Book Review: Lying in Vengeance by Gary Corbin

LyinginVengeanceAbout the Book

Peter Robertson, 33, once fought a man on a remote forested road and left him to die. Six months later, he served on the jury that freed a wrongfully accused man – and let his own secret slip to a beautiful but manipulative fellow juror, Christine Nielsen.

Two months later, Christine wakes him in the middle of the night with a threat: kill Kyle, the man who stalks and abuses her, or have his own murderous past exposed.

Format: eBook, paperback (306 pp.)   Publisher: Double Diamond Publishing
Published: 13th September 2017   Genre: Thriller

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Find Lying in Judgment and Lying in Vengeance on Goodreads

My Review

Lying in Vengeance is the follow-up to the award-winning courtroom thriller, Lying in JudgmentLying in Vengeance can definitely be read as a standalone (as I did) but, because key details about events in the first book are revealed, if you intend to read the whole series then I recommend starting with Lying in Judgment.

With one night-time phone call, Peter’s peace of mind and the life he’s created for himself following the traumatic events described in Lying in Judgment, seem likely to disintegrate around him like a house of cards.  Past actions and lies threaten to come back to haunt him – and how!

It’s not long before anything and everything that could go wrong for Peter is taking place. As well as Christine’s threat to expose his role in the death of a man if he doesn’t meet her demands and his own guilt at his role in events, Peter’s also under pressure at work when a series of break-ins occur.  He also comes face to face in the most unexpected way with someone who was involved in the trial he served on as juror and, if that wasn’t enough, he has the future welfare of his sick mother to worry about should he no longer be around to care for her.

Of course, Peter doesn’t help himself by being irresistibly drawn to the charms of the beautiful Christine despite the warnings of his best friend as well as, I suspect, of many readers muttering under their breath, “Peter, watch out!”.   Some of Peter’s more reckless actions and his failure to see how he is being manipulated by others do require a degree of suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader.  However, I was reminded of the dedication to The Thirty-Nine Steps in which John Buchan (an author for whom regular followers of this blog will know I have a bit of a passion) recalls the fondness of the friend to whom it is dedicated for what he calls a ‘shocker’ but which we would today call a thriller.  Buchan describes it as ‘that elementary type of tale…where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible’.

Following a series of twists and turns, double crosses and unexpected revelations, the book reaches its breathless climax.  Surely Peter can now relax?  But wait a minute – those final lines suggest (enticingly, for fans of the series) that Peter’s troubles may not yet be over…

By the way, the book will appeal to thriller fans who like a drop of beer to accompany their reading. There are a number of descriptions of beer in the book, no doubt a result of the author’s own interest in brewing (see his bio below).  For example, at one point Peter enjoys ‘a dark, chocolaty porter’ and later his summer favourite, ‘the bitter, amber brew, Lucky Dog Altbier’.  [I’m married to a beer lover so I’ve become attuned to noticing such things :)]

Lying in Vengeance is a twisty, pacy and accomplished thriller.  If my review isn’t sufficient for you to decide whether it’s a book for you, you can read an extract from Lying in Vengeance here and my Q&A with the author here.  My grateful thanks to the author for my review copy.

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In three words: Suspenseful, pacy, compelling

Try something similar…The Mountain Man’s Badge (Mountain Man #3) by Gary Corbin (read my review here)

GaryCorbinAbout the Author

Gary Corbin is a writer, actor, and playwright in Camas, WA, a suburb of Portland, OR. Lying in Vengeance continues the story begun in his debut novel, Lying in Judgment, released in March, 2016.  Lying in Judgment was selected as “Book of the Week” for July 11-18, 2016, and was the feature novel on Literary Lightbox’s “Indie Spotlight” in February 2017.  Gary’s second novel, The Mountain Man’s Dog, came out in June 2016. The sequel, The Mountain Man’s Bride, was released in February 2017.

An award-winning playwright, several of his plays have been produced in the Portland, OR area, some of them multiple times. In addition to his own scripts, Gary writes, ghost-writes, and edits scripts. He specializes in tight, realistic dialogue involving sharply drawn, interesting characters in complex relationships.  As well as writing and editing for private sector, government, individuals, and not-for-profit clients, his creative and journalistic work has been published in BrainstormNW, the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, and Global Envision, among others.

A home brewer as well as a maker of wine, mead, cider, and soft drinks, Gary is a member of the Oregon Brew Crew and a BJCP National Beer Judge. He loves to ski, cook, and garden, and hopes someday to train his dogs to obey. [Photo credit: Goodreads author page]

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