Imagine your mother was a covert CIA operative. Imagine that she has raised you to notice the world around, with points for remembering license plate numbers or the items in a random person’s shopping cart – a running competition between you and your brother. Imagine an “Uncle” Paul, an annoying constant in your life who is a partner of sorts to your mom, running the operation and wooing you as a potential recruit. Then imagine one rainy night when your mother sends you out to complete some nonsensical tasks while she “takes care” of a situation, then leaves you for what you’ll forever refer to as “The Long Trip”. Finally, remember her last moments as she bestows upon you all her love as well as the ability to conquer life’s challenges and find happiness. Welcome to Monday’s Lie by Jamie Mason.
Mason gives you a glimpse into the life of Dee Aldritch, nicknamed Plucky. She and her brother, Simon, aka Sixes, remain close, always ready to meet at the local bar to talk when the secret password “Once Upon A Time” is exchanged. Despite her unusual upbringing (or perhaps because of it) Dee yearns for a normal life, free from intrigue. She thinks she’s found it with Patrick, a fellow college student who she kmarries immediately upon graduation. They seem to have the perfect relationship, yet some nagging doubts prompt Dee to maintain a hidden stash of birth control pills. After as many years as her mama, Annette Vess, had fingers (a few were missing) everything starts to unravel. It starts with the blue sedan, a rifled through purse, and personal items which have obviously (at least to someone versed in observation) been handled. Then she recognizes someone from her mother’s past. Why is she being stalked? To top things off, her husband is acting strangely, constantly picking a fight in private, but acting the affectionate mate in public. Does any of it have to do with the recent half a million dollar inheritance? Or does hubby simply want a change of scenery with either the corner barista or the lap dancer at the local strip club?
Either, or, it’s Monday and Dee realizes her marriage is over. By Friday, she finds herself driving towards her destiny, without a plan except the knowledge that there are answers to be found.
A fun book, full of intrigue with unique, compelling characters. Jamie has a breezy style which flows smoothly, with some clever wordage and interesting events. However, over half the book is spent setting up the premise, a back and forth between the present and the past, so that the more dramatic conclusion is crammed into a few quick chapters. In this case, it is forgivable since the background info is compelling, but the culmination of the plot is problematic with too many loose ends left for the reader to ponder. I personally felt some confusion on a couple of points, but perhaps the author is planning a sequel. Four stars.
A thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for providing me a download of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.