Cover Image: Simply Lies

Simply Lies

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Another tense chilling thriller by this author.David Baldacci never fails to write multilayered smart stories that keep me engaged from first page to last.#netgalley #grandcentral.

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I have and will read anything David Baldacci writes. This book is not one of my favorites. I hard difficulty getting started and difficulty following the characters. It is still a good book and I am glad I had the opportunity to read it. Thanks to Goodreads and the publisher for proving the eARC for a review.

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A twisting new psychological thriller in which two women—one a former detective, the other a dangerous con artist—go head-to-head in an electrifying game of cat and mouse.

I absolutely love the strong female characters. There is enough going on that you must focus on everything. This is a great, twisty, book for thriller fans across the board.

Thank you @netgalley and @grandcentralpub for letting me review this ARC.

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David Baldacci is a very talented writer who has succeeded in just about every genre of current pop literature. Sadly for me, Simply Lies is not among the genre I enjoy. It’s over-the-top chick-lit with the modern woman protagonist who thinks living life stressed out is a virtue; who thinks multi-tasking (doing multiple things at the same time, but doing it all poorly) is to be admired; and who has no concept of how to raise children. I suppose this is a sad, but honest, window into the current lifestyle – constantly running, but getting nowhere.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was not one of his stories that was written for me (or the older generation). It will probably appeal to the younger crowd.

I appreciate this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Grand Central Publishing, of the latest from one of my favorite authors.

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Baldacci never disappoints his readers and Simply Lies is no exception!
Single mother, Mickey Gibson works as a tech investigator for ProEye while trying to keep up with her life. An unexpected call from an unknown work colleague ensnarls Mickey into the middle of a murder. The unknown colleague, Arlene, AKA Clarisse, pulls Mickey’s strings like a puppet Clarisse uses Mickey’s investigative skills and connections in her quest for answers.

Typical of Baldacci, there are plenty of plot twists. I was never sure of what would happen next. Fans of David Baldacci will enjoy this page turner!

#Suspense #Mystery #PageTurner
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to #NetGalley and #GrandCentralPublishing for the complimentary ARC.

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Mickey Gibson is a single mom who had to give up her job as a detective to provide a more stable life for her two kids. Now working for a cyber private investigation company, she gets a call asking her to go to a vacant nearby home to inventory its contents. But when she arrives, she finds a dead body, and all hell breaks loose. Now the prime suspect in the man’s death, and about to lose her job over it, she must figure out what is going on and who is behind it.

I have read almost all of David Baldacci’s books and have loved them all. They are well written stories with characters you love – or hate, as the case may be, and this book is no exception. I really liked Mickey and could almost put myself in her shoes. When our kids were young, Hubby worked 80+ hour weeks, so he was never around, and we joked that I was a “married single mother.” The exception in the comparison – and it’s a big one – is that I wasn’t financially responsible for my family and Mickey is, so her decisions were infinitely more crucial.

As is customary in this author’s work, there were so many twists and turns in the story, it kept me turning pages and reading far later into the night than I should have. I gave up trying to figure out who was behind everything that was going on and just went along for the ride as Mickey uncovered more and more clues. I probably should have suspected the culprit sooner, but would never have figured out the motive.

Everything was wrapped up at the end of the story, but I can see this turning into a series – and would gladly read more featuring Mickey if those books are written.

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As a long-time fan of David Baldacci’s books, this one was a disappointment. SIMPLY LIES started out well, with an immediate dive into an interesting plot - but it was too long, too convoluted, and started losing me about halfway through. I’ll definitely keep reading Baldacci, but this one was a miss.

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I am a big fan of David Baldacci, so I was very excited to get an ARC of his latest thriller.
Mickey Gibson is a former detective who is now a single mom raising two kids while juggling a job working remoting for a global investigation company ProEye.
She receives a call from what she believes is a college asking her to go inventory the home of an arms dealer who has cheated/deceived many of ProEye’s clients and fled the country. What she finds is herself as the primary suspect in a murder investigation.
What ensues for Gibson is a battle of wits with a woman with no name who has a hidden past and unknown motives. The story is full of many twists and turns that will keep you reading late into the night.
Thanks to Grand Central Publishing through Netgalley for the ARC.

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Another good book but not quiet up to his usual. Story plodded and characters not sympathetic. Ended as if the beginning of a new series. I’ll probably read more as he is a favorite author but needs to move the action along

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Mickey Gibson has run into a tough streak in life, and it’s about to get even more difficult for this jilted single mother of two young children. As a former police officer and detective, Mickey has leveraged her skills to gain remote employment at a private investigation firm. But when she gets a phone call for a nearby onsite assignment and discovers a dead body, Mickey gets pulled into a huge conspiracy against her will.

Mickey will have to use every skill in her arsenal to outwit the woman who brought her into this mess, and she’ll interact with the Witness Protection Program, the FBI, the local police, mobsters, megalomaniac millionaires, and master con artists in an effort to keep her family safe.

I’ve been reading Baldacci books for years and years. My dad and I have shared copies of all his works since I was a teenager, so this writer holds a special place in my memories. “Simply Lies” lives up to the well-researched, intricate, exciting writing I’ve come to expect from Baldacci. This book will keep you guessing, make you wonder which details are important clues, and teach you a thing or two along the way (I finally know what NFT means and how crypto currency works!). Any thriller or mystery fan should definitely pick this up and set aside time to read, because you will not want to stop turning the pages!

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Mickey Gibson, a former detective and single mother of two toddlers, works for ProEye, a global investigation company that specializes in financial fraud, locating hidden assets of criminals and those looking to evade taxes. Her role allows her to mostly work from home which is a perfect arrangement for her. A woman claiming to be a colleague (convincingly so) calls her with an assignment and lures her to an old mansion under false pretenses where she discovers the body of a man in a secret room with a cryptic message left on the wall.

“DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO”

Subsequently, Mickey finds herself a suspect in a murder investigation. It is clear that she is being set up and her employer, not too happy with the firm’s name being dragged into the investigation, forces her to take time off from her job. Mickey correctly assumes that her employment is at risk unless she can prove her innocence. She continues to receive phone calls from the mysterious woman who calls herself “Clarisse.” Clarisse seems to know a lot about Mickey, persistently baiting her and pushing her to delve deeper into the background of the murder victim who is discovered to have been a criminal with ties to the mob. Who is the killer? Clarisse? Who is Clarisse and why did she involve Mickey in her schemes, endangering her and her family in the process?

With its consistent pacing, strong female characters in the lead, and an intriguing plot, David Baldacci’s Simply Lies is a twisty thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. There are several characters and multiple threads crucial to the plot but the author masterfully weaves a twisty and thrilling story without it becoming convoluted or confusing for the reader. I found the segments on cryptocurrency and NFTs really interesting. Both Mickey and Clarisse are interesting characters and I enjoyed following their trajectories though I would question a few of Mickey’s choices. An aspect of the story that was truly well-executed is the evolving dynamic between these two characters, given that for the larger part of the narrative they only interact through phone conversations. Overall, this is an absorbing read that kept me engaged till the very last page. This is supposedly a standalone thriller but I would love more stories featuring these two characters working together. They would make a formidable team! I hope that this book marks the beginning of a new series.

Many thanks to author David Baldacci, Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the much-appreciated digital review copy of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. This novel is due to be released on April 18, 2023.

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Con artist Arlene Robinson is telling Simply Lies in David Baldacci’s psychological thriller coming out April 18. Mickey Gibson, a former police detective and now a divorced mother of two, works at home in Williamsburg, Virginia, for ProEye, a global investigation company that locates tax and credit cheats.

Robinson, pretending to be from ProEye, contacts Mickey to assign her to conduct an inventory in a vacant home in Smithfield, Virginia, owned by an arms dealer who cheated ProEye’s clients. When Mickey arrives at the place an hour away from her home and starts her inventory, she comes up with one dead body in one secret room.

The jig is up when Mickey learns there is no Arlene Robinson at ProEye, and the police are considering Mickey a suspect as she is on the scene of a murder. Turns out there is no arms dealer but there is a very dead Harry Lancaster who was an accountant for the mob before he squealed, and went into Witness Protection with his family including two children.

Now calling herself yet another name, Clarisse tries to pull Mickey into a complicated situation—finding the money that Lancaster stole from the mob. At odds for a while, the two women start to work together bringing more and more details to light. While they go about searching for the fortune Lancaster claimed to have amassed, dreadful secrets come out about Lancaster and other criminals who restarted their lives in Witness Protection.

How will Mickey clear her name in the murder case when she has no way to contact the woman who assigned her to inventory Lancaster’s house? Why is Arlene-Clarisse-whatever her real name is so intent on finding the treasure? Why does the detective investigating the case have no history beyond the past 20 years as Mickey learned when she researched him?

Baldacci takes the reader into new territory with crypto currency and Non Fungible Tokens, NFTs for short, when Lancaster’s bankroll seems to be deeply hidden. Fortunately, Mickey’s search skills are cutting edge as she can dial it in when it comes to uncovering the concealed fortune.

David Baldacci has published 40+ novels for grownups since his first book Absolute Power in 1996. A Virginia native, Baldacci and his wife Michelle co-founded the Wish You Well Foundation that works to increase literacy in the United States.

My review will be posted on Goodreads starting March 20, 2023.

I would like to thank Grand Central Publishing, Hatchette Book Group, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for an objective review.

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Setting the Scene: Mickey Gibson is a divorced mother of two toddlers. Her father was a cop. She is a former crime scene tech, former street cop, and former Detective. When her husband cleaned out their bank accounts and disappeared with his secretary, leaving a pregnant Mickey with a toddler and no money, she left the force and moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where her parents retired. She is now employed by ProEye, "a global private investigation agency that [does] most of its sleuthing online." Mickey is first rate at locating the hidden assets of rich hooligans who believe they are above the law, and she does it from her home office. When she gets a call from a female colleague, who she has never met, to do a little sleuthing in the field, she jumps at the opportunity. That was only her first mistake.

What I Thought: I love David Baldacci's books, and usually cannot put them down once I begin reading. Surprisingly, this is not one of those. To say it is a slow-build would be a gross understatement, but hang in there.

Generally, you lead with the positive, but I am going to start at the beginning. To put it bluntly, I found the first part of the book tedious, and Mickey's TSTL moments simply baffling considering her background. Then there is the utter absence of community or cohesion between characters. While she confides in her dad, from time to time, Mickey has no partner, no tribe, no camaraderie. I admit that I almost walked away without finishing the book, but this is Baldacci. I could not give up on him, so instead, I skipped from chapter 15 to 25, and soon things began to develop, including characters and inklings of relationships with a good dose of cohesion. It was now a mystery with plenty of twists and turns and subterfuge, but what had seemed a bunch of disjointed pieces and unrelatable characters began to coalesce into a good story. I am glad I persevered, and should Mr. Baldacci choose to create a series with these characters, I would read it.

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Simply Lies is a new stand-alone thriller from David Baldacci.

"Mickey Gibson is a single mom and former detective. She spends her day with the demands of two small children and working for ProEye - a company that tracks down the hidden assets of criminals and tax cheats. She gets a call from a colleague to inventory of the house of an arm's dealer for possible assets to recover. At the house she finds a body and finds herself the suspect of a murder investigation. The body happens to be a former mob accountant. Now Mickey must use all of her skill to clear her name and protect her family."

This is a new set of characters from DB and I think this is one of his most ambitious stories. There are a lot of moving parts and characters and storylines. It's more complicated that previous Baldacci stories and is a little confusing at the beginning. But once you get into it you see where the stories seem to be coming together and it becomes a more enjoyable read.

Mickey is a different kind of character for Baldacci. Most of her skill is behind a computer and she drives a mommy van. Not your typical thriller hero. But she's a character you pull for.
The other MC, who goes by many names, is one you're unsure of and DB keeps you guessing about her until the end.
Baldacci keeps current by including crypto and NFTs and continues to find new ways to surprise us.

This is Baldacci's 48th novel (not including his 4 YA fantasy books) I like that he tries out new characters and each book is different. There is no formula here - just great writing and great stories.
Add this to your summer list!

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Simply Lies was a book I found hard to put down. It was the story of Micky Gibson and Clarisse (not her real name). Clarisse invited Micky to help her find mob money that was stolen by Harry Langhorne, the Giordano mob accountant.

Herry and his family were in WITSEC and several years in Harry disappeared. Not long after his wife followed suit. That left his children, Doug and Francine, who left after they were of age. Harry took on an alias and purchased a large home that Micky was able to find with her computer sleuthing capabilities. The house wasn't terribly far from her home so she went there. When she arrived she found his dead body. She called the police and reported back to Clarisse.

It turns out Micky and Clarisse weren't the only ones after the money. There was a US Marshall, Earl Beckett, and another thug, Nathan Trask. On separate occasions, Nathan offered both Micky and Clarisse a 5% finder's fee. As it was, the FBI had been trying to take Nathan down for quite some time but they could never get anything on him that would stick.

The whole book was about the various avenues taken to find the treasure, and Micky's quest for the Langhorne children. There is so much more to say but in the interest of not giving anything away, suffice it to say that there was never a dull moment.

The author did a fabulous job developing the characters and I never lost track of what was happening in the story line. To the author I say job well done. I gave it five stars.

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To protect her life, a former detective must sort through lies to solve a murder.

Mickey GIbson left behind a career she loved as a detective when her marriage crumbled and she was left to support herself and her two young children. She uses skills from her old job in her new position, working from home for an international investigation company called ProEye, tracking down the assets of wealthy tax cheats. It’s much safer, but Mickey misses the adrenaline rush from earlier days. When she receives a call from Arlene, a woman identifying herself as an out-of-state colleague who needs Mickey’s help and assures her that its been cleared by Mickey’s boss at ProEye, Mickey is happy to assist. In fact, she is more than willing to hop in her minivan and head out to the vacant home of a purported arms dealer an hour away to inventory the contents of the house for a ProEye’s client (it beats having her slippers thrown up on by a toddler with a queasy stomach). Unfortunately, the house doesn’t belong to an arms dealer, and its not empty….there is a dead body, that of the property’s owner, Harry Longhorne. When the police arrive and check out Mickey’s story, they find out that no one named Arlene works for ProEye, and no one at ProEye sent Mickey out to the property. And things only get worse! Arlene, whose real name may or may not be Charisse but who is definitely a highly accomplished con artist, lures Mickey into investigating Harry’s murder. Mickey can’t believe a word Charisse says, but is drawn to the puzzle, and soon finds it is too late to extract herself. Harry was a mob accountant who had flipped on his bosses years ago, went into the Witness Security Program but later disappeared, and may have been in possession of a huge fortune at the time of his murder. Charisse wants to get her hands on the money, and she’s not alone. A wealthy businessman (whose dealings are less than legal but who has escaped punishment time after time) is also looking for money Harry owed him, and isn’t above threatening Mickey’s whole world if she doesn’t get to the bottom of things soon. And there are others as well. Mickey doesn’t know what or whom she can believe, and will need every skill she has ever used to catch crooks to figure out what is going on with this case….her life and the lives of her children and parents are on the line.
David Baldacci is known for telling a good story, and Simply Lies is an entertaining read. The reader can sympathize with a young mother who loves her children but misses a career at which she excelled (although deciding to investigate a murder under strange circumstances was probably not the best choice to make). Two women, one a detective and the other an accomplished liar, make for an unusual team; lies and manipulation cloud all of their dealings. Why did Charisse approach Mickey in the first place? Who are the other players in this deadly game? Did Harry’s past come back to haunt him, or is his death the result of more recent criminal activity? There are far more questions than answers, and its best not to trust that anyone is who they claim to be. Simply Lies is not part of any of Mr. Baldacci’s earlier series, its a stand-alone, but if you are a fan of his work, you will enjoy this novel as well. It isn’t my favorite of his works, and it wasn’t as consistently fast paced as many of his previous books have been, but it was an enjoyable read in large part due to the characters of Mickey and Charisse. Readers of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins should also give SImply Lies a try. Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with the advanced reader’s copy.

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Mickey Gibson is an ex-cop now working remotely for a private investigation firm, when she’s contacted by a co-worker, asking her to take a property inventory of an abandoned house near her home. When she arrives, she finds a dead body in a secret room, apparently murdered. When the police arrive, they try and contact the co-worker, only to discover no one by that name works at the firm, and the firm has no knowledge of any investigation at that house. So begins Simply Lies, a complex, intelligent thriller with layers of intrigue and tons of suspense. The reader is kept in the dark for most of the book as the plot unravels piece by piece, as Mickey tries to solve this intricate puzzle. Plenty of characters to keep track of, but the mystery will keep you guessing until the very end. I received an arc of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I started reading Baldacci with Memory Man, and I continue reading that series, as well as the Atlee Pine series.
I enjoyed the twists and turns of this book immensely. Who were the good guys, who were the villains? He kept us guessing. There was a particularly horrendous backstory for one of the main characters, called Clarisse for most of the book. We see a lot of the book from her point of view. The other character is Mickey Gibson, a woman named after Mickey Mantel and an ex-cop. She is now a single mother who does investigations on her computer. The book begins with her son puking on her as she works. She gets a call from Clarisse and the fun begins. I believe this is the start of another series.
My only complaint is the book went into way more detail about bitcoin, NFT'S and cryptocurrency than I ever cared to learn.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. This is an honest review and I highly recommend this book.

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3.5🌟
Get ready for an action-packed thriller!

Mickey Gibson sacrificed her career as a detective to stay at home with her children. She now works remotely for a world-wide investigative company.

Mickey’s just received a request from someone other than her boss (hmm...first red flag) to investigate and log assets at a home nearby. She jumps at the opportunity. Big mistake Mickey! Her first discovery in the home certainly won’t qualify as an asset. She just found a dead body!

Now Mickey is in way over her head, and must prove her innocence. And the only way to do that may require her to solve the murder herself. But who is she supposed to trust? The woman that set this all into play? Or the detective casting suspicious eyes on her?

This latest release has a lot going on so you need to pay attention. Lots of characters and aliases thrown in. If you can keep it all straight you’re in for one heck of a ride. While I didn’t always agree with Mickey’s actions or behaviors it was still a fun ride.

It’s been years since I’ve picked up a David Baldacci book. Not sure why, I’ve always enjoyed his books in the past. And now I realize I’m going to need to go back and start in on all the books I’ve missed out on!

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing

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Firstly, thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read the latest work by David Baldacci I exchange for an honest review.

Baldacci introduces us to a new heroine in this stand alone novel , but it has the potential to become another series.

Mikey Gibson is a single mother of 2 toddlers, who is an ex-cop working as a data analyst., when she receives a call asking her to go to an old mansion to inventory its contents. This call leads her into a wild and unpredictable alert. When she arrives, she discovers a dead body, and the multiple story lines start.

This is a multi-level investigation to discover who murdered the man that Gibson found. There are various characters who are followed. Baldacci does a good job by introducing us to these characters and by the end of the book, I found myself routing for these characters to succeed.

The writing has some exciting moments and some slow moments. I found the story dragging in some parts. Having read a lot of Baldacci novels, this one scores in the middle of the pact.

3 stars.

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