Cover Image: Vital Lies

Vital Lies

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Vital Lies is the first book I have read by this author and it was great. A strong storyline and well-crafted characters had me guessing until the very end.
Was this review helpful?
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Thomas & Mercer for an advanced copy of this novel of intrigue. 

Spy thrillers are at their heart about betrayal. Country, friends, comrades, family morals, and also the soul of the characters are to be lied to, abused, used all for the adrenaline high of being involved in the Great Game. Modern thrillers are full of betrayal, usually a tough loner either male or female, cast out, or hunted by their own organization, who kill their way to what they hope is some sort or redemption, but is usually just a dream, like patriotism or any other form of belief. In Vital Signs, written by David Pyne, retired intelligence operative Aubrey Sentro is not only betrayed by her enemies, but by her own body as well.

Aubrey Sentro has spent a career lying to her children about her past, and now finds that her mind is betraying her, usually at the worst possible times. Suffering from serial- concussion syndrome Sentro has large gaps in her memory and in forming cogent thoughts with some incidents of lost time. Sentro is dragged back into the twilight world pursued by an old enemy she can barely remember the appearance of, and is not sure why 30 years later her she is being pursued. With her family at risk, Sento must try to out figure both her enemy and friendly intelligence groups, and her own memories. 

This is the second book in the series, but is easy jump into, as the author does a good job of explaining the character, her past, and her current difficulties. The story moves well, with great scenes of action and introspection, as Sentro both fights bad guys and her own brain. There is enough inside intelligence acronyms and lore to keep an amateur spy enthused, and a good sense of where the world seems to be headed, which can be a little sad in many ways. I enjoyed the characters, and her family, and the story seems very Netflix ready, which makes sense as it was written by a noted Hollywood screenwriter. 

An interesting approach, with a good story, clever twists and turns, and a character who is as damaged as most spies are in this genre, but in different ways. I really am excited to read more about Aubrey Sentro, and even more read more books by Mr. Pyne, as he is very, very good.
Was this review helpful?
Regrettably, in reading Vital Lies by Daniel Pyne, I was unable to get comfortable with the author's writing style. Sentences could be excessively long, descriptions far beyond the necessary, and the context at times seemed so foggy. Ultimately it was the story itself that did not captivate me. I do thank NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Fast Paced Action Thriller. This is a spy thriller for those who like more of the pacing of a Jeremy Robinson / Matthew Reilly / James Rollins action thriller. It isn't *quite* so action packed / always-on-the-move as those guys, but it is a solid blend of their style of insane and unexpected action combined with a more Robert Ludlum (Bourne series) level complex spy game. 

Whereas the first book focused to a certain degree on Sentro's older child, here the focus is more with her younger child as Sentro continues to try to repair their broken relationships... while getting drug into the very life she is trying to leave. 

There are elements here that will give some pause - including a fairly brutal yet also passing/ flash-in-the-pan rape scene that works within the context of the story being told - but overall this is a great read for those who like a *touch* of thinking with their action... without having to be a Stephen Hawking level intellect to keep track of everything. Truly a great read, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Pyne takes this next. Very much recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Vital Lies is a spy thriller written by Daniel Pyne and the second book in the Sentro series. Canadian spy Ryan Banks comes to ex-black ops specialist Aubrey Sentro for help in tracking down a Cold War spymaster. It’s been thirty years since Aubrey’s captivity in East Berlin and she has recently retired. She doesn’t want to get involved, but when a mercenary targets her and her daughter Jennifer, the choice is made for her. Most of the novel is set in New Mexico, Germany, Cuba, England, and Spain.

Aubrey is a strong but flawed character. Due to her torture during the Cold War and multiple concussions, her memory has significant gaps and she suffers from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. She has lied for many years to her children, now adults, about the details of her job, but has recently told them a sanitized version of it. Ryan is a younger spy that tends to plan in detail his next steps. Aubrey seems to go with the flow of events and react or act as necessary. Their interactions enhanced the story and made it stronger. The secondary characters had varying degrees of depth with Jennifer being the strongest.

A memorable opening scene immediately pulls any reader into the story. That scene is vivid and haunting. The narrative is suspenseful and has plenty of action as one would expect. Deception, betrayal, lies, espionage, greed, family, murder, and much more are integral themes that keep a reader on their toes. One thing that detracted from the flow of the novel was the continual jumping around in time and points of view (POV) during the first half or so of the story. While POVs continued to change later, it was more sequential in nature and flowed better for me.

This book has a clever plot with enough twists to keep a reader guessing. As they evolved, the plot facts were intriguing and occasionally unexpected. The suspense stays relatively high throughout the story. It’s intense and dramatic with converging plot lines bringing the story to an action filled conclusion. Will you be surprised by the ending? While the main plot points are all resolved, there are a few threads that could be used in the next book in the series.

Overall, this was a fascinating, gripping, and chilling story with compelling and complex characters. It will appeal to readers who enjoy espionage thrillers. It is definitely a worthwhile read. I am looking forward to Aubrey’s next adventure.

Thomas & Mercer and Daniel Pyne provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for February 15, 2022. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.
Was this review helpful?
This was really the perfect thriller for me actually I really enjoyed this. Thrillers are always very hit  or miss for me because they aren’t always engaging and the best but I really did enjoy this and every aspect of it beyond. I’m excited read more from this author in the future because I really did have fun!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much Thomas & Mercer, NetGalley and Author for another amazing story by Pyne!!

After reading Water Memory and seeing the second book to this outstanding series I had to request for it! 
So thank you for this approval! 😘

Vital Lies is another amazing, gripping, well written story.... That I couldn't put down! 
Daniel takes you on one heck of an adventure here. 
Aubrey... Is such a badass and strong character. 
I absolutely loved this book. It was hard to put down as it drew me in immediately and I wanted to know more and more.
I'm a major fan of Daniel and his work.. Another amazing story!
Was this review helpful?