License to Lie By Terry Ambrose
(Dark Oak Mysteries), $15.95, 260 pages, Format: Trade Star Rating: 5 out of 5
What happens when a con artist’s and a criminologist’s paths cross? Readers find out by meeting Roxy Tanner and Skip Cosgrove. Reading a book told from two different points of view is many times a challenge to readers, with writing skill determining the success or failure of this approach. In License to Lie Ambrose excels in his writing from the point of view of each of the two main characters. Readers know which character is sharing, with no ambiguity, as each chapter begins alternately titled with a quote from the character that begins “She said,” or “He said.” While Roxy and Skip share the story as they see it, there is no confusion in the story’s facts. This reviewer read each of the brief sixty-one chapters with no distraction or bewilderment, pulled into the fast-paced compelling story. Best of all, this reviewer was kept guessing as to what would happen next in a well-written logical plot full of surprises. The first ten chapters alternately give individual current time introductions to the two main characters, with just the right amount of back story to give readers insight into them, and reason to want to know more about them. Chapter eleven gives the first indication of their lives overlapping, with chapter twelve the place of face-to-face interaction. With well-defined characterizations, the author gives readers witness to believable people for whom they care about. With realistic dialogue, the author lets readers hear the story unfold in the characters’ conversations, while seeing the story and feelings from both characters’ point of view. The author writes a thriller that instead of gore, utilizes intellect and emotion, in an action packed story line to propel readers to an unexpected, but very satisfying, conclusion. On all levels License to Lie justifiably earned this five star rating!