Cover Image: Tell Me Lies (Detective Max Carter Book 1)

Tell Me Lies (Detective Max Carter Book 1)

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Member Reviews

First, I want to thank Ed James, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with this book so I may bring you this review.

Ed James wastes no time stirring up drama and upsetting me deeply for the bulling that is taking place in Tell Me Lies. My heart immediately went out to the kid they were calling towelhead who were they were teasing him his father. That scene was written incredibly well but hard to swallow at times. I wanted to jump into the book and defend the kid. 

My emotions went from wanting to stand up to that bully to shock at what happened next! This is a book that will be on the edge of your seat good!! For some reason I love books that have abductions in them and the case that is built around them. 

One thing that stands out and needs to be commended on his attention to detail and description in each scene he wrote. 

This book is great for those who enjoy abduction stories, mystery, thrillers, and political stories.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange of an honest review. 
I tried to start this book and just haven't been able to read it. 
I'm leaving feedback before it gets archived. 
If I am able to finish it I will come back and edit my review.
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I received a free ARC copy of this mystery from Netgalley, Ed James, and Bookouture. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my personal opinion of this work. Ed James writes a tight, engrossing tale. We see this story unfold in several different prospectives but this is handled well. I am pleased to add Ed James to my list of authors to watch for. Tell Me Lies is the first of a series featuring Mac Carter in the Northwestern US, but there are several other series including the Scott Cullin mysteries set in Ireland, and also those featuring DI Fenchurch set in Scotland that Ed James has brought to us.

Max Carter is an almost burned-out FBI agent in Seattle. We begin with a bit of serious bullying in a school gym full of 9-year-olds, followed by what could be a possible abduction, then cut to a Seattle Mall a year later where Meghan, the wife of Senator Christopher Holliday, is herding their bored and cranky 3 and 4-year-old children, hopefully in the direction of the parking lot. Meghan is unaware of their near-miss with a kidnapper in the mall shopping center but her ice cream promise will delay her getting home - and gives Mason time to get there first, knock Meghan out, kidnap the children and make his getaway. This was the only part I found confusing - I got so deeply invested in these young Holliday children that I failed to keep the 9-year-old school children from last year in mind.

This story continues to evolve through the 1st person chapters of FBI Carter, Senator Holliday, bad guy Mason and eventually a chapter from the viewpoint of Faraj, one of the nine-year-olds in the opening chapter, bringing that year-old possible child abduction back into play, and ties the story into one tale.

My only complaint about Tell me Lies is the fact that though there are several interesting and well-developed women woven into this mystery, they have no voice, and little if any effect on the mystery
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Tell Me Lies starts off at a gallop and doesn’t slow down until this gripping and addictive storyline has ended. Our protoganist in this new series is Special Agent Max Carter of the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team (CARD). He is mobilised when Megan Holliday, wife of Senator Chris Holliday, awakes after an attack when she was out with her children – an attack in which she was drugged – to find her two young children missing.

But this is no ordinary abduction; the perpetrators want the Senator who, in turn, is doing his best to evade Max Carter and his team. The reader knows that Holliday is hiding something  but James makes sure we have our work cut out to establish not only what people are hiding , but why – and from there to discern the kidnappers motivation.

Just when you think you have a handle on it, James neatly twists your expectations to lead you down an altogether different path.

Firmly based in today’s technological world, with political overtones and deadly manoeuvres that span countries and years, this is a story that makes the political personal to great effect. 

Told from multiple perspectives, and with first person narration from the perpetrators, we learn just enough about Max Carter and what drives the man to work on these cases to whet our appetite for future books.

Verdict: James cleverly creates a very twisted and nicely intricate plot which keeps the tension high and the action fast and furious. An adrenaline fuelled thriller, Tell Me Lies is a terrific opener for a new series and Max Carter a fascinating new character.
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This is a fast-paced, action-packed tale of kidnap, intrigue and family. It seemed I was a quarter of the way through before I could stop to take breath. Senator Holliday’s two young children are brazenly kidnapped and he embarks on his own mission to find them, rather bizarrely ignoring his traumatised wife in the process. At the same time, the FBI’s Max Carter and his team also investigate – but frustratingly always seem to be one step behind in their cat-and-mouse quest to find the kidnapper and rescue the children. They suspect the senator may be working with the abductor. He certainly seems to be guilty of something, but like Carter,  I was kept guessing. 
There’s an urgency in this tale that compelled me to keep reading. It’s also an indictment of politicians, who don’t look after ordinary folk. “...if you can’t afford to donate or pay a lobbyist, bad luck. Democracy’s not for you. Right?” 
There are flashbacks to a military operation at a Seattle school the year before, and again the reader is kept guessing as to how this links to this horrific case. And just as I (stupidly) thought things were winding up I was hit with a twist that floored me. 
I enjoyed learning about Max’s past—which led him to specialise in child abductions. There are parallels in this case with Carter’s own past, which adds interest,  as do his own complicated family dynamics.
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Being a big fan and follower of Ed James and in particular his ‘Scott Cullen’ series it was with great interest to see a new character and in particular a new setting and style of book from him.

A really different kind of tale, as he moves the scenery from bleak Scottish Murders to a high octane kidnapping in the USA.

The young children of a Senator are abducted, and his wife is left unconscious.  Max Carter of the FBI kidnapping team is deployed to take on the search. Max is a slick , confident character, he had a demon burning at him but in no way does it affect him. 

It’s a pulse pounding, strong new effort from Ed James, with some jaw dropping moments and nerve shredding tension. A very good start to an interesting and strong looking new series.
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Really good start to a series. I was gripped the whole way through. There is a lot of suspense and action. The characters and the story are believable and there are twists right up until the end.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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Absolutely loved this. This book targets a lot of difficult situations, including kidnap and racism too. But all handled very well. I will look forward to the next installment.
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This is 1 of those books I find difficult to review. I so wanted to love it. The storyline sounded great and I saw it compared to Lee Child and David Baldacci so I really wanted to enjoy it. It unfortunately didn't deliver. The story seemed disjointed to me and some parts just didn't make sense. It started off very well but then the behaviour of some of the characters didn't make sense. Will parents really behave like that when their children are kidnapped? Maybe I will have to give the book a second chance and read it again at a later stage. 

Thank you to #netgalley and #bookouture for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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What the freak!! This was one book which started with a bang, the kidnapping of a Senator’s children and drugging his wife and ended up with FBI Agent Max Carter finding the truth including the skeletons in the cupboards.

My first book by Ed James, and I enjoyed it completely. An action packed story with Max racing against time to bring back the kids made me stick to my kindle. The kidnappers didn’t want money, they wanted something more which made me all the more eager to know the senator’s secrets.

Max Carter was delectable, he was bold and intelligent, sauve and interesting. I was quite enamored by him in the entire book. Excitement coursed through me with every word of the prose, and each chapter ratcheted up the suspense. I love books which can thrill me so much. The plot lines seemed seamless as they were strategized well.

The author knew how to keep my pulse racing, and that was what made this book an absolutely fun filled ride… What a way to start my weekend.
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Tell Me Lies is the first in what appears to be a promising new police procedural series featuring Special Agent Max Carter a member of the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team based out of the FBI Seattle Field Office. Max Carter and his colleagues are called in investigate when senators wife Megan Holliday rouses from a drug-induced slumber on her doorstep cold and alone and discovers a note in her lap telling her not to call the police. She takes a look around and finds her car is gone and moving inside the house her heart stops when she comes to the realisation that both her young children, Brandon and Avery, are missing. Her husband, Chris, then receives a very scary text which asks him to meet up with the perpetrator and it included a photograph of the two children who appeared to have also been drugged.

I have loved Ed James’s thrillers since Ghost in the Machine but this one brings a potent mix of emotion, surprising reveals and twists, and tension he ratchets up over the course of the story. There is plenty going and the action barely allows you a moment to compose yourself after a shocking twist takes you completely by surprise. It’s a thrill-a-minute and I couldn’t contain my excitement and satisfaction when I kept guessing wrongly what was about to happen; it’s one of the most cleverly plotted thrillers I have encountered in years with the suspects each having a possible motive for the attack. Some of the scariest and most nightmarish crime reads involve the abduction and/or harm of children, and not only is this an addictive and engrossing read, the type we’ve come to expect from Mr James, but it is quite emotive due to the subject matter too. This is one fast-paced thrill ride crime readers won’t want to miss. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
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A unique and gripping premise, this book takes you on a wild ride inside the mind of a diabolical who ends up hitting a bit too close to home.  Eye-opening twists keep you engrossed in the story for hours on end, and culminates with a satisfying conclusion.  Recommended. 

**My sincere thanks to the author and publisher for providing a copy free of charge through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**
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This is the first in a new series from an author I have not read before.It is pretty standard case of kidnapping and have a a detective come to the rescue story. The main character carter was great and very knowledgeable. I can’t wait for the next book in the series
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This is my first book by this author.  I usually prefer books based in the UK, but the synopsis for this book sounded like the kind of read I would enjoy.  Based in Seattle, and featuring FBI Special Agent Max Carter, this book focusses on the abduction of Senator Holliday’s two children and the ensuing race against time for Max Carter in finding them.

This is a high action political thriller, with the story told from the perspectives of the different characters.  Max Carter is a great character based within an FBI unit specialised in abduction cases.  From what you find out throughout the story, Max has had a difficult past.  You don’t get to find out too much more with the story being focussed on the missing children, but this leaves it for Max’s character to develop more in future books.  I do like his character though, and found him gritty, determined and all in all a very clever guy!

The plot twists and turns as it moves through the book.  It gives you plenty of suspects with all the different characters, and leads you up so many wrong paths in pursuit of the truth.  You may think that the amount of characters is a little difficult to keep up with at times, but it’s such an easy book to read that this just doesn’t happen.  The storyline flows effortlessly, and I found it a good American thriller read, on a par with some of the bigger names in the business!!  An enjoyable read, full of pursuits, danger and corruption.  Roll on the next book of the series so we can find out more about Special Agent Max Carter.
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I am a huge fan of Ed James’ Scott Cullen series, based in and around Edinburgh, so I was interested to see how he would present Max Carter, an FBI agent leading the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment unit. Max and his team are investigating the abduction of a US senator’s 2 children, but the senator is not co-operating with the FBI and seems to have something to hide. This book is well paced, has lots of twists and turns, corruption, greed, revenge, danger, cover-ups, web of lies etc and kept my attention throughout. 

Tell Me Lies alternates chapters between the points of view of the main characters and I enjoyed this approach (and level of detail) and found it easy to follow and remember who everyone was.

I loved this book, it’s a great start to a new series and I would definitely recommend it. I am excited to learn more about Max and to discover what his next case will be.
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3.5 Hearts This is the first in a new series from an author I have not read before. 

I will say this is a bit of a traditional kidnapping/don’t call the cops/detective to the rescue story but it is still worth the read. Agent Carter is a really interesting character. He is very smart but I didn’t feel like he was flaunting it. He has just been doing this so long he knows the ins and outs of the situation. 

Agent Carter is part of the CARD team that handles child abduction so I hope that each of the books is wrapped around the exact same situations. 

May be worth getting to know Agent Carter a bit better. Will give the second book a try.  

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the first book in this series and it gets off to a great start. 
Megan wakes up on her porch after being drugged and having her children taken from her, and despite a note telling her not to, she calls the Police. 
Her husband is a senator and gets a message to meet someone if he wants to see his children again and then his nightmare begins. 
We also learn about an incident at a school where a child is abducted because of his father and it’s not until later in the book that we find out how the incidents are linked. 
Max Carter is with the FBI and does all he can to find the children but is not in the story much as it kind of runs itself with Holliday and Mason finding out what really happened. 
I’d like to get to know Max more so look forward to more books in this series. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Max Carter is the main character in Ed James' new book Tell Me Lies which is the start of what appears to be an excellent series 

The action comes thick and fast as the storyline moves along at a rapid pace as Carter and colleagues try to locate 2 missing children  

Tell Me Lies is definitely a book worth reading
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of Tell Me Lies, the first novel to feature Special Agent Max Carter of the FBI Seattle Field Office’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team.

Megan Holliday wakes from being attacked and drugged to find her two pre-school children, Brandon and Avery, missing. Meantime, her husband, Senator Chris Holliday is reacting to the text he just received, a picture of his drugged children and a message saying “meet me”. The senator wants to find his children so he ignores the FBI and sets out to find them.

I thoroughly enjoyed Tell Me Lies which is an exhilarating, high octane read with plenty of twists and turns. It is told from various points of view, including the kidnapper, and for once I didn’t find that distracting, The story is so high octane and the various characters’ real motives well hidden - as you can guess from the title most of them have lots to hide - that I just kept reading to find out what was coming next. I would like to say that the plot line is rather far fetched but with what has come out of America recently, maybe not. I didn’t have too much difficulty swallowing the premise although how fast the technology worked for them made me wonder. Never mind, it adds to the fast moving atmosphere of the novel. I liked the way the novel twists and turns the reader’s preconceptions and assumptions on their heads. You never know what’s coming next.

It is not, however, a difficult novel to understand. Each character has a clearly defined role so it’s all about motivation and that’s where the changing point of view comes in handy, signalling the whys and wherefores of each action (mostly). The language is simple and clear as well. In some ways I felt it was below my reading age but the clarity makes up for it.

The characterisation is not particularly nuanced but it never is in a thriller, although the author is not afraid to mix it up so that the stock bad guy isn’t perhaps all bad when you understand his motivation or perhaps he is, given his actions. That’s the subtle part - making the reader think.

Tell Me Lies is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
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Tell Me Lies is the first book in a new series by best-selling author, Ed James. 

Let me start by saying this is a fast paced and enthralling book. A page turner impossible to put down. I do not hesitate recommending it heartily. 

Max Carter is a special agent in a FBI unit specialized in abduction cases. He and his team are called into action when the two children of an US senator are kidnapped from under their mother, immediately after a shopping trip. Max Carter’s job isn’t made easy by the fact that the father, Senator Holloway, seems to be keeping some things to himself, and keeps wandering away. 

This doesn’t surprise the reader (and is not a spoiler) as, right away in its first chapter, the book let us know the story wasn’t going to be about a simple abduction. 

The writing style is unusual. First person is used for the antagonists, third person for our hero and his entourage. This feels weird at the beginning, but I got used to it pretty quickly. 

All along the book, Max Carter and his FBI Unit are always kept one step behind. They’re led by the kidnappers and the other characters those kidnappers meet on the way. The dual first/third person narrative strengthen the feeling that Max Carter and his entourage are rather secondary characters in this story.

This was unexpected for a first book in a series, in which I expected to learn more about the main character. However, this served the story pretty well. 

As we follow the kidnappers on their own fascinating quest, the successive discoveries and twists constantly alter their relationships with the characters they’re interacting with, which makes for a very compelling reading, keeping us on our toes while an intricate conspiracy is slowly untangled. 

So, maybe I didn’t learn much about Special Agent Max Carter this time around, but I’ll certainly be there for the second book, in which I have no doubt the character will get more fleshed out.

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for this unbiased review.
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