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Only the Truth

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  768 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Harkening back to the writing styles and small town settings of the earlier American authors – John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, and Carson McCullers - "Only the Truth" is a psychological mystery with as many twists as the country road leading to the humble home of Billy Ray Hutchins, a lonely uneducated man living in the hills of Arkansas. Life changes little for him from day t ...more
Kindle Edition, 148 pages
Published March 4th 2012 by Pat Brown
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Jun 16, 2012 Rick rated it really liked it
I bought this not knowing for sure what I was getting into. So here's MY spoilers!

Did you see the movie Winter's Bone? Whether you did or not: you get immersed in a world right here in the U.S. that seems totally foreign to you. Great characters that introduce you to ways of thought, lifestyles and depth of feeling that draw you close to them.

Our hero is illiterate and has an outhouse. He is also fiercely loyal and more intuitive than you'd think. He befriends a stranger, based on gut
Billy Ray Hutchins was an illiterate street sweeper who lived just outside of a small town in the hills of Arkansas. One day Billy Ray came upon a young woman near the train tracks, standing there with her suitcase. When he spoke to her, she asked if she could come home with him. So she did. And for 2 years, Billy Ray and "Charlene" lived together. Then a murder occurred and Charlene is the suspect. But even as the evidence mounts up Billy Ray isn't ready to give up on Charlene.

This is a strange
Krisi Keley
Sep 06, 2012 Krisi Keley rated it really liked it
This story of Billy Ray Hutchins, a simple and innocent soul living alone and lonely in the mountains of Arkansas until he meets and falls in love with a mysterious young woman named Charlene, is a very interesting and well-written mystery-suspense that also touches on the deeper subjects of mental illness and abuse. After a chapter or two of getting used to Billy Ray’s slangy first-person narration, I really began to appreciate how well this and the author’s excellent character development enab ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Billy Ray is the narrator of the story. He is uneducated and may suffer from a disability. Parts of his character are not too brright and then attuned becomes to a moment way before others do. Billy takes in a woman who just shows up oneday. They start a relationship and everything is going well until an old man shows up and leaves Charlemagne out of sorts. One night Billy Ray heads to town for cigarettes and candy. Upon his return he finds the old mans house is on fire. Charlene says the old ma ...more
Anita Porterfield
May 18, 2015 Anita Porterfield rated it it was amazing
When Billy Ray happens upon a befuddled little waif with a red suitcase standing by the railroad tracks, he approaches her. The girl’s name is Charlene and she asks Billy Ray if she can go home with him. He picks up her suitcase, takes her hand, and they walk the three miles down Makin Road to Billy Ray’s house.

Except for Big Dog, Billy Ray has no family. He’s lived his entire life in the same house on Makin road. Billy Ray’s daddy died before he was born and his momma shortly after. His aunty m
Sep 01, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
This would have merited four and a half stars except for the ending. Fast wind-up is often a good thing but here it was too brusque and felt unsatisfactory although all the threads were tied up. Not entirely all the threads since, unless I missed something, the riddle of Billy Ray's relationship regarding the photo was not explained at all. The police also seemed a little too eager to accept their own reading of the possible crime scene.
Otherwise a well-written tale with the hero an illiterate b
May 08, 2012 Kayla rated it really liked it
I borrowed this book from Kindle's Owner Library, thinking to read a book outside of my normal genres. And boy did I. This book was, I guess for lack of a better definition, a psychological mystery. The character of Billy Ray in this story is touching. You can't help but to feel for him as he struggles internally with his feelings for others, himself, and mostly "Charlene". This book has so many twists. You don't really know what to make of the character Charlene. It does have at least one unans ...more
Nov 07, 2015 Shelley rated it liked it
I enjoyed this rather quick and easy read.

Billy Ray is a simple minded street sweeper who meets Charlene along a country road and takes her home. They have a nice happy life for two years until someone moves in across the road from them, and ends up dying in a house fire. After the police investigate they realise he was murdered.

Charlene is arrested, and you go on this winding journey where you are not sure whether to love her or hate her. After a lot of twists and turns, Billy Ray goes in sear
Mar 22, 2015 Mali rated it did not like it
What an abominable, sensationalistic car wreck of a book. It begins with Billy Bob, or whatever his name is, finding a lost girl who doesn't speak, and bringing her home as though she were a puppy, and then having sex with her -- but it's not creepy! The author tells us repeatedly that Billy Bob is a good man, and their love is pure; nothing creepy at all!
The murders begin in around chapter 2, with roughly as many bodies piling up as in "And Then There were None." It's hard to keep track of the
Garth Mailman
Sep 11, 2016 Garth Mailman rated it it was amazing
Small town back woods Arkansas. A simple illiterate thirty-something black man who lives alone with his dog and earns a living sweeping the streets of town. A barely speaking young woman comes home with him and makes house for him and warms his bed. Enter the dirty old drunk who moves in across the street and is found murdered after his hovel burns around him.

Told from Billy Ray's uneducated point of view we see local law enforcement and courts at work. Have some sympathy for the court-appointed
Kim Pike
Mar 07, 2013 Kim Pike rated it really liked it
This was a very quick read. The twists and characters kept me interested all the way through.
Apr 30, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok
Only the Truth is the story of Billy Ray Hutchins, an Arkansas man who lives a simple life with his companion, Big Dog, until he meets a vagrant young woman and takes her into his home. Overall, the story is compelling. Narrator and main character Billy Ray's voice is folksy and engaging. Only the Truth definitely has its good moments, but there were a few problems with this book that I found hard to ignore.

The first issue was simply a matter of style: whether other characters in the story are
Aug 01, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing
~* 4.5 Stars *~
A Simple Man, A Complex Mystery, A Great Read

He found her standing by the railroad tracks, a small suitcase at her feet. Billy Ray didn't know who she was. Didn't know how long she'd been there. When he approached her, and she gazed at him quietly, he had no idea what to do with her.

She asked him who he was. She asked him if she could go with him. So Billy Ray took her home.

Even after two years, Billy Ray doesn't quite understand Charlene, but he also doesn't much figure he needs
Aug 16, 2012 Jenna rated it really liked it
We follow along with Billy Ray as he meets Charlene and carries on with a humble little life on the mountain. Content with being a street sweeper and coming home to Charlene and Big Dog, Billy Ray doesn't question any of Charlene's oddness. She does not leave the home and is a bit of a hermit, but Billy Ray is happy and she seems so too, so that is all that matters. As the story progresses, Billy Ray becomes confused by Charlene when she suddenly is even more withdrawn. This is further confounde ...more
Apr 30, 2012 Marti rated it really liked it
I really liked this book a lot. If I could give it 4 1/2 stars, I would do that. It centers around a man, Billy Ray Hutchins, who is determined to find out the truth about the girl he took in no matter what that truth actually entails. She just showed up one day, asked if she could go home with him, and he obliged. They live together happily for a couple of years until an old man moves in across the road from them. The girl suddenly becomes silent and sad and before too long, the old man is burn ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Lori rated it liked it
Quick airplane read that held my attention and kept me awake. Sad to read stories like this where someone gets into serious trouble for being gullible, trusting and genuinely caring for others! With a name like Billy Ray, you know how the story is going to go from the beginning. But GOOD FOR Billy Ray, he kept going over and over the facts and actually helps solve the crime and remove himself from trouble with the law. Billy Ray had the power of positive thinking and determination!
Lee Fielding
Jan 04, 2015 Lee Fielding rated it it was amazing
Love and faith

Billy Ray has a great love for his girl. When she is accused of murder, Billy Ray sets out to find the answer to the mystery of Charlene. Brown developed Billy Ray extremely well. The reader felt sorry for him and cheered for him at each challenge he faced. His gullibility was evident and his ability to see the truth and know the truth earned him respect and help he needed. This is a great read.
Shirley Henning
Jan 02, 2015 Shirley Henning rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book.

I gave it 5 stars because I couldn't put it down. At first I thought it was going to be "hokey" and not entertaining. The more I read the more interested I became. Many twists and turns and had me stumped until the end. The writer is very clever, kept me interested and very entertained with a surprise ending that you will have to find out for yourself------I recommend you do just that.
Jun 18, 2012 Christy rated it really liked it
I really liked this, but I also like Pat Brown. Pat is able the keep her readers captivated and curious. Billy Ray, a poor, illiterate man who stays to himself happens upon a young woman - Charlene and takes her home with him. For two years they live happily until a man moves in next door. Charlene's mood and demeanor change, she pretty much stops talking. Then one day, the old man next door mysteriously dies as his house burns to the ground. Initially, Billy Ray is accused and arrested - that i ...more
Jan 21, 2015 Debra rated it it was ok
Written by an actual profiler, it was... interesting. The plot has so many twists and turns, but I was not surprised by "who-dun-it". The lesson I would take from the story is to never give up on the one you love no matter what. The major draw back is that it has a very abrupt ending. If it had kept the pace in drawing to the conclusion, I would have rated it higher.
Kathy DeShong
Aug 15, 2016 Kathy DeShong rated it really liked it
"Only the Truth" by Pat Brown was a surprisingly good book. It challenged my mind for the entire book. My only suggestion would be to develop a stronger ending. It seemed to identify a particular fact and suddenly to book a most unlikely way. I wish it was possible to give this book a 4.5 stars, because it is better than a for but not as strong as a five.
Jun 09, 2013 Valerie rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I'd like to give this 3 1/2 stars. This is the story about Billy Ray, an illiterate man who leads a simple life with Big Dog. (His character reminded me a lot of Forrest Gump.) One day he comes across a young girl near the train tracks who asks to go home with him. They live together in happiness for a couple of years until an old man moves in across the street, and then trouble and mystery ensues.

It's a compelling read that kept me hooked to the end. However, I had a few issues with the ending
Sep 06, 2014 Marie rated it liked it
I got this free on kindle...I actually enjoyed the simple character Billy Ray's point of view...and I did want to keep reading. However, the ending was wrapped up way too quickly and conveniently. Also, there were a few things in the ending that still made no sense to me whatsoever.
Lesley Ryan
Feb 14, 2014 Lesley Ryan rated it really liked it

interesting twists and turns which engage the reader's attention. Surprise ending but believable. I would have liked more background on the protagonist. Story takes place during current times and probably should be 1980s.
Feb 27, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing
This was a great book of a love story, murders, mysteries, you name it. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something new would happen. The man had such an undying love for the woman. He kept digging for more evidence even when the law gave up. It's a short story and well worth the time to read it.
Huw Thomas
Sep 23, 2012 Huw Thomas rated it liked it
The tale of Sweet Billy Ray and Charlene unfolds in deceptively simple style. There’s a folksy, almost whimsical way in which Billy tells the story of how this mysterious young girl comes into his life.

Then comes the drama and the mystery. It kept me entertained and it’s all told at a nice pace but the characters and their actions don’t quite ring true all the time. I also guessed the ending well before the end and there was an annoying ‘clue’ which was heavily built up in the last third of the
Jul 01, 2013 Yusuf rated it really liked it
This was an interesting novel. Granted it did clean up too nicely, sort of like a police procedural episode, but much more complex in plot and mystery. You will be left guessing until the end and the ride was an exciting and interesting one. One thing that did frustrate me was one of the major subplots went unanswered. I was waiting for an answer for this when it was first mentioned. I thought that maybe it was me who missed something but I did a little research and discovered that the author di ...more
Barbara Venkataraman
May 16, 2014 Barbara Venkataraman rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Told in first person by an uneducated, simple man, the story never hits a false note. It's a mystery, a love story and a slice of life. The protagonist is endearing and I wish he had another story to tell me.
Oct 04, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-free
A very well done mystery with an unusual narrator. The narrator isn't a bright young man, but he is compassionate and tries to do right. The narration is very well done. The writing is proper enough to be comfortable to the reader, but still conveys the character's lower than average intelligence and a believable style of speech. It "sounds" like he is telling his story himself and I could hear it in my head as I read. His emotional struggles in the book are both realistic and touching.

I am not
Shirley Eggleston
Aug 17, 2016 Shirley Eggleston rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book!

This is one of the best books I have read in quite a while! Authentic settings, believable characters and good storylines. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery!
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