Title: Dangerous Lies
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: Young Adult/Crime
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 10th November 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars
Thanks to Good Reading Magazine for the review copy!
Stella Gordon’s life is a lie.
She does not belong in Thunder Basin, Nebraska. As the star witness in a murder trial against a drug dealer, Stella is now in the Witness Protection Program. The small town locals can never know who she really is. Not even Chet Falconer, the one boy who makes her want to reveal her true self. She knows that telling the truth will only bring violence to this safe haven.
Despite how hard Stella tries to stay under the radar, danger is fast-approaching. Criminals have a way of getting rid of witnesses, and Stella may have made the one mistake that could lead the cold-blooded men hunting for her right to her doorstep…
With palm-sweating tension and heart-racing romance, Dangerous Lies is another utterly addictive thriller from the bestselling young adult author, Becca Fitzpatrick.
I read Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush back in May for my Dymocks101 Challenge and REALLy wasn’t a big fan. But she obviously writes crime a hell of a lot better, because this book was fantastic! I was wary when Simon & Schuster recommended this one at TeenCon, but I can now see why! (This is why we don’t judge based on previous works….)
Stella Gordon is a city girl, but she has been dumped in Thunder Basin, Nebraska as part of the Witness Protection Program. (If I were dropped in a town called Thunder Basin, I would be fearing for my life!) She is a bit of a brat, determined to make this experience as difficult as possible for everyone involved, even though they are trying to keep her safe before she has to act as witness in a murder trial against her mother’s drug dealer.
There are a few too many boys to keep track of, but it worked in the context of the story! First, there’s Reed, who Stella had to leave behind when she entered the program. She still holds out hope that she can find him and take up where they left off. Then there is Chet Falconer, mysterious and sweet, who Stella just can’t seem to stay away from. And finally Trigger, who is a really nasty piece of work, but the apple of the town’s eye.
The character development in the book is AWESOME! Stella started at as horrible and painful, but by the end I felt like she was a friend. The supporting characters were also really well-written and rounded. I especially loved Carmina, an ex-police officer who adopts the role of Stella’s foster-mother in the WITSEC charade. The relationship between Stella and Carmina was so sweet!
Family is an incredibly important theme throughout the novel. Stella is trying to understand her mother’s drug habit, which has led her to this point. Chet is struggling to raise his younger brother while consumed by guilt. Carmina has lost too much to get attached again. All of these storylines co-exist and examine human emotion really nicely.
There isn’t a lot of action until the last few chapters, but I felt that the book worked so much better by first describing the characters’ emotions and motives in detail. It was a really refreshing crime read, to let the emotional narrative take the front foot, and Fitzpatrick has done a marvellous job in the telling.
This narrative has once again proven that I shouldn’t judge books before reading them, whether that judgment comes from the author, the genre, the cover or the reviews. Only a short while ago, I thought I should give up the whole crime genre, and I thought I wouldn’t like another Becca Fitzpatrick, yet here I am raving.
Have you ever judged a book only to love it afterwards?