This is a book review on 2nd book in the Moonlighters series, "Distortion" by Terri Blackstock. Although I had not read book 1 in the series, you can understand what is going on, even though you jump in on book 2. :) This book starts off with a bang--literally! Juliet and Bob Cole were innocently moving Juliet's sister, Holly, into a new house. They stopped in to return the moving truck, when Bob is shot and killed in front of Juliet. Who could have done this, and why?? Now she has to go home and tell her children that their dad has been killed. How do you approach that? She goes home and looks at her husbands phone, only to see he has a few voice mails. She listens to them, and they are threatening her husband, and her children! Juliet and her sisters and other family members begin looking into the crime. Was Bob who they thought he was? How could he have been living a double life, and no one knew about it? The book has many twists and turns and will have you glued to the pages of the book. It is filled with mystery, intrigue, and even kidnapping! I enjoyed the book so much, I will get book 1 to see what I missed out on.
I received this e-book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinions are all my own. :)
"Distortion" by Terri Blackstock is the second book in the Moonlighters Series. Though it would be helpful to read the first, it isn't necessary. This book follows Juliet, the wife of a surgeon, who watches her husband be gunned down and then works to solve the murder. She works part-time for a private investigator as does her two sisters. The more Juliet digs into the murder case the more she comes to know her real husband. Bob, the husband, had been leading a double life. And before the murder of Bob can be solved the mystery of who Bob is must be solved first.
This is a pretty good book. It moves quick with lots of layers into how deep things go. There are a couple of unrealistic instances that are pretty improbable, but they are few and far between. I usually like Blackstock's writing and this one does not disappoint. She is a Christian writer without all of the Christian fiction usuals. The characters are realistic people, there is real action and real mystery. Good book. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com formerly known as Book Sneeze.
Actor Danny DeVito, in the movie RENAIISANCE MAN, made the statement: “All I know is, the choices we make dictate the lives we lead.” Bob Cole, gunned down in the parking lot of a U-Haul dealership, learned this truth the hard way.
Unfortunately, life’s hard lessons don’t take place in a vaccum. Juliet Cole, her two sons, and a myriad of other family, friends and colleagues are left to deal with the collateral damage. In so doing, Juliet Cole makes chilling discoveries that lead her to believe that this was no random drive-by shooting. A threatening voicemail merely clinches the deal. Now Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger, as well.
What the killers don’t realize is that they’ve just unleashed a powerful force guided by faith and driven by the need for justice. And while the investigation continues, Juliet asks herself over and over again; was Bob an innocent victim . . . or a hardened criminal?
The quest for answers by New York Times bestselling author Terri Blackstock will keep you riveted to your seat and flipping pages to the shocking conclusion.
5 stars for carefully crafted fiction that won’t let you go.
This book reminded me of the Nancy Drew novels I used to devour when I was younger. Every chapter ended on a cliff-hanger, practically “forcing” me to read the next one to get a resolution, only to end up reading the next chapter, and the next…until before I knew it, the novel was over, and I could finally pry my tense fingers off the page and breathe normally again.
Distortion was very much like those Nancy Drew mysteries, where nearly every chapter ends on a climax, and it was so hard to stop reading! The story was fast-paced, packed with action, and so many twists and turns to keep you guessing. Even the last chapter ended on a climatic note, causing me to search the author’s website for the publication date for book #3 (March, 2015!). I would highly recommend this read for the suspense lovers out there!
POSTSCRIPT: This book is actually #2 in the “Moonlighters” series. I don’t normally read books out of order, but it just happened that way with Distortion. Throughout this novel, there were a lot of references to what happened previously in the characters’ lives, and while I was able to navigate through the book with little difficulty, I would recommend reading book #1 (Truth Stained Lies) first as there are some plot spoilers in Distortion.
***I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
QUICK HIT – Distortion brings us back into the lives of characters we fell in love with, but leaves us questioning if we ever knew them in the first place.
It has been just a few months since tragedy struck Juliet Cole’s family when her sister-in-law was murdered and all signs pointed to her brother as the killer. After helping her sister move, she follows her husband to take the U-Haul truck back and sees him murdered before her eyes. At first it seems to be a random shooting. After hours of answering questions with the police, she returns home to break the news to their boys, but a voicemail that threatens her and her children makes her think it wasn’t random at all.
The weight of the danger they are all in becomes almost more than she can take. Clues start to fall into place and, with the help of her sisters and private investigator boss, Michael, they find that her husband was not the person he seemed. The web takes them down roads they never would have imagined and ties things together nicely.Terri Blackstock tackles all kinds of topics in her books and does so very well. In Distortion, we find the struggle of dealing with lies, murder, betrayal, and love that goes beyond what it should at times. I have always enjoyed her writing and this story stayed true to what I hoped. I found this book to be better than the first in the series. The pace moved better and the characters were more enjoyable to read about. The plot might have seemed a little far-fetched at times but not so much that it took away from the story.
The characters are flawed but the circumstances they face bring them closer to us and help us to relate. The young boys, Zach and Abe, help us remember this is a family that has been torn apart. Zach ask questions that we want to know the answers to and his reactions bring the emotions to another level.
I had the twists figured out before they were revealed several times, but didn’t let that take anything away from the story. It is the kind of story that makes you think and feel along with what each of the characters is thinking and feeling, and that makes it all the more enjoyable.
Distortion is the second book in Terri Blackstock’s new Moonlighter Series. It is Juliet Cole’s story and it is a love story. Oh, it’s not your typical boy meets girl romance, but a much better one, girl meets God.
For most of her life Juliet Cole has placed her trust in God. Through the good and bad Juliet has never found fault with God. But as she can do nothing but watch her husband being brutally murdered in front of her, she beings to questions the goodness of God. When the initial shock begins to wear off and she starts to deals with the aftermath, she finds that maybe her husband just isn’t who she thought he was.
I have to say, this is one of my favorite Blackstock books. It didn’t follow a set formula and the choices that Juliet makes at the end were more than I could have asked for. Juliet was a fantastic character to read about. After starting out in the first book as a Pollyanna type housewife, in this book she becomes more of the woman she was meant to be. Strong, willing to fight for her boys, her family. I really enjoyed the journey that God took Juliet on. It shook her up and made her stop looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. But it also taught her to deepen her walk with the Lord as he walked with her through the valley.
Juliet’s son Zach was the other character that I loved reading about. My heart ached for this twelve year old as he fought to keep his father’s reputation intact, and yet struggles to be the man of the house. I hope that the author keeps Zach in mind and that he gets his own story sometime in the future. I think he has great potential.
We did get to visit the other characters from book one. We get to see Cathy and Michael’s relationship grow. Younger sister Holly who is well into her pregnancy, has bought a house and is taking her new life with great responsibility.
This was a fast-paced page turner that will hook the reader until the very end and I found it hard to put down to deal with real life.
SUMMARY: Watching her husband murdered in a U-haul parking lot right before her very eyes, Juliet Cole’s life turns upside down. Initially treated as a random shooting, Juliet and her sisters soon discover there may be more…much more…to the act. Could innocence turn to guilt, victim turn to criminal, love turn to hate? All quite possible…
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS: With an intensity not found in most books, Distortion opens with a shocking event which only leads to more suspenseful, thrilling and heartbreaking disclosures. With a subtle Christian thread included throughout, Terri Blackstock does a brilliant job of writing with an electrifying purpose; thus, the obvious reason for her New York Times Bestselling Author distinction. As a first-time reader of this author, as well as taking a huge step outside my usual genre, I was not disappointed but instead will avidly read more. As a second installment of a series, having not read the first, I was not in any way confused nor perplexed. Very well done.
RATING: 5 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of Distortion from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan Publishers for my honest review*
I just finished one of the best books I have ever read, Distortion. Distortion is the first book I have read by this author. I know it will not be the last.
Terri Blackstock described the characters and scenes in this book with such detail that I was there! I went for a roller coaster ride of mystery, suspense, and horror. It was a page turning read for me because I love the unknown. I loved sitting on the edge of my seat wondering where this author was going with this story. She keeps you guessing until the end.
Please pick up a copy of this book and enter into Juliet Cole’s nightmare of a life. Follow along as she tries to unravel the mystery of why her husband was murdered. It’s a wild ride. One you will not soon forget.
I have to admit, before choosing this book, I was already a Terri Blackstock fan. So, I had expectations that I would enjoy, Distortion. I most appreciated how the author was able to really share the thoughts of the character and help us understand their different perspectives and frames of reference. The main character, Juliet, is former pastor's kid, who's father shamefully left the ministry and his family for the his secretary. Ironically, of her siblings, Juliet appears to be the most "together" on the outside. Her husband, Bob, is a respected doctor in the community, they are part of a church family, and they have 2 boys from their 15 years marriage.
While returning a U-Haul truck, after helping, her sister move, Juliet Cole's husband is shot and killed. In shock and disbelief, Juliet initially believes that the horrible murder is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After listening to her husband's cell phone voicemails, she realizes that Bob's murder is not a random accident, but a deliberate act and that her life and the lives of her boys are in danger.
As she fights to figure out who was after Bob, she works with her sisters and a private detective, Michael Hogan. Slowly, they realize that Bob was not who they thought he was. At each turn, Juliet learns more and Bob's life is not at all what she thought it was - it's full of real life sorrow and betrayal. Throughout, Juliet must deal with the consequences of Bob's choices and how they now affect her and their boys.
Once I picked up Distortion, I wanted to finish it to the end. Some of the dialogue was a bit predictable, but the twists in the story were not necessarily what I expected. Since the storyline moved in directions that surprised me, I was engaged throughout the book. It was very entertaining!
Once again the author starts the action early and keeps it going until the very end. In the opening pages we see Juliet witness the murder of her husband of 15 years. As a typical woman thrown into a situation like this she is shell-shocked, but soon realizes her world was about to spin out of control.
One of the things I like about a series like this, is the development of the characters. In book one, Juliet was the hesitate one of the group when it came to the idea of being a PI. She was content to be the office person. In this book she is front and center to protect her family. I really liked Juliet in this book. She questioned everything she ever believed as she dealt with her grief and the grief of her sons as well as coming to terms with her husbands past.
The ending totally surprised me and I’m looking forward to where the author takes us in this series.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher, Harper Collins, for the opportunity to read and review this book. I was under no obligation other than to provide my honest opinion.
Bob and Juliet Cole have just finished helping Holly, Juliet’s sister, move house when Bob is murdered as they return their U-Haul. It soon becomes apparent that this is more than a standard drive-by shooting, as Bob’s computer reveals a lot of information Juliet never knew about him and the investigation is handed over to the FBI.
Distortion is the sequel to Truth-Stained Lies, which featured Cathy and Jay (Juliet’s sister and brother) working with Michael, a local PI, to solve the murder of Jay’s wife. Now Michael and Cathy are working with Juliet and Holly to find out the details of Bob’s secret life. However, it’s not necessary to have read Truth-Stained Lies before this, as Distortion works well as a standalone novel.
It’s a cross between a mystery and a thriller, in that the first half of the story is about finding the murderer and discovering Bob’s secrets, while the second half adds more suspense by introducing new viewpoint characters … and a link back to Truth-Stained Lies. It’s well-written, tightly plotted with solid and interesting characters, and plenty of suspense. Recommended for suspense fans.
Thanks to Zondervan and Litfuse Publicity for providing a free ebook for review.
Terri Blackstock does it again! A real page turner
Date:March 16, 2014
I love Terri Blackstock books. I have never read one I haven't enjoyed so I was excited to get my hands on the new one. Distortion is part of the Moonlighter's series. Truth Stained Lies was book 1 and it was great, Distortion is even better! This was a real page turner, one that keeps you guessing, and reading. I was carrying this book around with me all over the house so I could read a page or 2 any time I had a spare minute to spare. This fast paced, keep you guessing thriller was a great read and would be perfect for Spring break or Summer reading (Summer isn't to far away really when you think about it!). Grab a copy and you will be so glad you did! What this family has been through before and now is just more then most families could take. They are strong and close knit and have a strong faith in God that he will get them through this. This families motto should be "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger". They will have to pull out all the stops to not only unravel the mystery behind her husbands murder but to save themselves in the end. That is all I'm going to say since I don't want to give away any spoilers. So go grab it from your library or bookstore.
thank you BookLook and Zondervan for sending me a copy of Distortion for review. While I received the book for free it in no way influenced my review.
The summary sounded like my kind of book; quick-packed and action packed with never a dull moment. Just the way I like my books.
I liked the story line; woman discovered the man she was married to was virtually a stranger. She had no idea what he had been involved in or even how her worst suspicions were possible. Not only does this happen in today's world, it happens all too often.
I personally loved that this family had to take things into their own hands, rather than depend upon the police department and FBI. After all, how do we really know who to trust? And when their methods are slowed or stalled, I would not blame anyone for doing what they had to do to protect their family.
The dead man's ability to maintain the type of "empire" he manipulated was a bit unlikely, but it did not interfere with my enjoyment of the read. In retrospect, I'd like to believe and maintain that it would be difficult to play out quite like that in real life.
I loved that the villainous woman was the type you instantly hated and after leaving her baby unattended in a hot car, you wanted the baby taken away from her. She cared more about money than her baby. Unfortunately, this also happens too often in today's world.
The author included discussion questions for book club use, which could lead to some interesting discussions.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others even though it did not leave me with that "oh that was such a good book feeling".
Juliet's life is plunged into a nightmare the night her husband is murdered. Juliet soon discovers the secret life her husband has been leading and it puts her and her two sons in danger.
Juliet and her sisters put to use the skills that Michael has taught them in his private detective business while following leads to Juliet's husband's murder.
This is the second book in the Moonlighters series and continues with some of the characters in the first book Truth-Stained Lies. In Distortion Michael and Cathy are still trying to find the man who got away with murdering Joe, Michael's brother and Cathy's fiance. With all that they discover about Juliet's husband could it be possible that he had something to do with Joe's death?
If you love suspense as much as I do then you definitely need to pick up Terri Blackstock's books! From the opening pages to the very end Distortion had me captivated. I do recommend that you read Truth-Stained Lies first to get the introduction of all of the characters. Not only am I a fan of the suspense, but I also love how the author weaves in the faith aspect of her characters.
Secrets, scandals, lies, these are just the tip of the iceberg in Distortion. Juliet Cole thought she had the perfect family and the picture perfect life. That is until her husband was gunned down in front of her. Even before her husband was laid in the ground, his secret life starts to expose itself. From here, Distortion takes you on a journey with so many twists and turns. It will leaving you questioning, "Who can be trusted?"
Every chapter brought a new discovery to the story. I just ached for Juliet as she tries to morn her husband, even as new details about him surface and the secret life he lived, and still try to be there for her grieving sons. Juliet was an amazing character. Even though she would love to crawl into a hole and let all of these things pass her by, Juliet presses on because she knows it is what is right and it will keep her sons safe.
I had a hard time putting this story down. The characters were all wonderful. Each offered their own strengths to the story. No one character carried it and it was enjoyable to watch this mystery unfold from different perspectives, as new insights was brought in. I can't wait to see where these characters go from here.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Zondervan, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Three sisters: Cathy, Holly, and Juliet. All of them are trained Private Investigators, and all of them are smack in the middle of real life.
The trial they went through together in book one, Truth Stained Lies, feels like it is finally behind them. Cathy has found herself falling in love with former-cop-turned-PI Michael, and Holly is expecting her first child. They are happy and nervous all at the same time as they take these steps toward wholeness. Juliet's life always seems like the most stable of the three, what with two wonderful sons and a successful spine surgeon for a husband.
And then, in the midst of an ordinary day when all the siblings were rallied together trying to get Holly moved into her new place, a nightmare begins. Juliet's husband Bob is shot and killed in a U-Haul rental parking lot.
Like a powerful river current flowing over sediment, the ensuing swirl of law-enforcement activity begins to uncover buried secrets from Bob's life. On top of her grief, Juliet is suddenly a suspect. The only way to prove her own innocence and save her sons is to co-operate with the officers of the law in their investigation... an investigation they shouldn't need to undertake. Bob was such a good man! His son's refuse to think otherwise. His wife would swear to it! Except, as time goes on, and the four PI's dig into the evidence themselves, Juliet isn't so sure anymore. Perhaps she'd been the one with clouded judgement. Perhaps her marriage had all been a lie just waiting to implode. Perhaps the man she had given her heart to and made a home with had operated under a false front all along.
Juliet's journey is full of questions and doubt and bravery as she picks herself up from the ruins of her life and strives to keep her sons safe. Her mother love and the strength that fills her when her boys are at risk endeared her to me immediately. The finally 100+ pages are especially riveting, as discoveries are made and attacks are unleashed. It's nearly impossible to discern the motives of several characters at this point, and Juliet needs to know who's on her side.
For a mystery with plenty of action that features a unique trio of savvy ladies, head for The Moonlighter's Series by Terri Blackstock. The mission statement for her fiction is really great: she writes stories about "flawed Christians in crisis and God's provisions for their mistakes and wrong choices" Juliet and Cathy and Holly, brothers Michael and Max... I love they way their personal lives and their own revelations and healing were brought into the story. I'll be looking for more from her!
Book Summary: When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is gunned down in a dark parking lot before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning. When she's finally allowed to return home to break the news to her boys, she hears a voicemail that takes the situation from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. 'Mrs. Cole, we know you have access to the supply and the money. If you don't turn fifty million over to us and give us the codes, then you'll be burying more family members.' Suddenly, Juliet realizes that she and her children could be in danger. She teams up with her sisters and PI Michael Hogan to dig into the sham Bob has been living for years. The more she learns, the worse the betrayal. A drug trafficking history, a fortune in cash, and a secret family all emerge to turn Juliet's belief system on its head, and threaten the things she loves. Are she and her sisters skilled enough as sleuths to get to the truth?
Review: This was a great suspense filled book that kept me at the edge of my seat. It was well crafted and exciting! I can not wait for the next book in the series. Juliet was fantastic. To find out what Bob did and all the secrets. It was very realistic as the story progressed. It was great that Cathy, Michael, Jay & Holly were back. Each character has grown. Holly has continued on with more growth from the last story to this one. Cathy and Michael are exploring their new relationship. They have added a few peripheral characters that have added to the mix well. Some are bad and some are good. The past creeps back up, with Leonard Miller. Leonard Miller comes with some bad people and that adds to the suspense. It was exciting to the end! This is why I always want to read a Terri Blackstock mystery! I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Distortion, by Terri Blackstock, is another incredible suspense novel to add to her long list of Christian suspense books. The second in the Moonlighters series, sequel to Truth-Stained Lies, readers will quickly recognize many characters and become reacquainted with them.
Juliet is helping her sister move when she witnesses a man being gunned down in a dark parking lot. Devastated when she learns that the man is her husband of fifteen years, Bob, she believes that it was a random shooting. She quickly discovers, however, that the attack was no random event but a planned attack on her husband. Juliet soon finds her own life threatened, and she fears for the safety of her children as well. Juliet and her sisters team up with PI Michael Hogan to investigate the incident, but continue to reveal layer after layer of deception, until she is not sure of any truths except that she and her children are in danger.
I very much enjoyed this book and had a difficult time putting it down! In true Terri Blackstock form, she presented the gospel message clearly. In the midst of the betrayal, she included powerful messages regarding forgiveness, confession, and consequences. I appreciated the strength with which these characters responded to the heart break and wondered if I would be able to do the same.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian suspense novels.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
This book was awesome! I could not put it down! This book is about how this woman named Juliet saw her husband get murdered and has to figure out who did it and why was her husband dead. Turns out he was involved in drug trafficking and also had a secret family with another woman and a baby! The drug traffickers used the kids to get the family to talk but it ended up working all out in the end! The other wife got arrested for being involved in the whole drug trafficking stuff.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Terri Blackstock in her new book, "Distortion” Book Two in the Moonlighters Series published by Zondervan takes us into the life of Juliet Cole.
From the back cover: A husband’s lies can have deadly consequences.
When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.
Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers’ demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband’s dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?
When someone speaks of distortion they are generally speaking about a sound or something visual that changes the what they are listening to or watching. Juliet has that problem after her husband dies. It seems his life is not what Juliet believed and he has lied multiple times to her. This not only puts her in an awkward position but puts her life and those of her children at risk. Now it is up to her and her Private Investigator sisters to find out why and who shot her husband because the police think she did it. Ms. Blackstock has provided us a first-rate mystery. ”Distortion” is a thriller in that the lives of Juliet and her children are put in deadly danger through the course of their investigations. I think this is Ms. Blackstocks best work yet and her characters are well-defined. Once the action gets going Ms. Blackstock revs up the thriller quotient considerably which will have you reading and flipping pages as fast as you can. Don’t start this book late at night because it will be very difficult to put it down or stop thinking about it. I recommend this book highly and am greatly looking forward to the next book in the series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”