- Little Blue Lies by Chris Lynch
Oliver, son of a wealthy financial adviser, and his girlfriend Junie Blue, daughter of a toadie for the local crime boss, are spirited recreational liars. O is so accustomed to their mutual mendacity that when Junie abruptly dumps him, he assumes it’s a joke—wrongly. He’s not buying her weak implication that this is all about the incompatibility of their separate worlds, though, and when she twice disappears on brief “vacations,” only to return with bruises and burns, O is convinced she needs his protection. But from whom? The boss, One Who Knows, is certainly a suspect, and Junie’s own father, Ronnie, is vile enough to batter his daughter if it advances his boss’s agenda. Rumors and inquiries lead O to suspect that Junie is holding a winning lottery ticket, which she is stubbornly refusing to share with One Who Knows, a policy that locals realize is a sure way to get yourself killed. O traces the boss’s true identity and sets up a deal to appease him and save Junie, but his little cabal releases some family secrets he’s now forced to confront. The rose-strewn fairytale romance, complete with luxury hotel accommodations and a matinee worthy getaway in a vintage Corvette, is a surprise in this otherwise dark genre, but this is a gritty mystery with breakneck pacing and characters and dialogue as smart and sharp as Lynch makes them. Expect fans to pass this title from hand to hand.