When middle grade author Barrie Summy, creator of “The Book Review Club,” heard I was going to review Red Hot Lies by Laura Caldwell for the July meeting of the club, she said, “…so you’re into titles with “red” and “hot.” LOL! (For those who don’t know, I published a novel called Real Women Wear Red.)
But red is just one thing that Laura Caldwell and I have in common. We also credit Jerry Cleaver of Chicago “The Loft” fame for our early writing. And there’s something about Laura’s voice that resonates with my own and I’ve always said that if I had to point to an author who was most like me, it would be Laura Caldwell – in a teeny tiny way.
I first discovered Laura Caldwell after I wrote the first draft of my second manuscript and read her first published book, the first chick lit novel I’d ever read – Burning the Map. I rewrote my manuscript to be more chick lit after that – I was hooked on chick lit and on Laura Caldwell. With her second book, Look Closely, I could see that Laura was moving toward suspense. And each book moved more and more in that direction until she fully switched to mystery/suspense/thriller when she moved from Harlequin’s Red Dress Ink to Harlequin’s MIRA.
Red Hot Lies is the first book of an Izzy McNeil trilogy – followed by more red: Red Blooded Murder and Red White & Dead. And if I thought we shared similarities in our writing, well Laura leaves me in the dust with the introduction of this trilogy. Wow! Her legal background serves her well, but she retains the personalization of her characters that is so Laura Caldwell. And that’s what I love most about her writing and why I have all of her books and follow her from genre to genre. She’s the only author I can say that about.
So now what is Red Hot Lies about? Here’s the excerpt and blurb on the back cover of the book:
Usually I pride myself on my intuition. I listen to that voice that says, “Something bad is happening…” or maybe “Get out. Now.” But on that Tuesday at the end of October, my psyche must have been protecting the one remaining day I still believed life was orderly and the universe liked me. Because I didn’t hear that voice. I never saw it coming.
They say bad things happen in threes. When her fiancé, Sam, disappears on the same day her mentor and biggest client is killed, hotshot Chicago attorney Izzy McNeil starts counting. But trouble keeps coming. Sam is implicated in the client’s death, her apartment is broken into and it’s not just the authorities who are following her.
Now, to find Sam and uncover her client’s murderer, Izzy will have to push past limits she never imagined. Lucky for her she’s always thrived under pressure, because her world is falling apart. Fast. And the trail of half-truths and lies is red-hot.
I love one reviewer’s quote on the front cover that really captures the essence of the novel:
“Aims for the sweet spot between tough and tender, between thrills and thought–and hits the bull’s-eye. A terrific novel!”–#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child
After reading Red Hot Lies, I’m inspired to finish my suspense wip, something that keeps getting put aside. But starting the second book Red Blooded Murder (which is even better than the first), should keep the motivation going, although Laura Caldwell is a tough act to follow.
For more information about Laura Caldwell and her books, visit her web site. For more book reviews of this month’s “The Book Review Club,” click on the icon below.
Disclaimer: I only review books I want to recommend and have purchased myself, although if I’m excited about a book, I’ll accept a complimentary copy when offered.