Caroline Pointer's Reviews > In the Territory of Lies

In the Territory of Lies by Lois Stickell
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's review
Apr 28, 2012

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

I dare you to read the first sentence of Chapter 1 in the book In the Territory of Lies by authors Lois Stickell and Peg Robarchek and not buy the book.

Stickell and Robarchek got me on the hook with the first line, reeled me in with the first chapter, and before I even knew what happened, I was a dusty fish story by the end of their book. Seriously.

In the Territory of Lies, two women are ultimately brought together by genealogy, family history, and the internet. And, oh yeah. A family mystery to solve too.

Interestingly, the internet is the main setting for this book, but it's also a character in the book. And I would go so far as to say it's a literary device. [But only because I need to justify all that time and money to have that English degree hanging above me on my wall as I write this review. ;) ] This novel is uniquely written within emails and online message boards, and the 2 main characters are perfectly flawed as all good main characters should be.

When I began to read a sample of this novel sent to me by Peg Robarchek, one of the authors, I went from curious to laughing to oh-my-gosh-that's-not-so-funny-anymore by the end of the first chapter. I promptly emailed Ms. Robarchek back, and eagerly explained that I was going to buy it and review it, and she offered to send me a review copy, which I patiently waited for [Read: checked the mailbox twice daily.] until it arrived. Once I began reading it, I never stopped until I finished it less than 24 hours of receiving it.

Afterwards, I asked myself why I really clicked with their fabulous book and this is what I came up with:

*The book involves genealogy and family history. [No explanation needed on that one.]
*The book has a mystery to solve. And it does it so very well.
*The characters are raw and real, and that made me empathize with them oh so much more.
*It made me laugh.
*It took 2 very unlikely characters and brought them together.
*It happened on the internet in exactly the same way I've met people online while doing research. [Okay. Almost the same way.]

Speaking of the internet, indeed, it is the main setting in this book. And I mentioned above it's also a character. Although, it's more than both of those, I think. It's a literary device [or could be if more writers used it in this manner]. This book would not be the same written any other way. The use of the internet is an integral part of telling this story. Why? Because times have changed and the internet as a means for communication is becoming more and more prominent. Additionally, this type of communication is done very well, if not in one of the best ways, in the online and genealogy and family history world. Stickell and Robarchek are ingenious for using this device in such a way that many of us could relate to it so well.

There are so many facets of this book that genealogy and family history researchers can relate to that even if you're not really into suspense mystery novels that weave genealogy and family history into their plots with deft finesse, you're going to want to read this 253-paged book of awesomeness.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone.
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