The Truth Hurts by Nancy Pickard

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Synopsis

With The Whole Truth and Ring of Truth, award-winning author Nancy Pickard introduced the intrepid Marie Lightfoot, a gutsy and charismatic true-crime writer, and kicked oV a sensational new series that sealed her reputation as one of today's top practitioners of "chilling, fast-paced, and original" thrillers (Detroit Free Press). Now Marie Lightfoot faces an unusually challenging case because this time it's personal -- painfully so, as it concerns the central mystery of her life: her parents' disappearance.
My dear Marie,
Do you give any thought to life after death? They say that when dead people hover around the living, it is because they are stuck at the place where they died. They can't move on. I hope for your sake that doesn't happen to you, Marie, because I don't think you'll want to linger in the place where I will kill you....

When the first E-mail arrives it seems like a joke: A man writes that he loves Marie's work and wants her to collaborate with him by becoming his victim and writing a book about her own murder right up to the moment of her death. If she doesn't cooperate, he promises, he will hurt someone close to her. Marie is merely unsettled until more threatening E-mails arrive and the young children of her lover, State Attorney Franklin DeWeese, become targets of vicious pranks.
Until the police can apprehend her tormentor, Marie has no choice but to play along, following her "co-author's" instructions to write her life story and return to her birthplace, a small town in Alabama. There Marie seeks out a group of the town's most prominent citizens. Forty years ago, they worked clandestinely in the civil rights movement alongside her parents, who disappeared during the explosive summer of 1963. Trying to untangle the divided loyalties, secrets, lies, and misunderstandings that have obscured the truth about her parents, Marie races to unravel the secrets of the past and outwit a killer before she is forced to write her final page.
Filled with rich characterizations, steadily escalating suspense, and a rare depth of emotion, The Truth Hurts draws readers into a mystery that spans the present day and the tense, heartbreaking early days of America's civil rights movement. In a novel as complex and captivating as her inimitable heroine, Nancy Pickard keeps readers guessing until the Wnal page is turned.
 

About Nancy Pickard

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Nancy Pickard is a four-time Edgar Award nominee, most recently for her Ballantine debut, The Virgin of Small Plains. She is the winner of the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, and three Agatha Awards. Her short stories have also won numerous accolades. Pickard has been a national board member of the Mystery Writers of America and president of Sisters in Crime, and she is a member of PEN. She lives in Merriam, Kansas.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published July 2, 2002 by Atria Books. 400 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Marie’s editor, Charlotte Amstell, thinks the book may spend too much energy on the murder ten years ago of pretty Allison Tobias, who was found beaten and smothered the morning after her first night in her first apartment—an apartment upstairs from the one Orbach rented after his release from pr...

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Kirkus Reviews

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An e-mail correspondent calling himself Paulie Barnes tells Marie that he divulged the information the story was based on and announces his plan to kill Marie, threatening to hurt everyone close to her—her assistant Deborah Dancer, her cousin Nathan Montgomery, and Franklin and his children—if sh...

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Publishers Weekly

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Pickard, a popular writer of conventional mysteries, took off on a risky, imaginative tangent, making her protagonist, Marie Lightfoot, an author of true crime books, and alternating Lightfoot's personal story with her work-in-progress.

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Publishers Weekly

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A solution that's obvious to the reader long before Lightfoot discovers it and some repetition undercut the suspense a bit, but Pickard succeeds with the daring Marie Lightfoot, attractive secondary characters, vivid Florida setting, a keen sense of history and a singular plot device.

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News Review.

It takes about five hours to read this book.

Jun 27 2002 | Read Full Review of The Truth Hurts

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