Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Collision Of Lies
Amara Alvarez # 1
BY Tom Threadgill

Feb 4, 2020/ ISBN 9780800736507

Reviewed by Elise Cooper


Collision Of Lies by Tom Threadgill is the first in a new series. The plot includes a murder mystery and a kidnapping on the fringes but becomes more of a conspiracy thriller. The story focuses on how one person can change a whole community’s lives.

“I was sitting in a restaurant with my wife and saw this woman texting frantically. This started me questioning the what if, who is she texting, and what are the texts saying. Then I thought of a story where the character would receive a text by her son who she assumed dead. Because I do not believe in fate, but that God controls everything, I write stories where things happen in a certain line of events.”

From the very first page, the story will grab the reader. While at a restaurant, Detective Amara Alvarez, with the San Antonio Police Department Property Crimes Division, overhears a conversation between a husband and wife. This sets off a chain of events that will test her detective abilities and her resolve to do whatever necessary to unearth the truth. The case was solved and closed with absolutely no hint at anything more sinister than a suicidal bus driver ramming a school bus full of children into an oncoming train. But now the parents have received a text from someone claiming to be their son needing help. With these new clues, Amara promises to investigate and reopen the case without getting many others involved.

Helping her find the truth is Texas Ranger Sara Colby, medical examiner Dr. Douglas Pritchard, and homicide detective Starsky Peckham. The banter between these characters makes the dialogue very enjoyable. There are also characters introduced that are more associated with Amara’s personal life, including her partner Wylie Dotson, Amara’s family, and her pet iguana, Larry the Lizard. Whether it is the doctor’s eccentric way of explaining idioms and developing creative methods to enjoy annoyingly messy snacks, the detective’s mystery background about his nickname, her partner’s obsession with the TV show “Downton Abbey,” or Amara treating the lizard-like a dog, it all enhances the storyline.

All the characters will be back in the second story. The author noted, “In the next book of the series, Network Of Deceit, Amara achieves her goal of being transferred to homicide and will be investigating a teenage boy found dead in a crowded waterpark. Dotson will possibly get together with Amara’s mother. Starsky, whose real name is Jeremiah Peckham, was given the nickname for something in his past that was an embarrassing moment for him, and he will still be teased. Larry the Lizard will have added scenes because he is so popular with the readers.”

Readers get to learn about Amara’s Hispanic background through family dinner scenes and the dialogue, which includes some Spanish phrases. “I wrote her as tough, smart, spunky, having a cynical eye, and confident. She keeps physically fit and has the need to prove herself because of her size and being a woman in a man’s world. The reason I put in the Spanish phrases is because she is a Latina, and the setting is in San Antonio, a city with a strong Hispanic heritage. I am not worried about cultural appropriation because, as a storyteller, I consider myself an artist. I am a middle-aged white male but am not writing solely for middle-age white male readers. I want people who read my books to understand that characters should come from all races, religions, and ethnicities.”

This story was compelling; the characters were relatable and easy to like and cheer for. If this is the first book read by Threadgill, it certainly should not be the last. The story is full of thrilling suspense and action that keeps going to the very end.


Reviewed 2020