Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (2/12)
“The Lie” is part of the Howard Watson Intrigue series. This mystery begins in Philadelphia, PA, when Howard is called in to be a lead agent on a FBI case. Initially, four diamond couriers have been found robbed and murdered in a twenty-two month period. No evidence has been left behind. Each body has been found with a chain link around its neck and a note in the pocket that states, “If you find my body, the briefcase is missing.” When a fifth body shows up with keys to a case in its stomach, things really heat up. Not wanting to include local authorities because some are believed to be involved with the illegal activities, Howard’s team consists of people who he trusts including agents Tim Yamamoto and his former academy partner Janet Forrestal.
As they head into their investigation, they believe that Nikola Gregorvsky, previously believed to be dead, has assumed another identity and is working with a Japanese manufacturing magnate named Ichiro Hasai. It is suspected the Gregovsky is head of the Pit Bull gang whose members are involved with using diamonds and drugs to buy arms and weapons. To add insult to injury, children are mining these diamonds under horrible circumstances. Many of the children are dying. As the case progresses, the team begins to believe that a splinter group might be involved with the abductions. What really interests the team is that this group seems to be trying to make a point and has no interest in the diamonds.
To be able to solve this case involves some of the agents going undercover. Agents from the FBI, ATF, DEA, and CIA are all involved. Lives are at stake in this fast-paced thriller. In the meantime, while they are working against the clock to solve this case, several of the agents are also dealing with some very difficult situations in their personal lives. When truths are revealed, they have to work on putting their personal issues aside to stay focused on the case or they could die.
I loved “The Lie.” Once again JoAnn Fastoff has written an excellent fast-paced thriller that had me hooked enough to read it in a single sitting. While the novel is short, the story is huge. I really appreciate Fastoff’s talent for creating scenes in which the reader is filled in on what is happening and has happened without needing to be wordy and waste space. This makes the story fly, especially as the drama escalates. I highly recommend reading “The Lie.”