to Die. Once Kara was a part of this story, I felt at home with the team of characters.

If you didn't read the first book in the series, no worries. This is a stand alone novel that you can pick up and read. However, I do highly recommend you start with The Third to Die just so you can get to know the main characters better.

My favorite series to read are the ones where each book contains a complete and finished plot -- all loose ends are tied up, and then following books continue to develop the main characters and their relationships. The characters (and writing) are what keep me coming back for more. So, I 'm thrilled that this series by Brennan will be following (I'm assuming) these lines.

A couple of my favorite lines from the book:

"Papa said that the stars were God's glitter to make the dark not as scary."

"She detested anything that slithered--criminals or reptiles."

Bottom line: 

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan is a fascinating mystery, where readers can try to solve the crimes right along with the FBI team in the vast Arizona landscape.

[I received an early copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.]
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Before starting with this review, you need to know that this is the second book in a series. I haven’t read the first one and had no troubles at all to follow. So if you want to read this one before the first book, go ahead.

This book gave me so many chills, and it starts right at the beginning. I always like it when the author manages to make me feel like a character in the novel. Here it was no different. I felt like I was standing next to Quinn and Costa. Brennan did a great job describing the different scenes. The pacing was exactly as I expect it to be in a thriller and the fact that we were able to read what was going on in the characters heads was extremely helpful as well.

The twists in “Tell No Lies” were well set, and I never saw them coming. Some I did see, but others completely took me by surprise and seriously read the book! I can’t even explain what I felt about it. You have to read it in order to feel the same way. Now I will have to read the first book because I can’t get enough of this duo and of course I will wait for the next installment to come out so that I can immediately pre-order that one. But guess that I will have to wait a bit.

Overall, “Tell No Lies” is in no way an easy thriller. Some scenes go into a lot of details but if you are not scared by graphical violence then I can only recommend you this book. I hope that you’ll enjoy it at least as much as I did.
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Kate Quinn is working undercover again with Matt Costa's FBI special team. She is just biding her time until she can get back to LA. They are investigating what they think is illegal dumping in Arizona that lead to a death of a college student. As Kate befriends the son of the company's owner they discover another body while out on a date. The team has to quickly determine if this is related or as they are beginning to suspect, they may have stumbled upon something just as bad. Plenty of action and twists keep the pages turning. The relationship that began in the first book between Quinn and Costa seemed to take a backseat in this installment Hopefully it will pick up in the next.
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Brennan is one of my auto-buy authors and her latest thriller is complex and definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. The action keeps you entertained, but I missed the close relationship between Quinn and Costa in this book and hope that the next book in the series gets back to it. Perfect for fans of David Baldacci’s King and Maxwell series.
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I’ve read some great things about Allison Brennan’s Quinn and Costa Thrillers and was keen to read the second novel in the series, Tell No Lies – a book about family secrets, desperation, and greed. The book almost reads like a story ripped from the headlines given the Biden administration’s new, open border policy that has created an unprecedented surge of migrants flowing across the southern border – circumstances that are further enriching the Mexican drug cartels who control the Mexican side of the border and also engage in the human trafficking of impoverished women and children.

While I haven’t read the first book in the series, Brennan provides plenty of background on the key characters to help the reader get acquainted, which makes Tell No Lies more than a capable standalone novel. In a manner reminiscent of the way Michael Connelly’s makes Harry Bosch and Renée Ballard co-protagonists in his latest Harry Bosch novels, Brennan does the same here putting us alternately into the heads of LAPD detective Kara Quinn and FBI special agent Matt Costa so that we benefit from both character’s perspectives as the story unfolds.

Quinn, temporarily assigned to an FBI task force headed by Costa, is working in an undercover role in a small town in southeastern Arizona as part of an FBI investigation into the murder of a college intern and environmental activist. The team believes someone killed the young woman because she was searching for evidence to link a local copper refinery with illegal dumping of toxic materials that was leaching into the water supplies and killing wildlife. But as the investigation goes forward, the FBI team uncovers clues that show something much darker is going on and the investigation grows increasingly complex.

Brennan does a fabulous job holding the reader’s attention with a tight, well-thought plot, a host of interesting, realistic characters, and the rapid-fire pacing and breathtaking action thriller fans expect.

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan, is a sizzling thriller guaranteed to please readers who enjoy a complex crime tale with plenty of action that keeps the pages turning.
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This is the second book in the series: I have read and reviewed the first, The Third to Die… but weirdly, as I tried to get into this one, I really struggled to get any sort of grip on what was going on and who was who. Matt Costa’s FBI Mobile Response Team has been deployed to Southern Arizona, working to investigate the death of a young woman who was looking into unexplained deaths of wildlife which might be linked to illegal dumping of mining waste. There’s more going on than they first realise, though, with human trafficking coming into the mix as well as drug and gun smuggling and the cartels willing to kill anyone who gets in the way of their highly lucrative business.

I liked FBI Agent Costa a good deal better this time around as he seems to be dialling down his machismo, and former LAPD detective Kara Quinn had a juicy role to play as she went undercover as a bartender in the small town of Patagonia to find out what was really going on. The plot does get very complicated, and it wasn’t until the second half that I realised why a bunch of seemingly unrelated characters and threads had been introduced early on - there is an enormous cast of characters to keep track of. As a romantic suspense that’s a bit of an issue in my opinion, because the enormous cast distracts from the ‘main action’... the romance between the principals. MIRA/Harlequin seem to be pushing in this direction where the line between romantic suspense and mystery-thrillers is getting blurred, and to be honest I don’t think it’s doing them any favours. Romance readers will feel short-changed and mystery-thriller fans will feel like the romance is grafted on. I like both genres, but I like them to be one or the other; I’m not keen on this half and half approach. And that, plus the fact it took me a good quarter of this book to figure out what was even being investigated and who the players were - and I HAVE read the first in series! - is why I’m only giving this three stars. The plot is good but there’s too much I don’t like.
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Right from the beginning of this book there’s dead bodies, wildlife bodies. Something’s killing them in the Arizona desert near Patagonia that shouldn’t be, and college student and intern Emma Perez sets out to figure out what that is, and it costs her her life.
This act of murder brings the FBI into the tiny town, but as we all are aware, most small town residents don’t talk to outsiders that much. At least not to feds. So lead agent Matt Costa inserts two of his team undercover in town. One of them, Michael will be working at the refinery to find out if they’re doing anything illegal there, and the other is an Kara Quinn, who is on loan to the team from LAPD. She comes in as a bartender at the only bar in town. Her objective is to get close to one of the sons of the refinery’s owner.
This simple homicide case turns into a complicated case involving human trafficking, toxic waste dumping, drug and gun running, and a Mexican Cartel. It’s like peeling an onion. You peel one layer back only to discover 12 more. The book keeps you on your toes, second guessing yourself as you try to figure out who’s involved and who’s a bystander in this mess of a case.
The writing is intense. The author has to keep track of so many storylines, so many leads, so many characters, and she does it all without leaving the reader feeling confused after. I devoured this story and didn’t even know it was part of a series. I never felt like I was missing anything, I kept up on all the interpersonal relationships, characters, and subplots without being overwhelmed. If you love thrillers, I highly recommend!
**I received an ARC of this story from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my honest and voluntary review.
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This book starts with a heartbreaking event and takes an interesting turn almost immediately. Pretty soon, things are happening at a rapid pace and the reader is hit from all sides. It’s a well-plotted and intricate story that frankly left me a little tired after reading it. 
Not that that’s a bad thing. 
The author does a good job of dealing with timely references. It’s not a spoiler to say that child trafficking, widespread environmental pollution, and corporate greed are all bound together within the plot.
Honestly, it’s in the blurb as well. 
While I read this, I got the feeling that there was a bit of background that I was missing. Shame on me for not realizing that it was the second in a series. 
That didn’t dim my enthusiasm for reading, but as there are only two books, I would recommend reading in order, if only to get the full scope of the two main characters, Quinn and Costa. 
Apparently, they had a bit of history, and their roles in this book complicate what is an obvious chemistry between the two of them. Again, I think reading the first book might be helpful, because it kind of felt like the author was reluctant to explore their personal relationship any further. 
That could also be because there were so many layers to the events in the book. Undercovers in various places, investigations that produce side-investigations, lies upon lies…it’s a lot to keep up with. And nobody really heeds the title of the book (oh, the irony).
But it does make for a page-turning read. Just start at the first one so this one is more enjoyable, and you have a firm basis going forward.
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Golly, this impressive second instalment in Allison Brennan's series centring on the FBI's Mobile Response Team turned out to be a little gem! This newly formed part of the FBI consists of highly specialised agents who are top in their field, be it forensics, crime scene specialists or investigators. They are operational primarily in rural areas and in Tell No Lies the team is undercover in Patagonia, Arizona as they investigate a murder that leads to the local copper refinery possibly dumping toxic waste in the desert. FBI special agent Mathias (Matt) Costa has LAPD Detective on loan to the FBI, Kara Quinn working as a bartender in the local bar where the refinery workers and townies socialise. Michael Harris, a former Navy SEAL, takes a job at the refinery and the refinery owner's son becomes an informant. When another dead body is found, the case becomes much more complicated as they realise the quiet town has links to several other criminal activities.

Kara is such a fiercely independent, strong and unique protagonist with a strong sense of justice. There is chemistry between her and Matt, and they also share a mutual respect for one another however, their growing connection is not the main focus of this book. Matt himself is shrewd, level-headed and makes a marvellous leader.

The mystery element in Tell No Lies is magnificent and totally engaging. The tight time frame keeps the plot rolling, with no opportunity to become mired in tediousness. The procedural aspects are solid with the coordination and teamwork of the investigators coming through winningly. Tell No Lies is wonderfully written in a style I relish and I was in my element reading this dark and gritty tale. This is a great second instalment in what has so far turned out to be a stellar series. I enjoyed Tell No Lies so much that I'm reading the books from Allison Brennan's other series and cannot wait for her next in this one.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from MIRA via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This book started out great - a horrible murder of someone who had her life ahead of her and was trying to do something good.  She and her boyfriend were great characters and I wanted to know why she was killed and who did it.  But then - - the story sort of dropped the murder and went off in so many confusing tangents with LOTS of characters that it was hard to stay interested in exactly what was happening.

This wasn't a bad book - but I was disappointed.
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Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan is the 2nd book in her Quinn & Costa Thriller series. The series revolves around Detective Kara Quinn and FBI Agent, Matt Costa.  Matt runs the new Mobile Response Team, which Kara is on loan from her LA Police job.  Tell No Lies starts off with a young girl (an activist), hiking with her boyfriend, as she leaves him behind to looks for clues as to water poisoning, and the girl ends up dead.  Matt brings his team into this mysterious case, with Kara going undercover as a bartender in the local area, and Michael goes undercover to work with a business that is suspected of dumping dangerous chemicals.  Matt has many of his team set in various places, as they slowly try to filter out what and who is behind it.  

Soon they will discover that there is more to what is happening, such as murder, drug cartel and human trafficking. From the beginning there were so many different pieces of the puzzle, which was a bit confusing, trying to understand if this was connected or different villains.  

What I loved about this story was getting to know the main characters, Matt, Kara, Ryder, Michael and others we meet along the way, and learn how those going undercover can handle their dangerous situations.  I loved Kara, as she was a wonderful heroine, as I noted that in the first book.  She was a great detective, experienced in undercover work, and was very empathic when children were involved; as she was insistent to Matt and the team that something else was going on with children.  

What follows is an intense, pulse pounding thriller from start to finish.  As I said there were so many different elements to the story, you needed to pay attention all the way through.  When a member of the family owning the company in question is murdered, everything is escalated, which will affect almost everyone in the family.  Who was truly behind what was happening? Was this human trafficking or drug cartel?

As we got closer to the tense climax, the danger escalated in this heart stopping thriller, with so many people involved, including the evil cartel villians; and we worried who would survive.   I could not put the book down, as the suspense was amazing.  Tell No Lies was so well written by Allison Brennan, that I fully recommend you read this fantastic exciting edge of your seat thriller.
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There’s a reason why so many jokes about how good a friend one is or has begin with something about moving, burying or just hiding bodies. As in the dead body or body of the enemies that you’ve killed. It’s usually a joke.

It’s also deadly serious in this mystery thriller, as the case begins with dead bodies. Bird bodies, killed by toxic runoff from an illegal waste dump. Probably waste from the local copper refining operation.

But those poor birds’ bodies lead to the human corpse of a young conservationist who was frustrated with her boss’ unwillingness to investigate the cause of those birds’ death. Her freelance, solo investigation results in her own body at one of the sites she hoped might lead her to the culprit.

And it kind of does, just not in any way that she expected – or lived to see.

Tell No Lies is a story that definitely puts the suspense in romantic suspense, as the murder of Emma Perez sets in motion a chain of events that seriously stretches the long rubberbanding arm of coincidence, only for it to snap back and burn all the people got stuck in its path.

This is also a story about blood being thicker than water. Not just in the usual way that people will do anything for family but also in the way that people will end up in the middle of stupid shit for family. So both thick meaning close but also thick meaning dense – as in dealing with family makes people act like they are not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer – whether they normally are or not.

So this story begins with a murder. It middles as the FBI using the murder to do an investigation into illegal toxic waste dumping by a respected local company. It’s only as the bodies start piling up that the FBI puts the pieces together into a puzzle that is on a whole other level of awful from what they initially suspected.

While one of their own is caught in the trap.

Escape Rating A-: As far as genre goes, Tell No Lies is a bit hard to pin down – kind of like the problem they have figuring out the size and shape of the case that brings this FBI mobile response team to tiny Patagonia, Arizona.

Just as the story begins with illegal toxic dumping, quickly jumps to murder, then spreads tentacles into fraud, kidnapping, human trafficking, gun running, drug smuggling and back around to murder again, this book begins as a mystery, loops in suspense and thriller, and tacks on romantic suspense for spice (so to speak) not to mention a few more bodies.

What makes the story so compelling is those tentacles. The FBI, in the person of Agent Matt Costa and his undercover team, come to Patagonia with the intent of using the murder to find the illegal toxic waste dumping. At the beginning, they kind of think they know, if not whodunnit, at least who is involved in doing it.

But, just like every twist and turn in this case, they’re sort of right and also sort of wrong at the same time. Because the things they think are connected are not. But they also are. And that confusion leads to them getting in their own way, over and over again.

Which is what makes the story so damn fascinating. It’s one step forward, two steps back, three steps sideways in an ever-widening pattern. There’s an old saying that goes, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

That’s what happens in this case. The FBI thinks they know a lot of things that just aren’t so. They think it’s all about the toxic dumping. The team has undercover agents in place to watch the people they believe are involved. They think their informant is acting on the side of the angels.

There are plenty of hints that make the reader aware that there is more going on than initially meets the eye. But the way that it explodes and the reasons for it confound everyone – including the reader. Or at least this one. Even though who was involved did eventually get clear enough, the why was not what anyone was expecting. At all.

Which is what made this an edge of the seat read from beginning to end.

One final note. This is the second book in a series that looks like its going to continue. I haven’t read the first book, The Third to Die, and didn’t feel like I’d missed much by not having done so. It’s pretty clear that this team is still in the process of jelling and it was easy to get into it. But it’s also clear that the sometimes resolved sexual tension between FBI Agent Matt Costa and LAPD Detective Kara Quinn began in that first story and at the moment in this one is just kind of a mess. I’m not certain that this one needs the romance angle, but that may be because I didn’t see it begin. Also because whatever relationship they sorta/kinda have is seriously awkward and messy at best at this point.

Hopefully their relationship gets, if not some resolution – because I suspect the on again/off again nature of it is going to be part of the suspense for a few books – at least becomes less of a mess in future books in the series. And I definitely want there to be future books in the Quinn & Costa Thriller series, because the mystery/suspense/thriller parts of this case kept me glued to the book from start to finish!
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A small town and one suspicious death lead to more deaths, child trafficking and people that will stop at nothing to protect their interests.

I was really looking forward to this next book in the Quinn & Costa Thriller series by Allison Brennan. I really loved how the characters interacted in the first book and was anxious to see how their story developed in this next book. This book was multi layered, complex and the author did a fabulous job taking the reader on a thrilling journey. You could read this as a stand a lone novel as the back story of the characters is written into the story throughout the book, but personally I do enjoy starting the story from the beginning of the series. 

Although I enjoyed the book, I kept looking for that cheekiness of Detective Quinn to come through and would have loved to have seen more interaction between the two main characters. This book jumped right into the crime and had many characters interacting, which is not a bad thing, but I personally expected more of the same banter as was in the first novel. I would like to thank author Allison Brennan, Harlequin Publishing and Netgalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
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