Thursday, August 13, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Portrait of Lies by Clair M. Poulson

Portrait of Lies, by Clair M. Poulson
2015, 272p, Clean LDS Suspense
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

It was a robbery gone bad, or so they said. For Detective Trey Shotwell, the murder of his mother, a prominent artist, was the catalyst for setting aside his own artistic aspirations to pursue a career in law enforcement—despite the opposition of his father, also a famous painter. When he agrees to attend an art auction featuring his father's work, the cruise ship locale provides the relaxation that Trey needs—and when he meets stunning fellow passenger Aariah Stanton, the undeniable chemistry they share is an unexpected bonus.

But the tranquil voyage quickly turns into a nightmare at sea. The Shotwell paintings have disappeared, and amidst the chaotic hunt for the thief, a murderer is free to roam the halls of the ship. Aariah finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and miraculously escapes the murderer—for now. But another victim is not so lucky...

The crime is eerily reminiscent of the death of Trey's mother so many years before. But this time, the young detective has the resources he needs to track the killer. As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, they paint the chilling picture of a sinister plot years in the making. In a manhunt that takes him from the high seas of the Pacific to the wilderness of Australia, Trey will stop at nothing to solve the crime and protect the woman he loves.

I loved the setting for this novel--a cruise ship!! Just looking at the cover relaxes me. However, this is not a relaxing read. 

Trey Shotwell was 15 when his mother was murdered and two of her paintings were stolen, along with three of his father's. They lived in London and two years later, he and his father moved to Australia. Both of his parents were famous painters and it was expected that Trey would be, too, but he wanted to go into law enforcement. 

The story starts ten years later. Trey is now a detective who paints as a hobby. He's on a cruise with his father and some of their work is going to be sold. He meets Aariah early on and they are attracted to each other right away. He's looking forward to relaxing but there is soon a mystery to solve and it might help him solve his mother's murder case as well. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. There were a couple of things that I didn't, though. Trey has joined the LDS church and some of his conversations about it seemed forced rather than natural, as well as other times when the dialog was a bit stilted. I also started to lose interest a few times but kept reading and it picked back up.

What I did enjoy was the fact that there were plenty of suspects and others who appeared to be okay but still acted a little shady. Trey met Hans, a Swedish wrestler, his first day on the ship who was helpful throughout the book and was fun to get to know. Trey had good connections, both on and off the ship, which helped him find answers to his questions. The answers came at a good pace rather than all at once so there wasn't an overload of information. I also enjoyed his relationship with Aariah. There wasn't a focus on their romance but they hit it off right away and were well suited. There were lots of characters and moving parts which all came together in the end. 

Clair Poulson is one of those authors that I have loved for many years which is probably why I expect a lot out of his books. This isn't one of my favorites of his but is still a great read if you enjoy clean suspense with a touch of romance and religion. I'm looking forward to his next book!!

About the Author:

Clair M. Poulson retired after twenty years in law enforcement. During his career he served in the U.S. Military Police Corps, the Utah Highway Patrol, and the Duchesne County Sheriff's Department, where he was first a deputy and the the county sheriff. He currently serves as a justice court judge for Duchesne County, a position he has held for nineteen years. His nearly forty-year career working in the criminal justice system has provided a wealth of material from which he draws in writing his books. Clair has served on numerous boards and committees over the years. Among them are the Utah Judicial Council, and FBI advisory board, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, the Utah Justice Court Board of Directors, and the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Other interests include activity in the LDS Church, assisting his oldest son in operating their grocery store, ranching with his oldest son and other family members, and raising registered Missouri Fox Trotter horses. Clair and his wife, Ruth, live in Duchesne and are the parents of five married children. They have twenty-two grandchildren.

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Tour Schedule:

* August 10th:

* August 11th:

* August 12th:

* August 13th

* August 14th


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