Terror has its own vices, where belief creates a certain way of life. Money can even sabotage those intentions, twisting belief of reason to a belief in money. Even the best of intentions change for the ever-elusive dollar.
In 3 Lies, by Helen Hanson, we follow the lives of Beth Sutton and her new boyfriend Clint Masters, as well as his faithful dog Louie. Beth is a kind and loving young woman, finding love at a time when her life is not at its best. On dialysis, she has not kept her diagnosis a secret from Clint, allowing him to know everything about her from the start. Beginning a relationship with secrets is in no way acceptable to her or her way of life. If he can deal this this than she understands, he can deal with anything.
Kidnapped in a bizarre scheme by a group of terrorists in an effort to blackmail the Supreme Court Justices, Beth is at the mercy of a group with nothing to lose. Bewildered by the action taken by her family, Clint is confused. They not only refuse to report her missing, they file a restraining order against him as a stalker. He struggles with the enormity of the circumstances as he feels her life leak away the longer she is away from both her medication and her dialysis machine. Without them, her system will shut down, and yet he is anathema to the family.
To top it all off his best friend is after him to come back into the business and his soon to be ex-wife has just announced to him that he is going to be a father. Yet none of this makes sense, or compares to the terror he feels at Beth’s disappearance. Not entirely sure of his feelings for her prior to the event, he is now more than ever convinced that he loves her and there is the possibility that he will never see her again.
In a separate set of events within the CIA, a young agent Doug Bryant has stumbled on an old code file, one that seems to bring some disturbing information about agents gone missing. Due to his discovery, his clearance is elevated and he is now in the ranks of those with need to know priorities. As he delves into the files themselves, he finds missing funds, missing ships, and a spy in their midst. What is going on with this missing group of agents, and how will he be able to help with his lack of experience?
As both investigations begin to intermesh, the CIA in in the dark about the missing person occurrences, those that deal with the disappearances of the friends and family members of several of the Supreme Court Justices. As every move Doug makes is blocked, he finally finds some of the information he needs to go forward. But who does he trust? He thinks he knows but how can he be sure?
When the leads bring him and his inclinations together with Clint, they begin to see the scheme as it unfolds. Murder and kidnapping are just a few of the capabilities of this group of individuals they are tracking. Can they get the information and find Beth in time? When the clues all come together, will they be able to stop this plot from going forward. In a race against time, with lives at stake will Doug and Clint decipher the clues in time?
Hanson has developed a diabolical plot, ones that seems both real and deadly. Her characters, from Beth to Clint, from Doug to the other captives, deliver on the reality of people with whom you can relate. They are human with both strengths and flaws. Overcoming obstacles, and yet at times showing such human emotions, sadness, sympathy, jealousy, and spite, it is easy to imagine the interaction. I was impressed how Hanson was able to take two separate occurrences and draw a line between the two, intersecting and bringing them to fruition in a way that is both believable and impressive.
I would recommend 3 Lies for the suspense and thriller seeker. It also delivers on romance, action and adventure, and just a bit of stepping outside of who you are. Once started, I could not put it down. The writing is genuine and the feelings are heartfelt. This would be a wonderful book for your library. I look forward to reading more from Helen Hanson — she has an artistry that is hard to deny.