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Amara Alvarez #1

Collision of Lies

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Three years ago, a collision between a fast-moving freight train and a school bus full of kids led to devastation and grief on an unimaginable scale. But a fresh clue leads San Antonio police detective Amara Alvarez to the unlikely conclusion that one of the children may still be alive. If she's correct, everything law enforcement believes about the accident is a lie.

With time running out, Amara must convince others--and herself--that despite all evidence to the contrary, the boy lives. And she will do everything in her power to bring him home.

A fresh voice in suspense, Tom Threadgill will have you questioning everything as you fly through the pages of this enthralling story.

400 pages, Paperback

First published February 4, 2020

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About the author

Tom Threadgill

7 books285 followers
Tom Threadgill's books have a distinct focus on clean, suspenseful action with strong character development. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). In his downtime, Tom enjoys woodworking, riding his Harley, and chasing the elusive Yard of the Month award. He currently resides with his wife in the Dallas area and can be reached through his website at TomThreadgill.com.

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5 stars
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336 (39%)
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106 (12%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 287 reviews
Profile Image for Natalie Walters.
Author 10 books831 followers
February 8, 2020
Thrilling page turner, the first I've read of Mr. Threadgill's and this author knows how to keep you turning pages well into the night--not to mention leave you carrying this story around with you even when you HAVE to put the book down.

The gripping plot yanked me into a twisting story that had me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the female lead character and found her development authentic. Secondary characters enhanced the storyline with their unique personalities. The story was riveting and well written, like something ripped from a headline. The pacing is so quick that at about the 3/4 mark, the story got a little bogged down with the description/reasoning/explanation behind the action of the plot. It was like going 95mph to 35mph and I have to admit that I might've skimmed over some of the details that I didn't care about to get to what I did care about--the battle, revelation of truth, and conclusion. Even with that jarring speed bump the story was really good and I'm looking forward to reading more books by Mr. Threadgill.

***I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own. ***
Profile Image for Mackey.
1,033 reviews361 followers
February 17, 2021
3.5 rounded up...

Tom Threadgill is a new to me author of suspense/crime fiction bordering on thrillers. His books are well researched and the writing flows brilliantly throughout. Collision of Lies is the first of two (so far?) books in the Amara Alvarez series. Alvaraz is a smart, witty detective based in San Antonio, Texas who begins in property crimes in the first novel and lands in homicide by the second novel.

I read the two books back to back but in reverse order and I think it was a good thing that I did. I seriously like Amara's character as well as that of her "sidekick" Starsky and her "housemate" Larry the lizard. They are great together and I can't say that about too many characters in crime fiction these days. However, I enjoyed the second book more than the first for unknown reasons. Both are great reads. Both have the same characters but I connected more with the second. Regardless, I recommend them both if you like crime fiction. It's interesting to note that according to the author the books have no cursing, no sex and no religion. I didn't even notice while reading the book but looking back on it, he's right. I didn't miss it but I am thankful that he was able to write a "clean" crime book without getting all religious on us. ;)
2,735 reviews1,723 followers
August 27, 2021
Definitely a page-turner. A gritty police procedural that reads like a vintage crime novel. This is a Revell book (Christian publisher) and I was disappointed in the absolute absence of any kind of inspirational thread. I'd peg this as a general market mystery. I was also disappointed with some of the innuendos in the dialogue...very tame for GM but, again, Christian publisher so I went in with higher expectations.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,110 reviews183 followers
February 24, 2020
Three years ago, a school bus full of kids is deliberately driven towards a speeding freight train! Or maybe it was an accident? Or maybe something more? Trust me, these are the questions you will be asking yourself over and over again as you are reading COLLISION OF LIES! The twists and turns will have you holding your breath and not being able to put this amazing story down. Hang on tight people! It is one crazy and emotional rollercoaster of a ride.

Detective Amara Alvarez happens to meet the parents of one of the little boys that died on that bus three years ago. Amara is having breakfast at a diner when she heard The Reyes’ arguing. Marisa Reyes recently received a text from her son, her son who was on that bus and it says Help Me Mom. Now Marisa believes he is still alive! What an intense story COLLISION OF LIES is. Once you start reading, you aren’t going to be able to stop. Even though Amara knows what happened that day and knows it’s a waste of time, she agrees to investigate where the text message came from. Something about this tragedy keeps pulling Amara in even though the case is closed. You aren’t going to believe where this heart pounding story goes!

COLLISION OF LIES is a real page-turner. I couldn’t put it down until I knew what had happened. Fans of psychological mysteries will enjoy this one. COLLISION OF LIES is so well written, that even though it jumps back and forth between the present and the past, it is still easy to follow. It is a suspenseful tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final pages. I highly recommend COLLISION OF LIES!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,523 reviews74 followers
March 5, 2020
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a review.*

Collision Of Lies
By: Tom Threadgill

*REVIEW* ☆☆☆☆☆
I usually don't read any book that references tragedy involving children, and, in this case, a school bus. For some reason, though, I decided to read the first few pages of Collision Of Lies just for the sake of curiosity. That few turned into a few more and then the entire book. Don't get me wrong. There is a horrible tragic event with kids, a school bus and a train, and I found it deeply disturbing. I kept reading because I immediately connected with the realistic relatable characters-the parents, Amara Alvarez, Starsky, etc-and I really wanted to know the outcome of this bizarre mystery. Did one of the children actually survive the accident? Three years have passed, and given the circumstances of the accident, there is no possible way that anyone walked away alive. Almara Alvarez, a detective with San Antonio, is a wonderful character. She is feisty, smart, witty and authentic, and I liked her a lot. Almara accidentally becomes involved in this mystery. She is unbelieving until a couple of odd maybe or maybe not coincidences happen. It's just enough to make anyone, myself included, have enough doubt to earnestly reconsider the validity of the, alleged, truth. Is someone lying, hiding something or covering their tracks? I was totally attached could not put it down with this book. It's so complicated, incomprehensible, crazy mysterious that I just needed the answers. I'm betting you will, too, once you begin this book. Collision Of Lies is a fantastic story, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Profile Image for Loraine.
2,884 reviews
February 24, 2020
This new-to-me author definitely wrote a suspense-filled novel that I won't soon forget, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Three years ago there was a train-school bus collison in a small Texas town that left all of those involved dead. Now Marisa Reyes has received a cryptic text that says "Help me Mom." from her dead son. Burglary officer, Amara Alvarez, hears Marisa crying and arguing with her husband when Amara stops at her local breakfast diner. Little does Amara know that this incident will lead her into a murder investigation that becomes stranger and stranger.

This novel had so many twists and turns involving forensics, burials, exhumations, and continuing into Mexico. But I loved every second of it. Threadgill's criminal research was excellent in so many different areas. The main characters were realistic and believable. The suspense was constant, and the events very current in their feel. The inter-agency connections to solve this case gave excellent insight into how this works. For those who prefer straight suspense rather than romantic suspense, this book would be perfect.

After finishing, all I could think was that I respect and honor those who serve in homocide, morgues, and forensic analysis for the difficult job they have to do when terror strikes and deaths result.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
Profile Image for Staci.
1,624 reviews503 followers
February 2, 2020
Three years ago a school bus collided with a freight train. The case has been closed for nearly that long. Like peeling an onion the story unravels layer by layer.

The main character, Amara Alvarez, is a divorced policewoman working property crimes that would rather be in Homicide. She is both realistic and hopeful in her role. The tale begins in a small diner in San Antonio when the grieving parents of one of the children on the school bus cross paths with Officer Alvarez. I was drawn in to the story immediately and invested until the end.

I especially adored Amara's co-worker Wylie. He was a well written and amusing character. I liked Starsky as well, but would have liked him to be a little more unique. Starsky seemed like a younger version of Wylie.

Completely engaging thriller. I look forward to finding this author's backlist. My gratitude to publisher Revell for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
3,167 reviews541 followers
June 25, 2020
Ok beginning and I had hoped it would be worth the time within the middle and ending-considering the repetition factor it managed to pile up. No, not at all. Way too long and with an insufficient epilogue on top of it.

Within this genre and for the period (2015-20) I give this book the most impossible for reality /far-fetched plot AWARD. For all of my reading, and I could take a good guess it would be for anyone else's reading, as well. Plot is worse than a mass space starship kidnapping by aliens.

People just don't talk to each other like this either. Not even if they are repeating the same DNA or other context information for the 5th time to any dopey joke cracking doctor or examiner or whomever happens to get parental or Fed involvement by page 273. Regardless, the redundancy goes round and round the same circles and back again. And the people's dialogue is soap opera smaltzy all the way around everyone of those circles. "You deserve better, baby."

If people ate like Amara too, if they really did- all the time? I would expect their viability would be so nil that they would be in white walls isolation labs for testing too.

Everybody but the baddies who enabled "the crime" is so nice, nice in this that perhaps that's why the dialogue is so phony? Or maybe that's why so many side lines trail off to nowhere land as far as connection to "the case" goes?

No more of these Threadgill for me. Cozy is one thing, this is something else and not in the categories described on the back cover either. I had to give it 2 stars for the introduction of the characters pages up to about 40 or 50. After that- it was 1 star on my scale. I was always expecting some authentic onus- kept going and going- it never occurred. I am shocked to my eyebrows that so many readers gave this 5 stars. And that they say it is "well written". It isn't.
Profile Image for Paula Shreckhise.
1,053 reviews78 followers
January 29, 2020
Wow! Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill is my kind of suspense story.
With a strong main protagonist and a fresh, unique plot, this one captured my interest from page one. It was like watching an excellent police procedural without the usual cursing and questionable private activities of the characters. But it did not lack in any aspect. It was gritty at times, intriguing and kept moving at a good clip. I didn’t want to put it down.
Amara Alvarez is a detective in Property Crimes but longs to transfer to Homicide. By chance, she discovers something interesting about a horrific accent from three years ago. Then, one by one, the clues surface and she can’t help but put them together. The story unfolded in a mesmerizing way and the characters were well developed. A nice contrast to the intensity was the banter in the squad room especially between Amara and her co-workers. The scenes with her pet Iguana were priceless.
A sneak peak into the next book in the series calls for more interesting cases with Detective Amara Alvarez on the job. I’ll be looking up more books by this amazing author.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. I was not obligated to provide a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
Profile Image for Becka.
538 reviews42 followers
July 30, 2021
Why did I wait so long to read this? If you’re looking for a clean, well-written mystery with round characters and a dash of humor, you won’t want to miss Collision of Lies. Threadgill devotes a lot of effort to allowing the reader to get to know his characters. Not just the main character but all of her supporting characters as well, despite the fact that this is definitely a plot driven novel. I would love to see Threadgill write a novel with the medical examiner, Dr. Pritchard, as the main character—he’s great!
Profile Image for Tamara.
617 reviews12 followers
July 26, 2021
Collision of Lies was a compulsive read. I would put it down and then I found an excuse to pick it right back up! Amara Alvarez is a likable main character but also one I found that was uniquely portrayed. She is independent, smart, did I say very likable? Also, can't forget Larry, I'm not a fan of scaling things, but I even liked Larry. The other characters in this book were also interesting, quirky, and very likable. There was always something happening and twists coming out of nowhere. This was a refreshing new read and author for me, and it really hit the spot for me.
Profile Image for Erin Laramore.
579 reviews46 followers
January 30, 2020
What a wild ride this book was! It hooked me in from the very beginning and didn't let up until the end. This is the first book I've read by this author, but it won't be my last. I have all of the Jeremy Winter books on my kindle and getting a small peak at that character in this book, I instantly want to know more - so the Winter series is moving up on my TBR this year. While Mr. Winter makes a guest appearance in this book (I assume it's an "easter egg" for fans of the series), this book is a stand-alone and can be fully appreciated without the knowledge of that character. However, it makes me want more!

This particular novel poses the question - what if the most horrific accident in your city's history ended up not actually being an accident, but an elaborate cover-up for something so much larger? While it took awhile to set the stage for this one, the timing worked well for the story and I was able to take in all of the details. If the plot had moved more quickly, I would have felt lost - like I was missing some of the back-story. The plot line was super intricate though and needed a lot of the smaller details in order to make it work. I REALLY enjoyed the story on this one and also enjoyed the pacing. It completely sucked me in (and I'm up way too late writing this review because I finished it way too late tonight). The characters were well fleshed-out and relatable. I enjoyed the medical examiner's particular quirks and there was a great deal of banter between all of the main characters, which made the dialogue quite enjoyable. I had a few laugh-out-loud moments at those. There was not much of a faith thread (a few prayers for protection, etc.), but the novel was free of foul language, sex scenes and violence, making it acceptable for a Christian publisher. If you read Christian fiction to get a deeply spiritual story-line, I'd pass on this one, but if you read Christian fiction primarily to avoid the garbage of secular fiction, then I'd strongly recommend this one. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good suspense novel.

Special thanks to Mr. Threadgill and Revell Publishers for an advanced copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
Profile Image for Mark.
1,286 reviews23 followers
February 5, 2020
This was a new author to me. He has published a few other books, but not on the Christian market. I have been eager to read his first book on the Christian market, and was not disappointed.

A lot of the suspense novels I read are non-stop action and suspense. Bad guy trying to kill or kidnap someone while the good guys are on the chase. This book was a much slower pace with a lot of investigating and interviewing going on for much of the book. That isn't to say the book was boring. Slow does not equal boring, as this author proved.

The plot for the book is genius. I assumed that the boy in question had not died in the crash that killed so many, but how? And why? The answers to those questions were a long and complicated plot that had be amazed and on the edge of my seat by the time it was all over. I was disappointed in one thing at the end, and asked why the author had to do THAT?!....but it was a great read that I enjoyed very much, and am now wanting to read his other books.

Collision of lies had a lot of different characters, likable, and not so much. Were I a male author, I would have had a male character as the main character, but Threadbill had a female. She did end up being a great character with a great supporting "cast." Though books like these typically have a romance between the two main characters, there really wasn't one in this book. Nor was there really a main male character. The book did sort of lean that way towards the end with a possibility of a romance.....maybe that will happen in the next book.

Also, there was nothing really Christian about the book, though it was clean and curse free, and had a Christian world view. That didn't bother me, just making note of it. This is a book I would recommend, and an author I am interested in reading more of.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
Profile Image for Create With Joy.
685 reviews166 followers
December 25, 2020
There’s nothing more exciting than discovering a new-to-you author who has the power to reel you in from the very first line of their book, but Tom Threadgill has managed to do just that.

From the unimaginable yet all too real opening chapter of Collision Of Lies, suspense lovers will not want to put this this book down!

Collision Of Lies is the first novel in a new series about Detective Amara Alvarez, who we first meet in a diner on her day off. When she’s asked to intervene in what appears to be a domestic dispute, she soon finds herself immersed in an investigation involving the tragic death of a busload of kids that occurred when a freight train collided with their school bus…

If you have a free weekend, set it aside, because once you begin to read Collision Of Lies, you won’t want to stop!

Thrilling, chilling and mesmerizing, Threadgill writes the type of suspense novels I want to read!

This excerpt is taken from the original review that is published on my blog. To read my review in its entirety, please visit Create With Joy.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
2,294 reviews43 followers
February 4, 2020
Hopefully the first in a new series

Detective Amara Alvarez works in the Property Crimes Division for the San Antonio Police Department. Her dream, though, is to be a Homicide detective.

By chance she meets with a grief-stricken couple who supposedly received an email from their son. The only problem is that their son was killed three years ago in a horrific freight train/school bus accident.

Amara is soon looking into this accident and finding out there might be more than meets the eye about what actually happened at that railroad crossing three years ago.

I loved this book. I loved the character of Amara and many of the supporting characters too especially her Property Crimes partner and also the quirky Medical Examiner. Oh, and she's got quite the unusual pet too.

I hope we see more books about this strong female protagonist.

I received this book from Revell Books through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Mike.
162 reviews2 followers
February 11, 2020
Every once in a while, all the elements come together and turn an interesting plot into a great story. Such is the case with Collision of Lies. I was very quickly hooked, and I much enjoyed turning the pages. I could have finished the book several days earlier, but I dragged it out because the story was so enjoyable.

This book is classified as contemporary christian suspense. I can agree with contemporary and suspense, but I didn’t really feel any christian aspect. It certainly wasn’t anti-christian, but I don’t remember reading anything that would push it into that genre. Maybe I just missed it.

Christian or not, Collision of Lies is the best suspense story I’ve read in quite a while. Let me tell you why.

Why I Liked Collision of Lies so Much

Although the story centers around the detectives of a big city police department, I wouldn’t call it a cop story. I like cop stories, but this one had more to it. The story wasn’t about the detectives (and the FBI), yet they were the vehicle that kept the story moving along.

I thought the mix of characters was very good! It is so easy to stereotype detectives and FBI agents in novels, but Threadgill did a commendable job of avoiding that. In a sense, he made the ordinary extraordinary.

For example, detective Amara Alvarez, our protagonist, does commendable work in a somewhat boring job. She’s divorced. Yes, I know this is borderline stereotypical, but the author adds more so the character doesn’t fall into that bucket. Amara has a large family and has dinner with them every Sunday at her mama’s house. But she wants more. She gets more, but in a very roundabout way. Further, she’s the only detective I’ve seen in a story who has a pet iguana at home. If that isn’t unusual enough, even the iguana has a pretty cool personality.

Similarly, Threadgill employs similar devices with the other characters to keep everything original and fresh. I’d dig into it more, but I’d rather you just enjoy it for yourself.

Here’s something else I found unusual - in a good way. The crescendo to the climax actually starts at the end of the first chapter. (That’s the hook.) Most of the rest of the story is specific in getting us to that climax.

Lastly, I thought the ending was quite unusual for a story like this - if there are any other stories like this. I won’t say whether I considered it good or bad. If I piqued your curiosity, you can read the story and form your own opinion.

Technically Speaking

The book I read was not the final copy, so I will not comment on SPAG issues. (Even if I did, I wouldn’t really have anything to write about.)

The pacing was perfectly on point! As I said, the build to the climax starts very early, but the pacing keeps the action in check. This is one of those stories where you might want to skip a few pages ahead to see what happens, but you don’t because you don’t want to miss a thing!

The character arcs are plentiful and very believable. Even some of the minor characters had some pretty good arcs.

The best news, however, is that this is only book one of this series! Whoa! If Tom Threadgill can make the other books in this series just as good, it will easily become one of my favorites!

I very highly recommend this story!
Profile Image for Robin Reynolds.
754 reviews37 followers
February 16, 2020
Another Revell publication that sucked me in practically from the first page and kept me engrossed to the end. Detective Amara Alvarez spends her days investigating property crimes, but her goal is to investigate the real cases - homicides. Through fate, she finds herself embroiled in investigating an old case, where a school bus crashed into a train, killing the driver and several children. The mother of one of those kids is convinced her son is still alive after she receives a text message supposedly from her son. Even when Amara isn't sure there is a case and that it's a waste of time, she's unable to ignore or completely turn away the distraught mother and her husband. She gets more than she bargained for, in a big way.

I admired Amara and her dogged determination. And the other characters were pretty great as well, especially her partner Wiley, and the homicide detective who sort of takes her under his wing, Starsky, although as far as I remember she never found out why everyone calls him Starsky. And then there's her roommate, Larry, an iguana! We didn't spend a lot of time at Amara's home, but I would've like to have more of Larry.

The plot is fast paced, and while there are a lot of characters involved, especially as they get deeper and deeper into reinvestigating the school bus/train incident, I didn't have trouble keeping everyone straight for the most part. Eventually Amara is partnered up with a Texas Ranger, Sara Colby, and I really enjoyed their interactions, not to mention Sara and the ME, who was quite an interesting character – a bit of a know it all but in an amusing, not insufferable way.

Lots of twists and turns - I couldn't predict where the story was going. Some tense scenes towards the end, a very satisfying resolution, all in all a intricately plotted suspense story. While waiting for the next Amara Alvarez book to come out (and hoping it will include lots of Starsky!), I'll have to look for the author's other series featuring FBI Agent Jeremy Winter.
Profile Image for Christian Fiction Addiction.
689 reviews314 followers
February 27, 2020
Alright, all you fans of suspense-infused novels, look no further for your next thrilling journey! "Collision of Lies" is exactly what you have been looking for.

Many of you may be like me and have not yet heard of Tom Threadgill. But I can tell you that by the time I had finished only the first few chapters, I'd already decided that I'd found another author to add to my "must keep" section of my book shelf. The underlying premise of the story is equal parts intriguing and disturbing to contemplate, and I simply couldn't put the book down as Amara seeks to ferret out the truth of what happened all those years ago, revealing layer after layer of deception.

I think what I most love about the story is just how real Amara feels, such that you expect her to just step off the page. Her character has real depth despite this being a suspense novel, and I loved watching her grow over the course of the story as she gains confidence in the role that she is given as a detective. Threadgill has also infused the story with some lighthearted moments that made me laugh, especially those involving the medical examiner. And the ending was satisfying indeed, even if there were a couple of moments that made me question how plausible it would be for things to resolve that way. But after all, I love to read books like this or watch suspenseful movies precisely because the heroes and heroines do the unexpected and win in the end!

I certainly enjoyed "Collision of Lies", and was excited to see that there's already another novel in the works starring the likeable Amara Alvarez. I award this novel a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Profile Image for Lori.
1,652 reviews69 followers
February 23, 2020
A definite first for me by this author! I've never read anything by him before and I think I like him.
In fact, I know I do! This author will give you the ride of a lifetime along with mystery, twists and turns throughout the story.
I loved this action packed story and this is another one that you won't want to put down until you finish and plus, you'll be thinking about the characters long after the book is finished.
This story y'all! Just totally fantastic and a wowzers!
I spent the whole night just to finish it because it was just that good. Yes, I lost some sleep over it but it was well worth the read. Especially if you like suspense!
Amara is a cool detective. I really enjoyed "watching" her in action. I was rooting for her the whole time!
The supporting characters were awesome too!
I hope there's a sequel because I feel that there is more to the story than the author is letting on!
I highly recommend this book because it's just that exciting! There wasn't nothing that I didn't like about the book.
I also just wanted to mention that this story kind of reminded me of the Carroltin bus crash that happened here in Kentucky many years ago. It was a fiery crash and there were some kids that did die in it.
Every now and then it pops up on the news.
It was caused by a drunk driver. It was so sad. I think it happened in the early or mid 80's. I know it was shortly after I moved here to Kentucky.
My thanks to Baker Publishing/Revell. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Em.
128 reviews
February 12, 2020
Imagine that your son has been dead for three years when you receive a text message from an unknown phone number, "Help me, Mom." I know I would move mountains to find out where this message came from and what it might mean for my child.

Imagine now that you are minding your own business when this message and the parents to whom it was sent land squarely in the middle of your peaceful Saturday morning breakfast. Amara Alvarez, property crimes detective for the San Antonio Police Department, just wants to eat her breakfast and do her job well enough to get her transferred to Homicide. But she hopes a quick check of the text will prove to be an accident or a nasty prank. She never expects what unravels from there. Aided by a Texas Ranger, the FBI, a quirky and intelligent SAPD medical examiner, a homicide detective named Starsky, and Larry, her trusted iguana, Amara follows the shreds of evidence to uncover something much larger and more sinister than anyone could imagine.

Tom Threadgill offers up quite a thrilling web of unfolding details in Collision of Lies. This book was hard to put down from the very beginning and held my attention firmly. Amara and her cohorts were very relatable and highly enjoyable. I look forward to the next time we meet Detective Alvarez and Larry in action!

Thank you to the publisher for allowing me a copy of this book to read and review. The opinions stated in this review are my own and are my completely honest assessment.
Profile Image for Kelly.
370 reviews
February 14, 2020
I'm always on the lookout for a decent suspense or thriller novel. But I'm sorry to say, while it certainly was clean of the big three (though it does not have any Christian/faith aspect whatsoever), I was disappointed with the bland new book, Collision of Lies, by Tom Threadgill. This story begins with a bored Property Crimes cop and doesn't ever get much more exciting than that, even when Detective Amara involves herself in a cold case. While some of the characters are likable enough, others are caricatured. (And am I the only one who missed that Dotson is old enough to be Amara's dad?) By mid-book there are police and FBI agents galore who are, like some of the technical dialogue, hard to follow, and random subplots and hints of backstories are forgotten loose ends by book end. The main plot in and of itself feels too plodding and scripted to be suspenseful or compelling—despite a story concept that could be! Moments of action are dull (it's almost as if they're "off-screen"), as are the bad guys. "This isn't like the movies," gently reminds one. And that's putting it lightly.
Profile Image for Wade.
627 reviews10 followers
September 29, 2021
“The dead remained dead. Hope couldn’t change that.”

“It’s what detectives do, right? Keep digging until we get the answer. Maybe not the one we want, but the truth, or at least the truth as we know it at the time.”

“This case could be about to explode.”

This was my first Tom Threadgill novel and it certainly won’t be my last. This is a fantastic police procedural from start to finish with an excellent cast of characters. If you’re looking for a book with non-stop action, then this book is not for you. Instead, it ebbs and flows as main character Amara Alvarez looks for clues and evidence to determine if a fatal train and bus collision was an open or shut case. But the book never ventures into being boring. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. And Tom Threadgill sprinkles the perfect amount of humor in this book. As I read it, it reminded me of reading a Michael Connelly book, which is never a bad thing. I’ve said this before in reviews, but we need more Christian fiction like this. Will definitely read the sequel and more from this author.
Profile Image for Maureen Timerman.
2,752 reviews467 followers
January 19, 2020
Once you turn the pages on this one you are hooked. What a mind this author has, I can’t even imagine the scenario given here, and I don’t really want to! Horrible!
We are given a tough woman detective with the San Antonio police department, she is looking to move to homicide and I don’t she could have foreseen the case she ends up working on.
We get to see banter between these officers, and some chuckles, we eat and travel on stake out, and wonder if all will be there by the end of the story. We also get some very big surprises, so you will soon be page turning and hoping for the best.

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
Profile Image for A.D. Lawrence.
Author 1 book151 followers
January 29, 2020
I really enjoyed this story. Interesting characters. Nice tension throughout. Loved the ending, because in some ways it reminded me of my favorite (possibly the most heartbreaking) episode of Criminal Minds. I won't say which since I don't want to spoil it for you. Now, I want a pet iguana.
I received a free copy from the publisher, but my opinions are completely my own.
Profile Image for Rhonda.
516 reviews9 followers
February 19, 2020
5 Stars: 5/5 Star Rating

Wow! This is the best suspense I have read lately! I just hated to have put this book down to do other things. Housework can wait, can't it?

This book kept me guessing. I didn't know what was going to happen and how things would be resolved and I love a mystery like that!!!

I highly recommend this book!!!

Profile Image for Kelly Bridgewater.
974 reviews35 followers
February 19, 2020
Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill is a new author for me. Before Revell agreed to publish this story, I have never heard of him, but apparently, he has a number of other published books out there. I enjoy how the story follows a female heroine written by a male. This was an unexpected twist. The writing is fabulous. Threadgill really knows how to write a police policedural and make it interesting. I liked how he didn't give Amara the Homicide position just yet. She was a procedural detective, so she did what suspense lovers would call the boring job at the police department. I enjoyed the authentic Spanish phrases thrown in to show the heroines background and community. The mystery was different, and I actually couldn't wait to see how it ended. There lies my problem. The ending. I kept reading to see this climactic moment occur and the explanation for why, but it never came. Amara stands to the side and someone comes back to tell her the threat is over. Readers don't see it or hear it. It happens off-side. I was majorly disappointed in this. Didn't feel right to me. I read a suspense story to see justice served, not hear about it and see the aftermath. I also didn't like that the explanation was guessed at by the officers in the police station, but readers never know for certain this is why this happened. Being an author who has been published in the secular market, I was curious if there were moments that were going to touch the line, but Threadgill never did. It is a clean read with no language or sexual scenes. There is a teaser at the end of the this novel for the next novel, so I'm curious about that story and probably will pick it up too. Overall, Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill was a timely and touching hunt for justice, but the ending fell completely flat for me. If readers are a fan of Janice Cantore or Susan Sleeman, I would recommend picking this novel up.

I received a complimentary copy of Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,013 reviews178 followers
February 8, 2020
This is the first book I have read by this author. After reading this book, I plan to check out more books from this author. This book may be published by a Christian publisher but it is not "preachy". So, anyone who is in the mood for a really good book to read or thrillers should check out this one.

I was caught up in the mystery surrounding the bus crash. It seemed like when one clue would be revealed, it just unraveled about three more questions. The mystery along with the engaging characters and good storyline is what kept my interest. You could say that I was "lost" within the pages of this book. There was not a dull moment to be found.

I do want to point out that I was happy with the ending. I have commented on endings before, There is nothing worse than to read a book only to get to a disappointing ending. That was not the case with this book.
February 12, 2020
With an opening chapter that grabs hold of you and doesn't let go until its very contemplative ending, this book will take you on a ride unlike any other. It's hard for me to believe that my reflections on this story will adequately give it the justice it so deeply deserves. There is so much to unpack, but as with any thriller or mystery, it's best to go into it with as little information as possible in order to feel the complete impact this book has to offer. However, with every ounce of bias I have, let's just say that I was blown away!

"I feel like this whole thing is right there on the fringes. Like some great conspiracy that's got just enough semi-facts to make it plausible, but not enough to make it believable."

Masterfully told, this intricate plot posits the idea that perhaps the most tragic accident the town of Cotulla ever experienced may have in fact been a lie. Three years after those catastrophic events, a victim's family receives an unknown text simply stating "Help me, Mom." What initially begins as a quiet, internal examination into a potentially bad prank gradually unleashes a torrent of law enforcement expertise to unveil an extensive cover up. With immense compassion and the right amount of curiosity, detective Amara Alvarez solidifies her footprint among other great female investigators in the suspense genre. This story is smart, perceptive, riveting, fast paced, and incredibly hard to put down. Short, suspense filled chapters keep the pace moving at breakneck speed and the pages flying!

Readers follow Amara in this spectacular view of the criminal investigation as well as bearing witness in her pursuit towards becoming a homicide detective, a vastly different line of work than her current assignment in property crimes. All along the way, we see how committed she is to her profession and the proficiency she displays that will continue to make her successful. This opportunity to watch the case unfold alongside Amara is captivating to read and will tug at every emotion. There is a sneak peek into the next book of the series, which I CANNOT wait for now! Especially to see more of the ME, Dr. Pritchard, an eccentric individual with an affinity for explaining idioms and developing creative methods to enjoy annoyingly messy snacks. Every character has a personality, and it will be hard not to enjoy every minute of their company.

Though the book is published by a Christian fiction publisher, the story will have you reevaluating any preconceived notions you might have had about that label. In an author interview for a previous post on the blog tour, which you can check out HERE, the author states that while his faith dictates how he will write, it doesn't include a heavy dose of religion: "I'm writing to entertain, not convert, and trying to be true to what I believe." In his hands, the author's deft storytelling has crafted a narrative to rival the more mainstream bestsellers without graphic language, sex, or violence.

This book delivers thrilling suspense and action that keeps coming to the very end and should not be missed!

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing me with a free copy of the book. This is my honest and thoughtful exchange.
Profile Image for Ruthie Jones.
997 reviews45 followers
February 13, 2020
"Power and money. Everybody wants them. But if you've already got them, there's something far more important."

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill will keep you on the edge of your seat, reading at a breakneck speed and hungry for more. The author has certainly mastered the ability of duality in this high-tense drama. Collision of Lies is humorous and serious, slow and fast, expertly mixing the mundane with the thrilling until everything swirls together into a story that is both haunting and exciting. Local cop drama plus international intrigue equals one incredible story.

Detective Amara Alvarez, with the San Antonio Police Department, Property Crimes Division, is ready to transfer to homicide, and the waiting is excruciating. A chance encounter at her favorite diner one morning sets off a chain of events that will test her detective abilities and her resolve to do whatever necessary to unearth the truth on a case that was solved and closed with absolutely no hint at anything more sinister than a suicidal bus driver. Nothing about Collision of Lies is ordinary or stale. The plot is unique, the characters are painted with an extremely colorful brush (including a pet iguana named Larry), and the twists and surprises will keep you riveted. No dramatic irony here because the reader finds out everything bit by bit right along with the main characters.

Even though the clues take their sweet time drifting in, the plot remains thoroughly engaging and fast paced, with a sense of urgency and bewilderment building to a fever pitch. What exactly happened on that fateful day three years ago in Cotulla, Texas, when a freight train slammed into a school bus full of children?

Tom Threadgill delivers a story so outlandish and so intricate that you can't help but fall headlong into it and come up believing that it could all really happen, and on an international stage no less. If that sounds cryptic, then good. Racing through the pages to discover the truth alongside Detective Alvarez and all the others must be experienced and fully appreciated firsthand. The entertainment level is off the charts in Collision of Lies, and great news! This is just book one.

I received a free copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Lisa Johnson.
2,561 reviews35 followers
October 11, 2021
Title: Collision of Lies
Author: Tom Threadgill
Pages: 400
Year: 2020
Publisher: Revell
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Amara Alvarez is a detective in the Property and Crimes Division at the San Antonio Police Department. She wants to be transferred to the Homicide Division, but there are currently no job openings and she hasn’t closed an important case in a month in her own division. While eating breakfast at a local restaurant one Saturday morning, she tries to settle a small domestic argument between a husband and his wife. Their son just sent the mother a text. Amara wonders what’s the big deal about that when she is told that their son has been dead for three years.
Amara’s curiosity pulls her into following up a few strange coincidences brought to her attention by the mother of the boy, knowing there is evidence the boy was killed in a tragic accident and the mother is grasping at straws. As Amara investigates, more and more small details add up to a big cover-up. Who would possibly want to stage such a horrific accident only to conceal another crime? Why? What she is able to uncover leads to the FBI reopening the case. Some of what she discovers points to a mole inside her own department. Can she uncover the culprit before it’s too late or is she destined to dash the hopes of grieving parents?
I thought the balance of tension and humor among Amara and her coworkers played well in the story. The medical examiner was just great! His trying to insert factoids into almost every conversation and eating his Cheetos with chopsticks to avoid the orange powder on his hands was so funny! This story has lots of tension and is a good crime procedural. The tension and need to know how the story ended kept me turning pages until the wee hours of the night. The novel is published by a Christian publisher, but there is no mention of God or faith in the story. I hope that changes in future novels. This is my first time reading this author, but it won’t be the last. I look forward to reading his next novel featuring Detective Alvarez, Network of Deceit.
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
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