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Labyrinth of Lies

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Member Reviews

Labyrinth of Lies looked interesting, so I requested a review copy. The idea of a woman in her thirties going undercover as a high school student in an exclusive boarding school appealed to me (you can thank Johnny Depp and 21 Jump Street, and Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed). I was doubly hooked when I realised her lost love was also undercover in the same school, but working a different case for a different agency.

I very much enjoyed the interactions between Cate and Zeke.
What I enjoyed less was the additional characters: the school counsellor, the janitor, and the security guard, and the evildoer themselves (who I won’t identify because #spoilers but I did roll my eyes at the big reveal). I guess the point of having Will and Eduardo as major characters was to show how one “minor” bad decision can lead to a whole lot of trouble. But I just found it distracted from the Zane plot because knowing what the evildoers thought and were planning destroyed much of the tension.

It also puzzled me that the students smoked (it seems very last century—I’m told students in New Zealand have switched to vaping because it’s cheaper and tastes better), the students didn’t wear school uniform, even in a posh boarding school (and didn’t even seem to have a dress code—or is that normal for all American schools?), and the school didn’t provide housing for staff. They made a point of saying the school was in a fairly remote setting (although still within easy driving distance of a larger town).

Yes, the Christian message was excellent, but I thought the message was delivered at the expense of the plot and the development of the main characters.

Thanks to Revell and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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Irene Hannon keeps you turning pages in Labyrinth of Lies! Parents think their children are safe at an exclusive girls' boarding school on the outskirts of St. Louis but if they only knew what is going on at this campus! I loved how 33 year old Detective Cate Reilly was able to be an undercover high school student and her surprise when her old love, Zeke Sloan, shows up as a Spanish teacher at the school! More and more crimes kept appearing in this complicated plot with an unexpected mastermind! I recommend Labyrinth of Lies to anyone who enjoys reading suspense. You won't be disappointed! I received a complimentary e-book through NetGalley. This is my honest opinion.
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This is the third book I’ve read by Irene Hannon, and to be honest, I don’t really know about her books, or maybe just this series. While the suspense is well done and gripping, the rest of the book wasn’t good enough for me to fully enjoy it, and overall the story line is weak and the characters lack depth.

Like other Hannon books I’ve read, this book was extremely focused on appearance and looks: from the first time the characters meet, there is a lot of thinking about how attractive the other person is, a lot of “she fills out those jeans well” “he left the top button of his shirt unbuttoned” energy, and overall just a LOT of attention focused on the physical aspects of the two main love interests. Both of them are stereotypical attractive people doing well for themselves, but ~somehow~ single. They had had a relationship in the past (which is heavily alluded to, including when they [spoiler] lost their virginities to each other, which isn’t explicitly said but heavily implied, but only for Cate?? like Zeke also participated but it was phrased as “something she gave to him” as if they didn’t mutually agree which was bizarre but anyways). As I’ve made clear from my other Christian fiction reviews, it’s a particular pet peeve of mine when two characters are drawn to each other because of their physical attributes: it’s extremely shallow, and does not bode well for their relationship, and this was extremely prevalent in this book.

Another thing I didn’t really understand/like about this book/romance was the reason for Cate and Zeke’s original breakup? They had great chemistry and seemed to have not broken up over a *huge* fight, and it just seemed like overall they broke up 8 years ago over a miscommunication, then their romance reignited immediately once they saw each other again. It was also bizarre to me how [slight spoiler] Cate didn’t have ANY idea Zeke was about to propose 8 years ago?? like did they not,,,talk about getting married AT ALL orrrrrr and also with that WHY did they have sex with each other if they didn’t intend on getting married. Like you don’t just *accidentally* have sex, it’s something that you can control????? All in all, the relationship just didn’t seem healthy in this book.

The other thing I really wasn’t a huge fan of in this book was the extraordinary profiling that was being done. The “crime” in this case focused on drug dealing and “the cartel,” which was fine in and of itself, but there was significant talk about illegal immigrants and the Spanish-speaking character was part of the drug business. It wasn’t outright racist, but there were definitely some . . . *implications* about people from Mexico specifically (regardless of their immigration status), which really does not sit well with me.

There was also a black character in the book, who turned out to be fairly major to the plot. However, the way she was pulled into the storyline was because Cate wanted a “diverse roommate to broaden her exposure to other demographics and enhance her ethnic sensitivity,” which, 🤢. Granted, it was said semi-ironically, but STILL.

Also related to the drug thing, this book treated alcohol as something bad, but not something absolutely horrible: like the protagonists didn’t drink, but the antagonists would drink beer. It definitely had negative connotations, but wasn’t actively villainized. However, they treated marijuana at the same level as heroin and meth, which was so bizarre to me: if anything, marijuana is closer to alcohol than hard drugs, but they were acting like it was something so absolutely awful. The only real distinction was that the white people were interacting with the marijuana and the Hispanic people were interacting with the heroin, which has,,,Implications to be sure.

Lastly, the antagonist in this book was so built up, and the plot reached such a peak, but the motivation of the antagonist was really unknown? It was surprising and memorable to be sure, but the internal motivation of the antagonist was simply “[they] were not okay in the head. How does someone get to this point” without any more justification on their actions, which was really poorly executed, in my opinion. Some of the story was told from their point of view, but it was very much action based and didn’t justify the reason they were done, which did not justify the way the antagonist was thinking.

Overall, I did really like the buildup of the story: the suspense was really well done and the romance wasn’t all too unbelievable. However, with the other content and other stuff factored in, I would not recommend this book.
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My thoughts: this is another non formula romantic suspense by another favorite author of mine. I read all her books so far. I fell in love with the characters in the story and felt sorry for the situation they found themselves in. This is the second chance at love type story which is a favorite of many and it is nonpredictable. I greatly enjoyed reading this story and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. If you like romantic suspense you will love this author and any of her books. I couldn't put the story down. I was given a copy free and all opinions are my own.
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What a twisty roller coaster of a ride this one was. So many different variables and the author was able to keep me guessing on who could be the mastermind at  the well organized crime situation.

Taking place at a private and elite all girl school, Cate Reilly goes undercover as one of the students to investigate a high profile disappearance. Little does she know that this particular school is hiding many secrets. Even though it is a contemporary novel, this story gave me some gothic vibes. A mysterious school nestled deep in the woods with some notorious and suspicious characters abounding.

Not only is Cate undercover, but her ex Zeke Sloan is also undercover for another reason, and he is posing as the Spanish teacher. Things get pretty interesting when they meet up again and as the danger escalates so does their strong feelings and passion for one another.

Zeke would love nothing better then to make amends with Cate, if she will let him explain what happened eight years ago, and depending if they can get out of their respective cases alive. This was a very full suspense.

I was provided a copy of this novel from Revell Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
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4.5 Stars

Fast-paced, tense and full of twists and turns, Irene Hannon’s Labyrinth of Lies is a must-read for romantic suspense fans everywhere.

Police detective Cate Reilly’s latest case will take her behind the rarefied gates of the prestigious Ivy Hill Academy where she quickly realizes that all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold. The daughter of a high-profile businessman has disappeared from this exclusive girls’ boarding school and Cate must go undercover to discover what really happened to her. From the very first minute she sets foot in the school, Cate immediately realizes that something isn’t quite right at Ivy Hill and she is determined to leave no stone unturned to get to the truth. The corridors of Ivy Hill Academy might echo with wealth and prestige, but there is danger round every corner and there are plenty of dark and dangerous secrets that could trip Cate up. However, little does she realize that the biggest danger of all will be finding herself coming face to face with a man from her past she has never quite managed to put behind her: Zeke Sloan, who is working at the school.

Cate has been imprinted in Zeke’s mind and heart from the very first moment they met. Although fate had torn the two of them asunder, their feelings for one another have never diminished, but crossing paths at Ivy Hill is far from ideal for both of them. Zeke has his own reasons for being at the school and he doesn’t want anyone to discover the real reason why he is currently working at Ivy Hill – not even the only woman who has ever managed to get under his skin: Cate!

As their agendas begin to intertwine in the most startling and unexpected of ways, the stakes get higher and the danger escalates for both of them. Just who is the mastermind behind this elaborate ruse? How far will they go to keep their secrets hidden? Will Cate and Zeke manage to get to the truth before it’s too late? And now that fate has pushed the two of them together will they find the courage to give their love another try? Or should they resign themselves to the fact that a future for the two of them is out of the question?

Irene Hannon certainly knows how to keep her readers turning the pages. In Labyrinth of Lies she has written a highly-charged, immensely tense and wholly absorbing tale of romantic suspense that will keep readers absolutely riveted to the page and desperate to find out what is going to happen next.

In Zeke and Cate, she has created two brilliantly written characters who are brave, bold and fearless. Their chemistry is off the charts, their love story will tug at the heartstrings and their quest for justice is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

A nail-biting rollercoaster ride that is not to be missed, Irene Hannon knocks it out of the park with her latest romantic suspense novel, Labyrinth of Lies.
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Labyrinth of Lies is the first of Irene Hannon's books that I've had the fortune of reading, and I'm so glad to have discovered this author!  This latest of her novels quickly had me thoroughly engrossed with its mysterious plot, characters, and love story.  I recommend this novel to anyone looking for a captivating thriller mystery!  The villain was challenging to decipher!  My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC for this honest review.
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From the first page I was hooked. Labyrinth of Lies is a very suspenseful and intriguing read that will have you up late into the night trying to figure out what is going on. I loved the undercover story line of Cate going into a private school for girls to find out what happened with the missing girls. The twists in this book will really keep you guessing.
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The storyline in this book completely grabbed my attention.
Cate is assigned an undercover job. She's to register at a prestigious girl's school as a student, and be a 17 year old. Sounds like a cushy assignment, right? Well, maybe...until you remember that the reason for her position is that a girl and her boyfriend are both missing. Her task is to get close to some of the girls there and try to figure out just what exactly happened.

To make things even more complicated, her ex boyfriend, Zeke, is also working undercover there. He's the new Spanish teacher. 
I loved the characters, the setting, and the storyline. It was fun to read about, but contained so much mystery, action, and intrigue.
Who or what is behind all the things that have been going on? The twists and turns the story takes to get you through all of it...well it's not a story you want to put down, so save it for a time when you can just read it the whole way through!!
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Cate takes on a case that involves a high level boarding school.  She is tasked with finding the daughter of a businessman who disappeared.  It seems that all is not as expected at the school as Cate soon finds out.  While there she reconnects with an old friend , Zeke.  Zeke is working at the school and is surprised when Cate show ups   He is not sure what to make of the reason she is there, but soon realizes that she is on the track of something bigger than either of them expected.  A very suspenseful read.

I received a copy to read, the review is mine.
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This was such an intriguing story that I couldn’t put it down. I thought  Cate going undercover at the private school for girls was very convincing. I know she will have a hard time keeping her cover from not being blown but she has a gift for doing what others can’t. She can stay calm in situations and convince people she is telling the truth. Now she has to find out what happened at the school. Everyone is on edge with two missing young people. 

Zeke is also undercover at the school and is Cate’s contact. This certainly puts a kink in the investigation as these two have a history together. I enjoyed reading how they were able to meet at school without anyone being suspicious. 

The story centers on a drug ring and the author puts in several twists which made me second guess who I thought was behind the drug trafficking. I have to say my favorite character was Kayla. She becomes friends with Cate not knowing who she really is. When they are put together in a dangerous situation I’m glad Cate was able to keep Kayla calm.

If you are looking for a book filled with intense danger, deceit and an ending that shocked me, this is the book to grab. The author once again delivers a story that has all the elements of surprise . I really hope someone grabs her stories and turns them into movies. 

I received a copy of this book from Revell Blogger  Program.
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This intriguing suspense novel has multiple disturbing threads that all seem to connect with a prestigious girls’ boarding school. Police Detective Cate Reilly goes undercover as a student to gain information about a girl who disappeared. This makes for a compelling plot with so many captivating elements, along with some romantic tension too. The well-rounded characters offer plenty of action and nuances to hold readers’ attention as the thrilling tale escalates toward greater danger. There should be plenty of elements to appeal to mystery lovers. I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own. #LabyrinthofLies #NetGalley
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In this latest suspense release by Mrs. Hannon, readers are thrown into a tale of a major coverup of some kind at a private academy.  Cate is tasked with going back undercover at the school as a student due to how young she looks.  While she is there, she is trying to discover what happened to two students and what is really going on behind the scenes.  Zeke is also undercover as a teacher, but they both used to date each other.  While trying to not blow each other’s cover, they team up to figure out what is going on at this school.  Readers will be taken on a wild ride to discover the truth and who is really behind what is going on at the school.  I highly recommend this book and know you will not be disappointed!  Like all of Mrs. Hannon’s books, readers will love this story.  I look forward to the third book in this series being released!  
***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.  This is my honest opinion.  Even though I received this copy free, I have purchased her books before.
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This is the 2nd book in the author's Triple Threat series, and while I did read the first, I would agree they can be read as stand-alones (which is definitely a huge bonus!).  Each of the 3 books here features one of 3 sisters which is the thread that ties them all together.  I was very happy that this book started right off with little if any backstory to detract from the mystery at hand, but still includes appearances from Cate's sisters here & there which will be a treat for those who read the first novel.  The author really does a fabulous job of creating a stand-alone story while including little bits & pieces to reference other books!  

There was a bit of a formatting problem with the ebook, since there was no indication of a separation between viewpoints.  It wasn't much of a problem to figure out whose "head" we were in, though, because the points of view were each very unique, and the reader quickly becomes familiar with the main characters.  

I still found this to be a superb character-driven/ psychological mystery!  I loved how Cate (a detective with the St. Louis PD) went undercover to play the role of a boarding school teen to find out what happened to a student and her boyfriend who had both gone missing.  Cate's roommate, Kayla, was a wonderful addition to the story who unknowingly helped Cate work through some unresolved issues in her past.  Sometimes voices of wisdom come from unexpected sources in our lives, after all!

When Cate runs into her ex-boyfriend, Zeke, a DEA agent also undercover as the school's new Spanish teacher to try to infiltrate a drug smuggling operation, their paths cross and the sparks fly! 

I guessed who the villains were right off the bat, so there wasn't as much mystery or suspense as I would have liked.  I also wish the author hadn't included a very random character who readers never saw to solve the mystery, and that aspect felt a bit contrived.

However, the real focus of the book was the story of how Cate & Zeke had to face their pasts and learn to work together and be honest with each other to put the missing pieces together.  

I cannot say enough how much I appreciated the fact that this was clean read - meaning, no on-page violence, gore, cursing, etc. and how justice was served in the end (without unnecessary violence as well).  Best of all, the author address key issues facing our society in such a compassionate way, I would allow my teenage daughter to read this book!
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Irene Hannon hooks the reader and takes them for an incredible ride with her suspenseful romance, “Labyrinth of lies.” We follow police detective Cate Reilly when she goes undercover as a student at Ivy Hill Academy to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Cate is reacquainted with her past love, Zeke Sloan who is now working for the DEA. The two must overlook the hurt of the past to work together and solve the mystery. 

The story is impeccably written and the character development is sensational. It was hard to put down and the continuous turns and fast paced action kept the reader guessing. The story is written with incredible attention to detail as the author paints the most realistic picture of St. Louis.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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Labyrinth of Lies
by Irene Hannon
Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 

I am reviewing a copy of Labyrinth of Lies through Revell and Netgalley:

After the daughter of a high profile businessman disappears from an exclusive girls' boarding school, police detective Cate Reilly is tapped for an undercover assignment.   It isn’t long before she realizes that beneath the veneer of polish and wealth, things are not as they seem at Ivy Hill Academy.   

Zeke Sloan has never forgotten Cate, but it isn’t the the best time for their paths to cross again.   When their two agendas intertwine and startling connections emerge among the players--the danger escalates in a significant manner.  

Who is the mastermind behind the elaborate ruse?

How far will they go to protect their house of cards? 

I give Labyrinth of Lies five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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It seems that lately, many of the books I’ve read have been a second chance romance in one form or another. In Labyrinth of Lies, both primary characters find themselves working undercover on separate cases at the same exclusive private girls school. It becomes obvious early in their story that each still have feelings for the other but one is not quite ready to forgive and trust again.

Cate is posing as a student as she attempts to get to the bottom of what happened to a missing student. In order to discover the top leadership of a drug ring, Zeke is acting as a substitute Spanish teacher. They begin working together to solve both mysteries as evidence quickly points to a possible connection between the cases.

Labyrinth of Lies is not as action filled as many suspense novels but is one that gave my mind a workout as I attempted to solve the mystery along with Cate and Zeke. As one suspect after another presented themselves, I remained confused for most of the narrative. You can count me as surprised when the top man was revealed. I would never have suspected him!

All in all, Labyrinth of Lies was expertly written with plenty of red herrings and unexpected twists along the way. A touch of action and danger may be enough to please those who thrive on adrenaline and the lowkey romance will please others.

As expected, I enjoyed this book and look forward to others by this excellent author.
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This is book 2 in the A Triple Threat series by Irene Hannon and I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading it. 

In this story we follow 2 main characters: Cate and Zeke - who about 8 years ago were madly in love until one of them walked away,  they haven't seen each other since. 

Cate is a detective asked to go undercover at an elite all-girls boarding school, called Ivy Hill.   A student named Stephanie and her boyfriend have been missing for several months.   Did she run away (as the police have said) or is something dangerous lurking on the grounds of the campus?  All goes well,  until the first day of classes when Cate discovered her ex is substitute teaching at the school and may blow her cover. 

Meanwhile, Zeke is an ATF agent tasked with solving a crime regarding a large drug cartel which seems to involve Ivy Hill.   He goes undercover as a teacher in order to solve the crime.   However, he is shocked to see Cate posing as a student on his first day.  This is the only woman he has ever loved, the one who got away - he never thought he'd see her again.   How is he going to deal with her and not blow the whole thing?

This book is a fast paced page turner from the beginning.   The mystery surrounding the missing student was really interesting; but,  for me,  the romance storyline was the most engaging part.  Will they or won't they reunite?  It takes the whole book to find out,  and the ending was really satisfying. 

My only complaint is the spiritual side of the book.   This is marketed a Christian fiction,  but there's nothing distinctly Christian about it.   There are comments about God and almost passive mentions of prayer (because the characters doing it don't necessarily believe it will help them), but nothing specifically about Jesus.   The characters do mention their "moral code" but no real reasons WHY they hold to it.   The exception is the character of Kayla,  the teen roommate of Cate.   She was more distinctly Christian than any of the adults, in my opinion. 

Overall,  though,  I did really enjoy reading this and look forward to checking out more books by this author. 

*I received a free advanced e-copy of this book from the publisher,  through Net Galley, in exchange for my honest review.   Thank you to both of them for the opportunity to read this book!"
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Cate Reilly is relieved to be done with undercover work. However, she is the only county detective who can pass as a seventeen year old student at a prestigious St. Louis girls’ boarding school to investigate the disappearance of a prominent businessman’s daughter. Cate can handle one last undercover assignment, befriending her new roommate to find answers about the missing girl, and she can handle the cold walks through the woods in search of evidence of foul play, but she has to work hard to handle the fact that the man who broke her heart is teaching her Spanish class.

Zeke Sloan has seen and survived it all during his time undercover with the Mexican drug cartel. He should be more safe on assignment as a Spanish teacher at Ivy Hill Academy, investigating a drug trafficking ring that is using the school for clandestine operations. Zeke never thought the biggest danger on this assignment would be to his heart, until Cate walks into his Spanish class and back into his life. As they work together to determine how their investigations may be linked, they also find themselves working together to figure out what went wrong in their relationship and if they can restore trust and repair wounds they thought would never heal.

The Triple Threat series from Irene Hannon gets an intense second installment with Labyrinth of Lies. She grabbed my attention with book one, Point of Danger, when Hannon introduced us to a family of sisters who feel like our own. Following the Reilly sisters, Triple Threat delivers intense action and swoon-worthy romance.

Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me a copy to read and review. All opinions expressed here are my own and are completely genuine.
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Labyrinth of Lies is about the oldest Reilly sister, Cate. Even though it is the second in the series it can be read as a stand-alone novel. The first book in the series, Point of Danger, featured Cate's sister, Eve.

I remembered from the first book that Cate had no desire to do another undercover gig, yet here we are in the second book, with her in an undercover gig. There was a big inconsistency right at the beginning, that kind of soured things for me. At the end of Point of Danger, Eve and Brent are married. At the beginning of this book, they have been engaged for four days, really? Also, the beginning was difficult to read because there was not a clear break from one scene to the next, which interrupted the flow of reading. This happened sporadically throughout the rest of the book (ebook).

Overall, the story was a good mystery, a decent storyline, but not quite as gripping as I have come to expect from Hannon's writing.  The mystery was easier to figure out and the depth of emotion for the main characters was off. There was more romance than suspense and the faith element was lacking as well.

Thank you to Revell and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book. I was not required to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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