Favors and Lies
Dan Lord is a problem solver, a private detective with military-level training and an unusual clientele, an honorable man who deals with dishonorable people. But when he finds his sister and nephew dead, the official explanation doesn’t satisfy him. Someone murdered his family, and Dan will go to any lengths to find out who. But when the search for the killer leads him to a government operative who frames him for murder, Dan will have to be smarter, faster, and more dangerous than the monsters he’s hunting… if he’s not already too late.
Favors and Lies is a solidly executed thriller that avoids a lot of the missteps of the genre. Dan is competent but not omniscient, so when he’s caught off-guard, he comes off as surprised instead of incompetent. The threat he battles borders on unstoppable — a common thread in modern thrillers — but not so impenetrably powerful that it seems insane that Dan would pose a threat, let alone possibly survive the novel.
While you could easily see a few of the twists coming, the momentum of the main plotline is more than enough to carry you over the rough patches, and Dan is a very engaging protagonist, one you cannot help but root for. This is especially rare in a genre where bland quip-spouting he-men are the norm, and they’re often overshadowed by more interesting sidekicks, villains, and ancillary characters.
Favors and Lies is populated with great locations and interesting side characters, providing Dan with a network of interesting contacts who are more than piles of random quirks, as well as a life story with considerable narrative consistency. Obviously, Gilleo has given Dan’s life and world as much thought as he’s given the book’s central mystery.
While I’m not entirely sold on the eleventh hour twist, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, and I hope this isn’t Dan Lord’s only adventure.
The Story Plant