Cover Image: Simply Lies

Simply Lies

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How many jobs has David Baldacci had in order to write this good about complex professions? I was immersed in Mickey Gibson’s world as an investigator for ProEye who remotely hunts down hidden criminal assets. She’s a single mom of two children and once worked as a police detective. She gave up that profession to put her children first. Her mom and dad, a former policeman, live nearby. Life is pretty tranquil until a woman calls her and manipulates her into a job that Mick will regret taking. When she follows the woman’s directions to go to a mansion to find hidden assets, she finds a body instead.

Baldacci is brilliant at taking the reader through complex situations and keeping us glued to the story. Simply Lies is all about lies, lies so twisted and layered that after a while I thought I’d lose track. But he’s such a skilled writer that I kept everyone straight and their lies. What I love most are his characters, especially the antagonist first introduced as Arlene Robinson, and also Mick’s dad. The plot is complicated, but the story is driven by the characters, so I loved the twists and reversals because they come from the characters’ actions. Baldacci is a master at this. I’d love to see his notes on his research and what and whom he had to talk to so he could understand the intricacies of the type of work Mick does. (Baldacci uses just enough detail without overdoing it and either boring or confusing the reader.) Mick is an interesting woman, and I hope he will write another with her as the protagonist. This is a stand-alone thriller as of now.

Although I was given an advanced reader copy of Simply Lies, I used an Audible credit to listen to the book. Excellent narrators! Highly recommend. Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Simply Lies is David Baldacci is in top forum. It’s what you come to expect In Baldacci thriller, but with a narrative that’s both exciting and fresh.

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I always love a novel written by David Baldacci and this new set of characters intrigued me. The twists and turns kept things interesting and the pages turning. Seems a possibility of more to come from these characters. I recommend Simply Lies to anyone who enjoys detective and mystery genres.

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David Baldacci never disappoints. Simply Life, his latest thriller, is, as you might expect, excellent. Mickey chose her family over her former career as a detective. Single mother of two, she now works remotely for a company that hunts down tax cheats. Things seem fine until she is asked by someone from ProEye to inventory a vacant home of an arms dealer only discover a dead body on site. Not to spoil the story for you (though much of this is info can be found in the book’s blurb so I feel okay mentioning it) but it turns out the house didn’t belong to an arms dealer at all, the dead man happens to be someone who used to be in witness protection! With her world now spinning out of control Mickey needs to solve the murder and clear her name. This is an enjoyable and highly complex thriller. 4.5 stars rounded up. I’d like to thank Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an eARC of Simply Lies.

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I enjoyed Simply LIes.
I loved the main character, Mick. She is a strong woman who is a mother to 2 small children. She has been a police detective though now she is a stay a home mom working as a computer tech for a global investigation company from home.
Lots of twists and turns occur after Mick discovers a dead body in a mansion she is sent to inventory.
So many plot twists!!
The story certainly kept me engrossed trying to figure out where it was going.
Definitely recommended to anyone that likes crime thrillers and David Baldacci’s writing.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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In the book Simply Lies, author David Baldacci follows former police detective Mickey Gibson, as she rebuilds her life juggling the demands of two small kids and working remotely for ProEye investigations. Gibson specializes in hunting down money that criminals have hidden. But life comes unraveled when she gets a phone call and finds a dead body in a mansion. Now she is being threatened and manipulated by a voice on the phone. Will she solve this intriguing puzzle? Who really is the dead man? And who can she trust?
This is a good fast pace read. I would recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Simply Lies by David Baldacci is a stand-alone psychological thriller featuring single mother, Mickey Gibson. Her kids are two and three and no more a handful than any other kids. But, like other kids, sometimes they were simply too much. For those times she had her mother and father. Her dad was a retired cop and her mom was a mom. She worked at home following the money of bad guys. This was computer work and she was good at it. Her handler from ProEye was Zach Brown but one day she got a call from Arlene Robinson, who said she had a particular job for her. Mickey was immediately on the defensive but played along. Sadly, she played along until she was in too deep. Federal agents were some of the bad guys? Who was a good guy? Who could tell?

As always, Baldacci brings home the bacon. This is a well-written, well-plotted story which took years to unfold. It was about criminals who went into witness protection with the US Marshals, but were they the only the bad guys? Mickey kind of needed this adventure to break the boredom of small children and a home-based computer job. She tested all the skills she had used as a police officer, as well as her computer skills. Who was Arlene? It took a while for her to reveal herself and Baldacci handled the reveal masterfully. He, as always, showed how one’s life follows one, forever. He had me confused several times, which is his job. I liked it.

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Simply Lies by Grand Central Publishing, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #GrandCentralPublishing #DavidBaldacci #SimplyLies

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Mickey Gipson, a former detective, now works from home for global investigation company seeking money fraud. She is a single mom of two littles and just closed a very big case. When she’s contacted by a woman she doesn’t know out of the Albany office, she’s soon on an adventure she’s not sure she wants to be on. She’s at the woman’s beck and call and it’s not long before she’s put herself and her family in harms way. She’s just not willing to give up on finding out who killed an evil man who once was in the Witness Protection Program and has hidden millions of dollars. She’s not the only one looking for the treasure. The mysterious woman on the phone knows way too much about Mickey, but Mickey was a first class detective and soon the tables, if not turned, are even. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind Harry Lancaster’s death and find the treasure before someone else gets there first. A story of second chances and redemption with an intriguing plot and a strong cast of characters, this was a twisty good read. Hoping there’s more cases to solve in the future for these two women!! Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.

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Mickey is a former detective now single mother working from home hunting down hidden assets. Most of her assignments are via phone so she doesn't question when a colleague named Arlene requests inventory of a vacant home. What she finds is a murder victim, a man with mob ties who used to be in Witness Protection. What's worse is there is no employee named Arlene who gave the tip. Now Mickey has to prove she was set up.

Cat and Mouse game at its finest! Although most of the interaction is via phone conversations, there are still tense moments and lots of details including alias names that were somewhat hard to keep up with. This is a novel you have to pay attention to keep it flowing. It makes the story all the more intriguing.

David Baldacci has a bestseller with this one. It is evident the author started writing stories as a child and better with time. Simply Lies kept me thinking ahead. And just when I thought it was obvious, there was way more to the story. Such a well paced novel that you can read in a few sittings. This is my kind of thriller!

Happy Pub Day, David Baldacci! Simply Lies is now available.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins. ~LiteraryMarie

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Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced digital copy of this book.

Mickey Gibson is a single mother with two toddlers who spends a lot of time on the computer looking for money hidden by criminals. And she is very good at her job. So when she gets a call to go to a nearby house and inventory the contents, she is curious, but the woman giving her the assignment seems to know all about her job and the company she works for, and even says she has just spoken with her immediate supervisor, who sanctioned the job. But when she gets to the house, she finds a dead body and not much else.

Thus starts a wild adventure in which Mickey sometimes has no idea who she is working for or with, or who she can trust, or who is even telling her a LITTLE of the truth. Finally, she sort of teams up with Francine, who may or may not be involved in the murder, and working as a team they solve a lot of mysteries from the distant past, including who Francine is, who the dead man was, and what happened to all his ill-gotten gains.

The ending seems to indicate that Mickey and Francine may team up again, so I hope I get to read more of their adventures.

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Be warned: Women victims and vicims of child abuse shoud not read this book. It has graphic descriptions and violence against children that are deeply disturbing. it is quite violent toward the end of the book.

Having read several Baldacci I always enjoy returning to his books as a escape. However this will be my last due to the violence inclusive here.

Baldacci books are fast page turners and well crafted stories. This was the story of two women working against each other for a common goal. One with a dark terrible past she is hiding working as a criminal under many disguises. The other a work from home Mom brillant on computer research . She is a cop with a past. Both eventaully meet and find the common factor in their goal to find the treasure of a dead mob figure. Many twist and turns occur that keep the reader on edge. It was exciting until I shockingly came upon the graphic descriptions of rape of children and violence of children then I put it down. The graphic nature of these descriptions are offensive and would upset anyone. .Its to bad the book was ruined with such detail and one wonders why this writer includes such violence and abuse of children in this book. This will be my last Balducci due to the graphic nature of this book is disturbing.

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David Baldacci is one of my favorite authors and Simply Lies is a fantastic read! There are so many twists and turns that you'll have to pay attention to each little detail as they could be clues to help you unravel the mystery. Mickey Gibson is a former police detective, but now is a single mom with 2 young children. She works from home for ProEye a global investigation firm. She misses detective work, but knows that this is best for her children right now. Luckily, Mickey's parents live closely and can be called to babysit if needed. Mickey has a regular babysitter come in daily so that she can work in her home office for ProEye.

After Mickey had just found 5 million dollars for ProEye, her boss was very pleased and gave her a bonus with some time off if she wanted it. Mickey wouldn't know what to do with time off, so she said she'd keep working. A little while after she got off the phone with her boss, her phone rang and it was Arlene Robinson. Mickey had never worked with Arlene, but she told Mickey that she worked for ProEye and that her boss said it was okay for her to call. She knew all about Mickey's latest case and the success that she had. Arlene wants Mickey to go to a home that was owned by an arms dealer who cheated ProEye's clients. She wants her to inventory everything in the home to see if any of it could be valuable for her clients. It's a bit of a drive for Mickey, so she has to ask her parents to babysit.

When Mickey arrives at the mansion, she doesn't find anybody home, unless you include the dead body she comes across in a secret room. Mickey calls the police and finds out that the murder victim is Harry Lancaster. Lancaster worked for the mob and was put in witness protection for his cooperation. When Mickey tries to contact Arlene Robinson to let her know about the victim, she finds out that no one named Arlene Robinson works for ProEye!! No one at ProEye called Mickey after her boss. So who was Arlene Robinson and what did she want with a single mother working from home? Mickey is under suspicion for the murder of Lancaster as she is the one who found the body. Wilson Sullivan is the lead detective on the case and he comes to trust Mickey as they begin to share some information.

A burner phone is left on Mickey's doorstep and she's told to keep it near at all times. She's told about this from the woman claiming to be Arlene. The woman is now threatening Mickey and everything she holds dear unless she does what she is asked. What does this woman want with Mickey? Is Mickey in danger? Did Mickey put her children in danger now that she knows this woman knows where she lives? She's been warned not to talk to the police about her phone "friend" but she is supposed to talk to them to get information. The more you read the book, the more you want to know, and the more you keep reading! You can't put Simply Lies down for long because it draws you back in. I loved the characters in the book and I'm hoping this is just the first book in a new series. I give Simply Lies 5 stars with my highest recommendation! Simply Lies is out on April 18 and you should definitely look for it! I'd like to thank NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for an advanced copy of Simply Lies in exchange for a fair review! #SimplyLies

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Always excited to pick up a new Baldacci as he's my favourite author and has yet to disappoint.

As usual, an exciting action packed thriller, and some great new characters in his latest instalment. with two strong female lead characters in Mickey and Clarisse, I can easily see this becoming a lot more than just a stand alone book, but whatever Baldacci writes, as I've read almost all of his books. Lots of twists and turns and very interesting throughout.

A big thank you to Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book for an honest opinion.

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David Baldacci returns following The 6:20 Man (5 stars) with his latest standalone suspense, SIMPLY LIES —two women—a former detective and a con artist—are caught up in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in this action-packed thriller.

Mickey Gibson, a former detective and single mom of two, had worked her way up to be a criminal investigator, and then Peter came along. He wanted to start a family, and as soon as baby one was born, he was different, and then she was pregnant with number two.

He cleaned the bank accounts, ran off with his secretary, and left her with the bills. She lost the house, had to leave her job with the force, and moved to Williamsburg, VA, where her retired parents lived.

She joined ProEye global PK agency that did most of its sleuthing online. It is a global investigation company specializing in financial fraud, locating hidden assets of criminals and those looking to evade taxes. It allowed her to work from home, but juggling work and single parenting with two little ones was always challenging.

When she receives a call from a woman named Arlene Robinson, that says she works with the company requesting her to conduct an inventory of a vacant home of an arms dealer who cheated ProEye’s clients and fled, she goes.

However, when she arrives, she finds a dead body in a secret room and realizes she may have been set up. She finds a cryptic message left on the wall. The man, Harry, has ties with the mob and was previously in witness protection.

Ironically, Mickey discovers there is no Arlene that works at ProEye. Mickey is now a prime suspect in a murder investigation—and her job is in jeopardy until she has proof she is innocent. She does not need this stress with all she is juggling.

Now the mysterious woman calls herself “Clarisse” and continues calling her, urging her to dive deeper into the background of the murder victim.

Who is Clarisse, and why has she involved Mickey in this dangerous game?

Baldacci expertly keeps the tension high and weaves a twisty suspenseful tale starring two intriguing women leads. Both women are interesting, and I enjoyed the suspense and cat-and-mouse game. There are also parts of cryptocurrency and NFTs that are fascinating.

If this is the beginning of a new series, I look forward to reading more about these two dynamic women.

Even though SIMPLY LIES was not as EPIC as The 6:20 Man; however, it was an entertaining read. You cannot go wrong with Baldacci—a big fan; he always surprises you!

Thanks to #GrandCentralPublishing for a gifted ARC via #NetGalley for review purposes.

Blog review posted @
@JudithDCollins |#JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: April 18, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
April 2023 Must-Read Books

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David Baldacci's SIMPLY LIES is the first book I have read in years from this talented writer and I was thrilled to plunge into a gripping, wonderful story, well-wrought and twisty in the best of all possible ways. Mickey Gibson is brilliant, creative, and very good at her investigative work -- as well as being a single mother challenged by two young children with their own agendas and wiles. Called in on what could be a strange case, but not too out of the ordinary, Mickey discovers she has been set up by a foe with no identity, no motive, and deep skills. It takes all her guts, instinct, and intelligence to find the real killer and get to the bottom of the crime. I enjoyed this story, especially because Mickey was so relatable and the events so unpredictable and yet perfectly logical. I received a copy of this book and these are my own, unbiased opinions.

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Two women - one is a former cop, the other one is a con artist. They are caught in a game of cat and mouse, hunting for the treasure stolen from the mob. Hidden identities, unknown motives - are you prepared for all the who's and why's of this new read?

I really enjoyed this stand-alone from one of my favorite authors. The investigation was exciting and the idea was fresh. I have to admit, the plot really puzzled me for quite some time. I wasn't bored for a minute, but I was confused for a good portion of the book. All the pieces do come together and the biggest revelations are the true identities of the characters and how these chartered are connected.

There is murder, mobs and money and even the 21st century-style treasure hunt. A curious and sad storyline of the book was a glimpse into the lives of those who left the witness protection program. Another part, the retired federal agent father and his mobster son was probably my least favorite one. I think I expected a slightly different set of emotions from the father at his son's entrapment and arrest. I know the dude was a bad guy, but still. All in all, my favorite plot twist was the one of unlikely allies. 'nuff said!

An exciting psychological action thriller with a fair share of mystery. This one will definitely have you guessing. Interesting female characters in the center of the story.

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Mickey Gibson, uses the skills from her previous job as a detective, to work remotely for ProEye, a global investigation company that hunts down wealthy tax and credit cheats. This works out perfectly for the single mom of two small children. When Mickey gets a call from a colleague named Arlene Robinson, she thinks nothing of Arlene’s unusual request for her to go inventory the vacant home of an arms dealer who cheated ProEye’s clients and fled. That is, until she arrives at the mansion to discover a dead body in a secret room—and that nothing is as it seems. Not only does the arms dealer not exist but the murder victim turns out to be Harry Langhorne, a man with mob ties who used to be in Witness Protection. What’s more, no one named Arlene Robinson works at ProEye. In the blink of an eye, Gibson has become a prime suspect in a murder investigation—and now her job is also on the line until she proves that she was set up. Before long, Gibson is locked in a battle of wits with a brilliant woman with no name, a hidden past, and unknown motives—whose end game is as mysterious as it is deadly.
I have been reading this author's books for years and they never disappoint. There was non-stop action from start to finish. Mickey and "Clarisse" made a formidable pair when they teamed up, and I would be interested in seeing a series featuring the two of them. My only complaint about the book was the sheer number of characters that all had many names to try to keep straight! Otherwise, this was a great thriller that is destined to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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David Baldacci does no wrong in my opinion. His books are always well written and fact paced. I enjoyed this one and loved all the twisty turns it took. Mickey was a great lead!

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Mickey is a mother of two small children. She is also and ex cop, ex detective and current cyber sleuth. Her job is to locate assets of those people whom do not want their assets found. She is very good at her job.
She gets a call from her cyber sleuth organization asking her to inventory a house locally that purportedly has assets in it.
She arrives and starts her video inventory. Much to her surprise, she finds a hidden room, along with a dead body.
Naturally she calls the police. And finds she is a suspect!
Seems as if it was not the company she works for that called her to do this job.
Now the race is on to find who called and why before she is arrested for a crime she did not commit.
Action filled and entertaining characters, along with a very satisfying story line and ending makes this a great read.
I highly recommend it.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me this ARC.

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Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 18, 2023

Mickey Gibson is a mommy. Her father is a retired cop. Now she tracks assets on a computer for a private investigation firm. Her father is protective and scolds her when she takes risks because that’s how the formula for this kind of story works. And that’s about all you need to know about Gibson. It’s also about everything you’ll learn about Gibson from reading Simply Lies. She’s a stock character and David Baldacci makes no effort to add anything of interest to her off-the-shelf personality.

Gibson gets a call from someone at her firm who has never contacted her before. She’s instructed to travel to a house in a nearby Virginia city and inventory its contents, which are about to be seized by their client to satisfy debts. She’s told where to find a hidden key. When she uses the key to enter the home, Gibson finds a dead body.

The victim is Daniel Pottinger, an alias assigned to a mob accountant who was in witness protection until he disappeared. His wife also disappeared, perhaps because Pottinger killed her. His son and daughter, neither of whom had good thoughts about Pottinger, left witness protection when they turned eighteen and haven’t been seen since. Pottinger purchased the house where his body was found for five million, suggesting that he stole money from the mob and stashed it before entering witness protection. He may have been involved in other criminal enterprises.

Gibson calls the police. The lead detective soon learns that Gibson’s firm didn’t send her to the house. Gibson briefly becomes a murder suspect and is gets suspended from her job, giving her a motivation to find the person who dispatched her to find Pottinger’s body. That person is known to the reader as Clarisse. Her true identity is hidden from Gibson and the reader, but the reader knows that Clarisse had a connection with Gibson at some point in their intersecting lives. When they were both younger, Clarisse was jealous of Gibson for all the usual reasons.

Baldacci peppers in scenes of Gibson taking her kids to the park and dealing with their vomit to establish her credentials as a supermom. The scenes come across as set dressing. Given how often she hands the kids off to babysitters or her parents so she can do her detective work, parenting is at best her part-time job. It certainly isn’t the chore she makes it out to be. The window dressing is apparently a substitute for a personality that Gibson otherwise lacks.

Baldacci makes a point of telling us how much Gibson loves her kids and dad, so the formula requires her entire family to be threatened before the novel ends. That happens after two-thirds of the story has been told, the point in the formula at which tension should begin to mount.

Gibson is too good to be interesting. The evildoers are too evil — in multiple and thoroughly disgusting ways — to be interesting villains. The plot has credibility problems, but predictability is its larger failing. The unsurprising resolution of the central mystery — who is Clarisse? — is a bit of a yawner. I found myself not caring about the related mystery — why did Clarisse drag Gibson into the death of Pottinger?

The plot is muddied with bitcoin and NFTs and other contrivances to distract the reader from the story’s formulaic nature. A subplot involving a character who turns out to have an assumed identity adds a final contrivance that broke this reader’s back. An action scene at the end comes across as padding, as does a treasure hunt that depends on a silly cipher. Baldacci knows how to keep readers entertained as he spins his plates, but in the end I was left wondering why I’d watched plates spin for more than four hundred pages.


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