Tell Me Lies (Detective Max Carter Book 1)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

The person who wrote the book synopsis deserves a raise!  I don't know of anyone who could read the "blurb" and not feel the need to read the book!!!
Ed James gives us an excellent story with a great back story woven into the current story of the kidnapping of a senator's children.  As the FBI's Detective Max Carter quickly finds that he is not getting the whole story, he must still use all of his resources to find and save the children.  As the story switches back and forth, readers begin to get a 360 degree look at the circle this Senator built that leads to consequences he would rather not explain.  This is a great start to a new series.  Max Carter is a man with a past that I hope to see more of.
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Megan Holliday's world is turned upside down when her children are kidnapped she calls the F.B.I against the abducters  advice . Her husband is a senator is that why they where taken.The F.B.I send Detective Max Carter who was once abducted himself .
The senator gets a message off the abducters to meet them or his kids will die he decides he has to meet them.
This is a world of politics ,corruption and greed have the children been caught up in something the senator has done.
Good read
Thanks NetGalley
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Two children are kidnapped from a senator's driveway.  This book focuses on their father's attempt to get them back, as well as Detective Max Carter's efforts to find the kidnappers and the children.  Those two efforts don't always coordinate, and there are unique reasons for the kidnapping, all resulting in the complexity of this mystery.  Carter seems to have his own problems with an alcoholic father, who keeps taking him away from his focus on his work.  I found this book to be quite engrossing, not wanting to put it down.  There are several stories woven into one, and this was quite interesting.  Looking forward to a second in the series!
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Having not read any of Ed James books, I was pleasantly surprised to love this so much.
Some very dark twists in this, some of which I found quite distressing - especially the bullying!
Told by 3 people - made it more exciting and relatable, but some of it was quite disturbing, yet sensitively written.
Will be looking out for more xxx
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Review
Nine year old Faraj is kidnapped from school and Jacob, his best friend, his only friend, dies trying to help him. 

Senator Holliday’s wife Megan is followed home from the mall with their two children. She is drugged on her doorstep and when she wakes up, the children have been taken. 

The book is set during one day and follows Max Carter of the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team, Holliday and the kidnappers. 

It’s a great story, very detailed and a good twist at the end. 

I rate this book 3 stars 🌟🌟🌟

Thanks 
Thank you to the author and publishers Bookouture for an advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for an independent review.
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I've enjoyed Ed James previous police procedural featuring Cullen, Hunter and Fenchurch and set in Edinburgh and London. This one is different as it's set in the states. I wondered how it would feel being written by a non American but I needn't have feared, Ed has nailed it again. 
Max Carter works for a specialist department in the FBI dealing with child abduction and brings his own personal experience to his role. 
In this case a senator's wife has been drugged and her children taken outside her own home. A note has been left telling her not to contact the police. The senator is contacted by text and the story evolves from there. The story is fast paced and told from different view points, the senator, Max Carter and the kidnappers. There were lots of twists and the ending was not expected. The story is current and full of possible real life scenarios. 
I found it easy to follow, gripping and one that I didn't want to put down. 
Looking forward to reading more about Max Carter
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always enjoy a new series and Tell Me Lies was no different. I quickly became engaged in the plot and wanted to know what had happened to the children. 

In Tell Me Lies we are introduced to Max Carter. Although the details of the case he was investigating seemed to be more prevalent than details about his character, I could see that he is a family man who cares deeply for his wife and daughter and this influences his actions on this case. There is definitely more to come from him and I look forward to seeing how the character develops. 

James has engineered a complex plot in this novel and I was interested to see how it would all come together. There are sections of the novel that are set a few years previously and at first I found it difficult to see how this was related to the plot in the present  However, when everything is revealed, I found myself hooked in an investigation which is very relevant to events in the news at the moment and gave me lots of food for thought.
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Great book! My first from this author but amazing. Fast paced, I am so happy I requested. I definitely give it 5 stars. Character development was very strong as well.
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The action in this book clips right along which made it an exciting read. The story is told from alternating points of view (the agent, the bad guy, and the politician in the center) which gives the reader a thorough understanding of the situation. The first in a new series, this is one to grab and get in from the beginning. For a full review, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks. Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital ARC of the book.
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I have a little confession to make.  Yes another one.  Although I have a few of Ed’s books on my ever increasing ‘to be read’ mountain, I haven’t actually read one yet.  Whoops what a mistake to make.  I read the synopsis for ‘Tell Me Lies’ and it certainly sounded like my kind of read.  In fact, just the three initials ‘F.B.I’ were enough to get my attention for reasons which I will explain later.  Anyway, I couldn’t wait to start reading ‘Tell Me Lies’ and so without further ado, I grabbed a cup of tea in one hand and grabbed my Kindle in the other and started to read.  Having just finished reading ‘Tell Me Lies’, all I can say is ‘wow’.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Tell Me Lies’ but more about that in a bit.
F.B.I Agent Max Carter is certainly an interesting and intriguing character.  Carter works for the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team, which sounds like a highly intense, highly stressful and incredibly tense team to work in.  Carter keeps a cool head and works well under pressure.  Carter has problems in his home life for reasons which aren’t immediately apparent.  For some reason, Carter has a problem with his father and he won’t let his father have any access to his daughter, which has caused friction between father and son.  As you might imagine, Carter is uber sensitive when it comes to the security of his own daughter and he wants to wrap her up in cotton wool.  They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and Carter has way too much knowledge about what drives people to abduct children and what happens to abducted children.  A new case comes in and is handed to Carter.  Will Carter manage to track down the abducted children?  Who has abducted them and why?  well for the answers to those questions and more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out as I am not going to tell you.
I mentioned above about the initials of F.B.I being enough to grab my attention so I had better explain.  I have a fascination with the F.B.I and I watch every television show I can that has anything remotely to do with the F.B.I.  My favourite programme is ‘Without A Trace’ and I would just love to work for a Jack Malone type figure.  About thirty years ago, the F.B.I visited our little village in North East England on the trail of a wanted fugitive and at the time it was pretty big news and dare I say exciting to a child with a very vivid imagination.  I think that was what kick started my F.B.I. fascination.  I did look into trying to join the F.B.I but fortunately for them I was too old and with ginger hair I suppose I would stick out like a sore thumb.  Anyway that’s enough about me so back to the review I do go.
It didn’t take me long at all to get into ‘Tell Me Lies’.  In fact by the time I got to the end of the first couple of pages, I knew that I was going to be in for one hell of a read and I wasn’t wrong either.  I found it extremely difficult to put this book to one side for any length of time.  I would have read the book in a single day but boring things like life got in the way and I had to read the book over the course of three or four days.  If I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about the book and looking forward to being able to pick the book up again.  To say that this book was addictive reading, seems like a huge understatement.  I didn’t like finishing the book because it meant that I had to say a temporary goodbye to F.B.I Special Agent Max Carter.  I was enjoying the characters, the storylines and the author’s writing style so much that I just wish that the book had been quite a bit longer than it actually was.
‘Tell Me Lies’ is very well written.  The author has a writing style that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with.  He certainly starts the story in a memorable way- nothing is guaranteed to grab your attention in a book quicker than the apparently random abduction of children.  In that sense the abduction made me think ‘wow’ and from then on I was gripped by the story.  For me, ‘Tell Me Lies’ hit the ground running and maintained the pace throughout.  Through Ed’s vivid and realistic descriptions, I got a real sense of the urgency and intensity of the investigation into the abductions of the children.  In fact, so convinced was I by Ed’s writing, that I felt as though I was another member of Carter’s F.B.I team.
Reading ‘Tell Me Lies’ was like being on an unpredictable and scary rollercoaster with more twists and turns than you would find on a ‘Snakes & Ladders’ board.  Just when you thought that you could catch your breath, reclaim your stomach (& its contents) and allow your blood pressure to settle back to normal, then off the action would go again.
In short, ‘Tell Me Lies’ was a fantastic start to what I am sure will prove to be a fantastic series.  I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  I fully intend to read more of Ed’s work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board just has to be 5* out of 5*.
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I am late to the party with Ed James because he's written a ton of books. But I've arrived now, and what better place to start than at the beginning of a new series. And what a belter of a book to start with.

Set across the pond in the US, this is the first book featuring FBI agent Max Carter who heads up the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) team. He has his own reasons for choosing this particular line of work, which are explored throughout the book.

The team is called in when the wife of a US senator is drugged and her two young children kidnapped. It starts a cat and mouse chase across the state. Tension, jeopardy, lies, politics, corruption, violence, sadness - this book has it all.

As a parent I can't think of anything worse than my child going missing like that. I would be out of my mind. Just like Megan Holliday is - her desperation is obvious. I wanted to give her a big hug - although she doesn't strike me as someone who would appreciate a hug! Anyway, her husband doesn't seem to share her concerns, ignoring her and the FBI 's request to.come home. Whilst I'm fairly sure I would do pretty much anything to save my kids, I just couldn't get behind Christopher Holliday 's efforts. I didn't warm to him at all.

Max Carter is very likeable. Relatable. A loving family man with a demanding job and his own fair share of troubles. He struck me as someone you could rely on, who would do the right thing. His total commitment to the job shines through the writing, as does his frustration when things don't go to plan. The rest of this team deserve a mention, especially Tyler who repeatedly performs all sorts of techie magic during the search for the children. He brought to mind the computer wizards in such shows as CSI and NCIS.

There is a lot going on here. The action comes thick and fast, told in short sharp chapters from different points of view. Sometimes, we see the same event through two or three different pairs of eyes. This could prove repetitive, but here it doesn't, and I found it to be a really interesting and effective device.

The story behind the kids being taken is told in layers. You peel one back, there's  another one underneath. The same might be said for the corruption that appears in the book. It's all really well written because it keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.

This is clearly well researched, and told with confidence. I loved the nods to other crime writers, and the use of the term SNAFU made me smile - it's a phrase not often seen in novels, at least not the ones I read.



Everything comes together into an action packed crime thriller, with a promising new character, which punches you in the gut more than once. And there are moments of real heart wrenching, raw emotion which can be hard to find in a story of this kind. I can't wait to see more of Max Carter!
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Gripping and suspenseful. More twists and turns than a carefully constructed maze. Dark and occasionally violent. I enjoyed the FBI characters - if this is the start of a series focused on those characters, I'd read more books in the series. The story is mostly wrapped up by the end, but there are a few threads that could be pulled into a sequel that ties directly to this story.

Readers who enjoy twisty thrillers, conspiracy stories, or great mysteries with professional investigators should check this one out. (Language, a few sexual references, violence - TW: Suicide)
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I received a free advance copy of this book from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
 Ed James' new series takes place in Seattle rather than the UK-based series he has penned to date. There is also a change in subject, focusing on child abductions rather than the standard "murrdurr" fayre. 
 Special Agent Max Carter is tasked with tracking down a senator's abducted children. With the clock ticking, we see the action from the abductor's PoV as well as Carter's and the father's. The senator finds himself trying to help the abductor of his children to uncover a government conspiracy in which he may have been involved. The mix of different perspectives allows the story to flow with a good pace, with different angles of the emerging story adding up for the reader in way they wouldn't yet do for the characters. In the middle of the book the investigation did start to feel a little samey (both the FBI agents and the abductor/senator teams going through the same leads one after the other), but this didn't last long. 
 The change in location sadly comes with a change in writing style and this was a downside for me. I like James' flowing narrative and the American tone and style were quite jarring. I would say more American than genuine American authors. However once I accepted this it did not spoil my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
 The ending of the story was mostly satisfying but with some loose ends that I hope to see addressed in subsequent books.
 A departure for James' readers but worth the trip, and a good book for fans of Harlan Coben and David Baldacci.
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Solid start to a new series. This is the first novel I've read by this author. I will definitely be checking out book 2. It was a very heavy read and pulled at your emotions. It was well written with a lot of detail and great character development. The plot seemed fairly believable to me. With the multiple pov's and time jumps you have to pay close attention to stay present in the timeline. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys conspiracy, procedural, and suspense. I have to leave a trigger warning as it deals with difficult subject matter.
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Two children ripped from their family but why? How was the senator involved? Guilty conscience? Blackmail or is he in on it??! As a mum, the thought of someone stalking and drugging me to take my kids is a chilling prospect.

I loved meeting Max Carter. They say your past defines you and in his case it does more than that. And his past is stalking him and his family! I want to know more. How will Carter deal with this proverbial thorn in his side?!

The majority of the story is set over the one day so it travels at one hell of a pace. This speed is reenforced with the differing perspective of each chapter. As I stepped deeper into the lives of the characters and the events that led to the kidnapping of two innocent children, I could feel my body tense, fearing for the mortality of these little ones.

I seriously loved Tell Me Lies. I am ashamed of myself for not reading any of Ed James’ books before despite there being a few buried on my kindle. Tell Me Lies is a fast paced race against time that I was totally engrossed in stalking Carter, the senator and the kidnappers. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Max Carter next!
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC.  

Having read Ed James Scott Cullen series I had high hopes with this book. .  I loved the banter between characters in his previous books and this one is in a very different style of writing which took time to get used to.  Max Carter is an FBI Agent who works on child abductions and when Megan Holliday wakes up on her doorstep to find her children have been taken Max is asked to investigate.   Senator Holliday, Megan’s husband, appears to be working with the kidnappers and is very evasive with what he tells Agent Carter and his team.  The book is about government conspiracies, deniable operations and lies by omission.  You get to know a little about Max Carter, his background history and family life.  The story is told by different characters, from their perspective.  There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot, some I guessed, others I didn’t and the book raced to a finish with a couple of loose ends left open.  I would read another book in this series to see how Max’s character progresses.   Overall a good, fast paced read which held my attention throughout.  

4 stars
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Tell Me Lies by Ed James
Detective Max Carter #1

The first chapter set my teeth on edge and that might be because I have lived overseas in the Middle East for more years than I have lived anywhere else. Having a young boy taken from school by “military” types during an “exercise” then finding out little by little what happened or did not happen to this boy with a Muslim father made me...angry. I have to admit I skipped ahead to find out the gist of the story rather than just closing the book and not trying. I did not read every word in the book but this is my impression from what I did read…

What I liked: 
* Max Carter – seems to be a good man intent on finding and saving abducted children. He is married to a good woman and has a little girl. He has issues with his father that encouraged him into the job he has with the FBI
* The writing – it was well done, fast-paced and executed well

Words that came to mind while reading: 
* Dark
* Grim
* Greed
* Revenge
* Big Business
* Government
* Black Ops
* Torture
* Child Abduction
* Torture
* Terrorists
* Evil
* Religion
* Radicals
* Terrorists

What I did not like: 
* What happened to Faraj
* The manipulation of grieving parents
* Bullying that began the book
* Not being able to invest enough to read every word

Did I like this book? Not as much as I had hoped to from the description
Would I read more in this series? I might give one more book a try 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC – This is my honest review.

Star Rating
* 4 for writing
* 2 for topic
* 3 overall
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I was looking forward to reading this book and it lived up to everything that I could have asked for and much more. Max Carter heads a special unit in the FBI that deals with the abduction of children, he understands more than most, how it affects a child because he was a victim himself when he was a boy. This new series is about Max Carter and the cases that he will be taking on. He really knows how something like this can screw with your head because with him it still does.
When a senators wife is drugged and her two children abducted Max Carter and his team don’t take too long to click onto the fact that this whole thing seems a bit off. Someone’s behaviour is more than a little odd.
The story is told through a few different characters, including the kidnapper and I soon began to realise that I could assume nothing. I found it was impossible to guess the outcome which made it not just intriguing but pretty unique too. Nothing is random and before long the way that I had put everyone into neat little boxes of good and bad just fell apart.
I love the way this author thinks, the inner stories that lead to the way someone does what they do, the last resort which is out of character to who they are. Ed James pushes his characters to the brink and the results are unpredictable. Superb reading.
There is a little worm on the hook ending to keep you thinking and wanting more, well it worked. Bring me more.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
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This is the first in a new crime thriller series featuring  Special Agent Max Carter of the FBI. He heads up the Seattle Field Office's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team. 

Agent Carter is called to the home of Senator Christopher Holliday and his wife. Megan Holliday has woken to find herself on the front porch and her two young children, Avery and Brandon, are gone. Assuming some sort of abduction, the agency kicks into high gear and begins a search. Max, however, is finding it odd that he can't seem to get in touch with Senator Holliday even though he was told to come home immediately. Meanwhile, Holliday is contacted by the abductor and is meant to meet him. Hoping to get his children back safely, Holliday goes off on his own. Things go from bad to worse and the case soon becomes quite complex and involves the CIA and an illegal mission on US soil using hired thugs. NO SPOILERS.

This was a fine start to a new series and a quick read that I finished in a couple of hours. There was lots of action and quite a bit going on. The narrative shifts between points of view so the reader has a much larger picture of the motives behind the entire operation. The characters, at this point, are not fully developed and thus don't create much empathy or relatabiililty. The basic plot elements include secrets, lies, murder and corruption. I did feel that, despite the build up, the ending was a bit of a letdown and left some loose ends. I may or may not continue reading the subsequent books in the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review.
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Senator Christopher Holliday’s two children, Brandon and Avery, have been kidnapped from the family car outside their house.  Their mother, Megan, was drugged by the kidnapper first.  FBI Agent Max Carter is given the case as he leads the Child Abduction Team.  He can’t understand why the Senator isn’t cooperating with the authorities and even, when his son is found and injured, leaves the hospital to meet with the kidnapper.  What Max uncovers is a cover up of an incident at a school which led to the death of one child and the disappearance of another.  It appears that someone is seeking to find the truth about what really happened at the school and thinks Holliday can help them get the answers. 

Great read from start to finish - hope another Max Carter book will be out soon. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and Ed James for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
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