Despite what Goodreads says, I did read Picture of Lies by C.C. Harrison. For some reason this book isn't listed there. But I digress. I leaped at the chance to read this one because it was a mystery. I'm a sucker for a good mystery. This one had what I thought were good elements. Missing children and the desperate families who try to find them.
Keegan Thomas has made a career of writing about the families of kidnapped children. Keegan has a unique understanding of these families. Her own daughter Daisy was kidnapped two years ago. Keegan doesn't see how immersing herself in this work is destroying her personal life. Writing about these children has become Keegan's life and reason for being. When she finally decides to take a break, Keegan is drawn back in. Everything she's trying to runaway from follows Keegan.
The discovery of an old photo of Keegan's grandfather leads her to Monument Valley in the heart of the Navajo Reservation. With the photo, Keegan thinks she has a nice light-hearted story on her hands. Her doctor grandfather, some children and other adults smiling against the backdrop of Monument Valley. What could be the harm in asking a few questions. The picture seems benign, but a wall goes up the instant Keegan starts asking questions. The people on the reservation stick together. The white woman in town asking questions isn't worth their time. A young girl in the picture was taken by missionaries, allegedly to a school off the reservation. To those in town, Keegan is just like those missionaries -- a white person trying to mess things up.
Their are few friends in town for Keegan, except for Jilly a local teacher. Jilly's family is at the heart of the picture, but some of them are reluctant to help. When they do help the results are deadly. Keegan's own life is put in jeopardy during the investigation. Dante, a mysterious archaeologist, at first treats Keegan like she has the plague. But eventually friendship and love grows between them.
As a character, Keegan is resourceful and confident. Despite the challenges thrown at her, Keegan keeps going. If she can find this lost Navajo girl, it can bring Keegan closure in her own life. Overall, I felt there were too many moving parts in this book. Too many elements. The town doesn't like Keegan, several people (too many in my opinion) are involved in the cover up, Dante has his own past that he's running from and the kidnapping of Keegan's daughter. I just felt like there was too much going to make this one standout for me.
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book from the author C.C. Harrison as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours.