Portrait of Lies by Clair M. Poulson (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)

Welcome to my tour stop for Portrait of Lies by Clair M. Poulson! Check out the book and author info, my full review, and the publisher-sponsored giveaway below...

Portrait of LiesPortrait of Lies
by Clair M. Poulson
LDS Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 272 Pages
August 1st 2015 by Covenant Communications


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

Portrait of Lies was a plot full of several suspects, murder, mayhem, friendships, art, a cruise ship, family, and some romance. It also had an unexpected inspirational aspect in regards to the main character who was Mormon and those he shares his beliefs with. It was interesting seeing everything come together in the end with several loose ends that needed to be tied up and not knowing which suspects were or were not responsible.

I found the characters somewhat intriguing. Trey was a young police officer but a very good one with some good connections. His relationship with his father was interesting as well as the relationships he builds with a few others on the cruise ship. The villains were sly and played their roles well. I would have liked the conversations to have flowed a little better and for the characters to have felt fuller, but they were all still unique and likable, well, except the villains were all definitely not likable. I especially thought Hans was a fun character and brought quite a bit to the story.

The plot was a little crazy - just in the fact that there are several different moving parts to it and figuring out who had a hand in what and why. I have a love and respect for art, so parts of the story that dealt with that and with signatures and such I found interesting. There was some violence that was fairly strong in what happened, but it wasn't detailed which kept it from being gruesome, and it fit the story and the genre. The religious aspect felt a little forced because it was brought up in parts that didn't quite feel natural and I would have liked it to be more in how Trey showed his religion instead of how he talked about it. I loved the setting of the cruise ship and then Australia. It was definitely a setting that I haven't experienced in a book before. 

I'd recommend Portrait of Lies to those who enjoy cozy LDS romantic suspense that keeps you guessing and has some sweet romance that isn't the focal point of the story. 

Content: Clean

Source: I would like to thank Covenant for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.

About the Author


Clair M. Poulson retired after twenty years in law enforcement. During his career he served in the U.S. Military Police Corps, the Utah Highway Patrol, and the Duchesne County Sheriff's Department, where he was first a deputy and then the county sheriff. He currently serves as a justice court judge for Duchesne County, a position he has held for nineteen years. His nearly forty-year career working in the criminal justice system has provided a wealth of material from which he draws in writing his books. Clair and his wife, Ruth, live in Duchesne and are the parents of five married children. They have twenty-one grandchildren.

$25 Amazon Gift Card & copy of Portrait of Lies (provided by the publisher)

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