Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: Portrait of Lies by Clair Poulson with Giveaway

Portrait of Lies by Clair M. Poulson
272 pages, published August 2015 by Covenant Communications 
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
It was a robbery gone bad, or so they said. For Detective Trey Shotwell, the murder of his mother, a prominent artist, was the catalyst for setting aside his own artistic aspirations to pursue a career in law enforcement—despite the opposition of his father, also a famous painter. When he agrees to attend an art auction featuring his father's work, the cruise ship locale provides the relaxation that Trey needs—and when he meets stunning fellow passenger Ariah Stanton, the undeniable chemistry they share is an unexpected bonus.

But the tranquil voyage quickly turns into a nightmare at sea. The Shotwell paintings have disappeared, and amidst the chaotic hunt for the thief, a murderer is free to roam the halls of the ship. Ariah finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and miraculously escapes the murderer—for now. But another victim is not so lucky...

The crime is eerily reminiscent of the death of Trey's mother so many years before. But this time, the young detective has the resources he needs to track the killer. As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, they paint the chilling picture of a sinister plot years in the making. In a manhunt that takes him from the high seas of the Pacific to the wilderness of Australia, Trey will stop at nothing to solve the crime and protect the woman he loves.
My Review:
I've read a fair amount of this author's works and I love that he continues to branch out with his plots. This story mostly takes place on a cruise ship and the main character, Trey, is a British guy who lives in Australia. His parents are both famous artists, although his mother was murdered in a robbery when he was young. He vows to find the killer and is fortunate enough to find some clues in the stagnant mystery aboard this art cruise.
Trey is very resourceful and is able to piece things together in a realistic timeline. He's a nice guy and is very protective of those whom he cares for. I liked his perseverance--he's definitely not a quitter. I love how his edges soften when he meets Ariah. Ariah is such a sweet and caring girl and when she gets spooked by the men in the cabin next door, Trey steps in as a protector and comfort. I enjoyed the easy relationship the two of them form, although I would have liked to see it unfold with a little more dialogue between the them, instead of being told that it did. It was still very comfortable.
There are many twists and turns, including murder, and things get a little crazy at times, with so many suspicious characters. I love the way it was all tied up together in the end. This is a good read for those who enjoy a murder mystery without all of the gore.  
Content: squeaky clean romance; no language; murder and mild violence--not graphic; mild religious elements--not preachy. Clean!
Buy Links:
About the Author:
Clair M. PoulsonClair M. Poulson was born and raised in Duchesne, Utah. His father was a rancher and farmer, his mother a librarian. Clair has always been an avid reader, having found his love for books as a very young boy.

He has served for forty years in the criminal justice system. Twenty years were spent in law enforcement, ending his police career with eight years as the Duchesne County Sheriff. For the past twenty years Clair has worked as a justice court judge for Duchesne County. Clair is also a veteran of the US Army where he was a military policeman. He has served on various boards and councils during his professional career, including the Justice Court Board of Judges, Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, Utah Judicial Council, Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, an FBI advisory board and others.

In addition to his criminal justice work, Clair has farmed and ranched all of his life. He has raised many kinds of animals, but his greatest interest is horses.

Clair has served in many capacities in the LDS church, including fulltime missionary (California Mission) bishop, counselor to bishop, young men president, high councilor, stake mission president, scoutmaster, High Priest group leader, etc. He currently serves as a Sunday School teacher.

Clair is married to Ruth, and together, they have five children, all of whom are married: Alan (Vicena) Poulson, Kelly Ann (Wade) Hatch, Amanda (Ben) Semadeni, Wade (Brooke) Poulson, and Mary (Tyler) Hicken. Between them they have twenty-three children. Clair and Ruth met while both were students at Snow College and were married in the Manti temple.

Clair has always loved telling his children, and later his grandchildren, make-up stories. His vast experience in life and his love of literature has always contributed to both his telling stories to children and his writing of adventure and suspense novels.

Website  *  Goodreads 

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  1. Awesome giveaway!! Shared on FB, Twitter,Pinterest and Google+.

    I am hoping the copy of ’Portrait of Lies’ is a paperback as I am unable to do ebooks.

    1. I'm not sure which version it is, but I hope they'll do paperback if you win! :)