Secrets and Lies (Rookie K-9 Unit)
Situations do not often lend themselves to what you think they will as Ariel Martin learns when moving to a small town hoping to finally feel safe. Things in this small town seem to be on the downslide as there have been many unsolved murders and Ariel, who is teaching summer school, falls victim to an unknown assailant. Attacked in the classroom while preparing for the following day, this widowed teacher has to find safety for herself and her unborn child. But, this is another in the K-9 series and new officer and rookie Tristan McKeller has a sister in her class and with his dog and trustworthy friend he hopes to keep her safe from harm. But, Ariel for some reason does not readily accept help and although the townspeople mean well she has a habit of pushing them aside. Her past is not perfect and she wants to keep it to herself but someone wants her silenced but whom? Her husband is supposedly dead or maybe not so she needs a fresh start but someone even goes a far as burning down her house hoping she will die with the ashes and embers. But, fortunately Tristan is there and the Pastor and his wife Laurent come to her aid allowing her to stay in the Parsonage rent-free. She seems extremely proud, takes the offer but insists on paying rent.
Living in Desert Valley will prove to be a challenge for her as leaving her past behind mind not is the escape she gets. As Tristan and his partner Jesse attempt to help her and solve the murders and other crimes that are happening in this small town, he too has to come to terms with dealing with his teenage sister who rebels every step of the way and who feels that he does not understand her and she would prefer going back where she came from. Trying to be both guardian and parent to Mia his sister results in battles and conflicts and at times leaves him in a total quandary as to how to handle this teen. Ariel offers to tutor her since she is failing in summer school and soon realizes that this might be difficult. Only considering what the can do for others both often fall short of what is right in front of them. The story just might bring to light hope, understanding and your willingness to forgive and start over again.
Things get more heated up as the meetings that the police have revert back to another officer named Veronica and the fact that her dog or canine is missing. A note that Ariel receives reveals who the sender might be as shots are pointed towards Taylor and almost hit her and Mia too. Someone wants her out of the way but who and why? The police feel that Ariel came to Desert Valley and brought her past and her trouble along with her but some would like her to leave and it is implied that killer might be someone on the force right there in plain sight.
Things take another turn as someone is arrested for shooting at Ariel, Mia and Tristan but there is no evidence that this person had anything to do with the fire. Evidence about her husband comes to light and his history of setting fires to buildings for the insurance money is now out in the open and Ariel needs to wonder if he is alive or dead. Added in she seems to be bonding with Mia who has decided to break off her friendship with Jenny but the secret she is keeping weighs heavily on her and has yet to be revealed while Ariel reveals hers. With Tristan sidetracked to find the arsonist and killer Mia hopes that Ariel will listen to her side and maybe more of a bond will form as she responds to her as a tutor too. Things get even tenser as Tristan brings Mia into the station for something he found in her backpack that fell out and she claims no knowledge of it or where it came from. Added in Ariel and Tristan realize that someone out there still wants her dead, wants and rid of her unborn child because the DNA of that child might let people know something about the killer that he/she would prefer kept silent.
With Jesse his trusted K-9 dog at his side and the fact that what was found was linked to the murder of Veronica a former K-9 officer and her dog is still missing, things take a dramatic turn for the worse as the author allows readers and Tristan to piece together the pieces of this intricate puzzle hoping that they fit together and the face of the killer will appear. One simple clue and the truth comes out as Jenny learns a hard lesson and Mia what happens when she tells on her friend. Sometimes when someone is going to do something wrong or has done something wrong it is a moral issue whether to tell on a good friend. The story is about forgiveness, understanding, educating the young and teaching one K-9 officer to be more tolerant, back off at times and accept the help and advice of others as Ariel needs to do too. But, when one simple clue comes to light and the killer of not only Veronica and two others is revealed you won’t believe who has been hiding in plain sight but why?
Secrets and Lies often create more than friction and can rip people apart. Just who killed the two rookies, Veronica and Ryder’s wife you won’t believe the explosive ending as a small town has to recover from what one person they trusted did. Who was after Ariel? What is her final decision about Tristan? The ending will let readers know that the author has not quite finished with the people of Desert Valley.
Sometimes what is right in front of you is not always what you see. Friendships are tested. Patience needed and two adults and two teenage girls just might learn the true meaning of love and faith and friendship.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine