Author Tom Threadgill’s latest entry into the suspense/thriller genre, Collision of Lies, is set in my home town of San Antonio, Texas. That alone was enough to pull me in! But Threadgill offers so much more than just familiar locales, he’s written an enthralling story of a horrible accident involving a school bus filled with seventeen children all of whom are killed when the bus collides with a fast moving freight train. All the evidence points to an open and shut case. Every investigative agency comes to the same conclusion… a terrible tragedy that results in unimaginable grief by the parents of those unfortunate kids, but nothing that would indicate a crime.
Three years later a text that may have come from one of the deceased children, a note of apology left on the windshield of a car, and a series of seemingly unrelated murders all cause a property crime detective, Amara Alvarez, to reconsider that conclusion. Was everything that law enforcement believes to be true a lie? Her focus should be on a series of burglaries occurring in Leon Valley, but Amara becomes convinced that something is amiss, and she sets out to uncover the truth.
The only thing you can trust is the evidence.
Amara is initially reluctant to get involved. She doesn’t want to give anyone false hope, and should her inquiry result in a media circus, her hopes of one day transferring to Homicide could be crushed forever. But Marisa Reyes is convinced that her son Benjamin is alive, and Amara’s empathy for the grieving mother keeps nagging at her. There are so many plausible scenarios as to what happened, none of which point to kidnapping or murder, but if Mrs. Reyes’ instincts are right, Amara is about to find herself uncovering a conspiracy that could only have been orchestrated at the highest levels.
You’ll see. Everybody lies, either intentionally or because of their skewed point of view. the witnesses. The suspects. Even the victims sometimes. Investigating a murder isn’t like anything else. Every player has their own agenda.
The plot is intricate with twists and turns that will keep the reader engrossed from start to finish. Without giving away too many details, that bus wreck in Cotulla, Texas will lead to international intrigue and cross-border operations to bring Benjamin Reyes home.
Besides the suspense and the intrigue, Threadgill creates characters that are relatable, interesting, and often humorous. Homicide Detective Jeremiah “Starsky” Peckham loves junk food, possibly Amara, and is her contact within the San Antonio Police Department’s Homicide Division. Dr. Douglas Pritchard, the Medical Examiner, is an eccentric who eats cheetos with chopsticks and delivers insights into the origins of oft-repeated phrases at the most inopportune moments. Sara Colby is a Texas Ranger called upon to assist Amara when it becomes apparent that she might be in way over her head, and she just happens to find the ME very alluring in spite of his eccentricities. Wylie Dotson works with Amara in Property Crimes, but when he gets invited to her family’s weekly dinners, she begins to worry about her mother’s attraction to the detective. And then… there’s Larry, Amara’s pet iguana! He is both her companion and sounding board.
When I get stressed, I talk to my iguana.
These relationships bring everything together and propel the story to its exciting conclusion. However, this is only book one with Tom Threadgill providing a sneak peek into the next case for Amara Alvarez. If it’s anything like Collision of Lies, it’s sure be another mesmerizing reading experience.
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.