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A Thorn Among the Lilies (An Alvin, Alabama…
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A Thorn Among the Lilies (An Alvin, Alabama Novel)

by Michael Hiebert

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The title itself is a play on words...that should pique your interest right there. Hiebert does that right off the bat and holds on tight to the very end--which you will TRY and figure out , but i bet you won't!
I think the author took a mix of a couple of storylines and blended them like a maestro does an orchestra! Hokey? Hell no. A magician with words. Oh yes.

A twisted serial killer is on the loose and Leah is the detective on the case. That's the basic storyline, with suspense and so much more. Never thought you could mix gruesome with sweet but yep, he did it! Hiebert keeps you wondering and 'just one more page' -ing till it all comes together and makes sense. ( )
  linda.marsheells | Dec 19, 2015 |
A small town, Alvin, Alabama, and Leah is the only detective on the force. She is also a widow and a mother of two. The story starts with a psychic reading, a gift for her daughter's fifteenth birthday, but with words for only Leah. A crime has already happened and the psychic's words will soon prove to have meaning for the detective.

More a mystery/slash family story, there is no ongoing ripples of suspense, more an uncovering of clues. Much about her family, comic elements that include her son Abe, 12 and his friend Dewey also 12 but a little naive, he still believes in Santa Claus. I think if you go into this knowing what to expect, you will enjoy this for what it is. The murders are horrific and it is interesting to see the detective blended with the mom, to solve the crime. Enjoyed this slower paced but interesting mystery. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jul 23, 2015 |
A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Michael Hiebert returns with his third installment in An Alvin, Alabama Novel with A THORN AMONG LILIES, for more mystery, a serial killer, a psychic, revenge, family, and small town secrets.

As the book opens it is 1976 in Alvin, Alabama. Some gals are in town from Mississippi, for a bachelorette party. When there is a disagreement with the maid of honor, the limo was not an option. Anna leaves the club driving drunk and hits another innocent young mother out to buy milk for her baby at home left with her twelve year old son. The drunk gal walks away with no problems; however, not so pleasant for the young mother, Susan - never normal again. She remained unconscious in a hospital while the world went on.

Twelve years later, doctors take Anna off life support and pronounces her dead, and the jury only gives Anna five years for reckless vehicular manslaughter, the maximum sentence in Alabama.

The novel jumps forward thirteen years later, Christmas has passed and time for Carry’s birthday, only four days after Christmas. For her birthday present she wants her family to visit a psychic. They set up a time to visit with Madame Crystalle on Main Street.

In the small town of Alvin, Leah Teal the mother (of Abe and Carry) is a detective and only two police officers other than the Police Chief Ethan Montgomery. While there, Leah gets a reading and hers is focused on the clues to a murder which has not occurred. The psychic seems to know a lot and she cannot let her boss know, as he will think she has lost her mind. However, she cannot forget what the woman said. There would be writing on a body.

When the body of a woman turns up in a local Willet Lake, in the morning, matching the psychic’s description she wonders if there is a connection. When they turn over the body, they gasped, as the woman’s eyes had been stitched shut with thick black threat. Something was written on her chest in Magic Marker. “Justice is Blind in the Eyes of the Lord.”

As the investigation continues and there may be a connection to an old cold case with similarities. Then there are more. Of course, Abe which is very intuitive has input as they have to solve the mystery, and the motives behind the brutal killings with cryptic messages.

I enjoyed catching up with Abe and friend Dewey, from previous books and the characters from this small southern town. There is also the budding romance between Leah and Dan, and some suspects keeping you guessing for a light mystery serial killer of whodunit along with some evil motivations for revenge. Unfortunately, this was my least favorite of the three books. ( )
  JudithDCollins | Jun 3, 2015 |
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Detective Leah Teal is privy to most of the secrets in her hometown of Alvin, but there are always surprises to be had. Like the day she agrees to take her daughter, Caroline, to see a psychic for a reading. The psychic hones in on Leah instead, hinting at a string of guresome killings and insisting that she intervene to prevent more deaths. When you go looking for trouble, you never know how much you'll find. Sure enough, the psychic's scant clues lead Leah to a cold case from six years ago, when a young woman was found shot to death, her eyelids sewn shut. As Leah digs deeper into the old files, a second unsolved case surfaces with the same grisly pattern. While her shrewd young son, Abe, observes from the sidelines, Leah races to prevent another horrific murder, unaware of just how deep the roots of evil can go.… (more)

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