Jove, Nov 2002, 5.99, 320 pp.
In 1772 Virginia British Sea Captain Julian Lambert learns that someone murdered his half brother Patrick. As he admires the gravestone carved from expensive marble, Julian knows that an unknown person paid a lot of money for this “tribute”. He orders his solicitor to find him a name even if it means spending the money earned selling his cargo of muskets. Julian tells the solicitor to toss around the name Merlin.
Julian works a double life as an English sea caption who actually spies for the Sons of Liberty. Someone betrays Julian and his contact Catherine Bellmay leading to their capture by the British, but Julian liberates both of them. As they fall in love, Julian seeks to uncover the identity of the individual who betrayed him to the English, but hopes to have a bit more success than he has had with obtaining the name of Patrick's killer beyond a deadly game of chess.
WICKED LIES is an exhilarating pre-Revolutionary War espionage romance that is loaded with so many twists and turns, the audience will read the novel in one sitting to see where Laura Renken guides them next. Julian, resembling Harry Birch of James Fenimore Cooper's classic The Spy, risks everything for love, honor, and duty while Catherine is an intrepid heroine. 1770s tidbits provide the extra spice to a strong tale that proves Ms. Renken, though obviously comfortable with the sea, is a fine landlubber of an author as well.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner