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Hard Truth (Truth #2; John Mancini #8)
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Hard Truth

(Truth #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,542 ratings  ·  77 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes a novel of sexy romantic suspense for fans of Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, and Karen Robards.


Two children who mysteriously disappeared twenty-one years ago are the last thing on Lorna Temple’s mind when she returns to her Pennsylvania hometown to sell the old family property
Paperback, 377 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Ballantine Books
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,542 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Dotti Elrick
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the "Truth" series. I had previously read Mariah Stewarts "Dead" series and I'm discovering that even though all the books can be read as stand alone novels, she continues to put in little snippets from earlier books and bringing back former characters. I enjoy that aspect of her books.
As a child, Lorna Stiles' best friend, Melinda Eagan goes missing the night of her ninth birthday. There are no clues, no witnesses, she just vanished without a trace. Most of the peopl
Purple Iris
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
2.5. Nothing great and the last few pages feel like they were written when the author realized one of the mysteries hadn't been solved yet and she had to invent something to resolve it.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Lorna goes home to a small town where she grew up to sell the family farm and carry out her mothers wishes. Bodies start turning up on the family farm and Lorna has a lot of questions about what's going on. She hires a PI to help her investigate. Great story that answers all the readers questions.
Tracy Stackhouse
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book Ms. StewartStands Alone

In this book , Miss Stewart has an entirely different cast of characters from the others in this series . She introduces a new voice as narrative , a civilian rather than a law-enforcement officer and a new locale. Equally as good as her
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-2000
This was a decent mystery and the characters worked well together. The focus was more on the suspense than the romance, but I preferred the way it was handled. It felt more real. The plot moved at a decent pace and it kept my interest. I would recommend it as a quick "beach read".
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I would give this one a 3 1/2 star if it existed. Moved quickly, held my interest, light reading for an air travel trip or Summer reading.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
River Benson
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jan-19
Again, a compelling mystery, but the romance in this felt less pasted on than in the first of the Truth series. cw for child abuse
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun mystery novel filled with twists and turns. A quick read for snow days. I love how the author stays so true to Chesapeake Bay area with details.
Caralyn Rubli
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good , even if I figured out who dunnit. I kind of wish it was a little longer, I felt we needed to know the characters better and also what was going on with the site and police.
Ada Iaboni
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This one too, should get 3.5 stars.
Another well done story that also goes back many years. Well done too!
And, I liked that several of the characters continue to the next story.
Kathleen Hagen
Hard Truth, by Mariah Stewart. B-plus.
Produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

Lorna Temple has arrived at her childhood home after her grandmother’s death to sell the house and distribute the belongings between herself and her siblings. But, no sooner does she arrive at the house than there is a chilling discovery on land that used to be part of her family’s farm. They find the bones of several bodies, all teenage boys. This brings into Lorna’s memory her childhood when her fri
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Much better than Cold Truth the romance was more obvious because the characters showed more affection for each other throughout the book rather than just at the very end and actually got to know each other. Also, I felt it benefited by focusing more solely on the two main characters, with Reagan and Mitch being simply side notes instead of another set of characters vying for attention; it gave the story more time for the character/relationship development that was abbreviated in Cold Truth. Howe ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars
While this was a decently enjoyable way to spend a few hours i'm not really anymore impressed by this one than the one immediately preceding it. In this one we are given an actual suspect but its too little too late and you don't really get hints to the real killer. You also don't get hints to the secondary mystery that's totally separate from the real plot (and seems rather pointless honestly) and is magically solved by an offhand comment that meant something only to the heroine i thin
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book also started out a little slow, but by the time I get to this one, I was looking for it to be a little slow at the beginning. She does a good job of character building in the beginning of the novel. The reader really gets to know, Lorna, the main female character. There is a lot going on in the story for Lorna, but she seems to handle it pretty well and she tries to help someone less fortunate than she is. T. J. Dawson is a great character too although his character is a little less de ...more
Mar 24, 2009 rated it liked it
A very good read. I'd read Mariah Stewart's other novels: "Dead Even, Dead Certain, Dead End and Dead Wrong" and found them exciting page turners. This newest "Hard Truth" was equally as captivating.

From back cover:

Two children who mysteriously disappeared twenty-one years ago are the last thing on Lorna Temple's mind when she returns to her Pennsylvania hometown to sell the old family property in the wake of her parents' passing. But instead of memories, the fields where Lorna grew up yield som
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2010 rated it liked it
I plan on reading the next of the series, Dark Truth (third entry). That should express my level of enjoyment of this book. As with Cold Truth (first in series), this is a strong three star, or low four star.

This series has an interesting literary approach. In Cold Truth, the main storyline was carried by Cassandra Reilly and Rick Cisco, with Regan and Mitch as secondary characters. In this one, the main storyline centered on Lorna Stiles and Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Dawson, with (again) Regan and
Melanie Chabrol-
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastico! My father in law introduced it to me since he was reading something else.

2 children who mysteriously disappeared 21 yrs ago is the last thing on Lorna's mind, since her mom died and wanted her ashes to be thrown in certain areas, while she is there and fixing the place up and donating certain things, dead bodies are being found in the back of her old property that was sold a while back.

All those years ago her best friend Melinda disappeared and not one explanation as to where she we
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book due to the "connected to the mysterious disappearance 25 years earlier of..." sentence that ensures I will either take to the register/download. Narrated by Anna Fields, who I think does a first-rate job, it's the story of a two missing children -- one of whose body suddenly turns up as ground is broken for a housing development several acres away from their home. There was small-town baloney (but not enough to make me give up -- THAT is another thing that makes me give up on t ...more
Shannon Clark
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-reviewed-yet
This one kept me guessing and second guessing and guessing....There were quite a few twists all the way to the end which I absolutely love in a mystery. Although I will have to say that I didn't side with the main character in her thinking sometimes-especially when she was practically giving up everything to help an old neighbor defend herself against an accusation. Yes, I know Lorna was doing what her mother would have done if she had still been alive, BUT....

I don't think you'll ever guess the
Sep 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Again, a story that kept me reading for some reason, yet still seemed a little predictable at times and a bit cutesy at other times - cutest in the way that YA lit may seem at times but not up to the level that I would expect a professional mystery writer with the publishing credits that Stewart has. But then afpgain she is the published author and I'm not so what do I know. Plus I keep reading the Truth seties so she obviously did something right. I just may be too used to John Sandford that ot ...more
Jun 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Lorna Temple returns to the family farm in Pennsylvania to settle her recently deceased mother’s affairs. Soon after she returns, a body of a neighbor, buried 20 years ago, is found on land that used to belong to her family. This boy was the brother of Lorna’s old friend who also disappeared many years ago. The mother of the two children is charged with the crime and Lorna feels compelled to hire a private detective, T. J. Lawson, to investigate. It was a fine read, moved along and told an inter ...more
Rachel Tether
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was slow going. I'm not going to lie, I was kind bored. Lol The characters were very developed. This story felt very real.... As in there are no weird gaps In time or unexplained goings-on. The way they interacted with each other was normal, And the story is very believable. It's not a writing style that I'm used to, but the story was good. Still, I don't know if I will read much more from this author.
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Stewart is a spell binding author who can connect a mystery from the past to the present. This novel involves a loss of a friend years earlier that might be tied to the sudden unearthing of mass graves from the same time period. It is filled with questions and slowly releases the answers. I really enjoyed it.
Oct 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the story, held my interest and was not so predictable. There were many that "could have done it". I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development, but still really enjoyed this one and will have to check out more by this author.

Decent read, about a 3, but with the wonderful narration of the late Anna Fields(5), I give this one a 4.
Jun 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
I finished this book purely to discover the killer, because I absolutely could not get attached to the characters, or really the storyline. I felt no chemistry whatsoever between the main characters, and found the write style extremely sloppy and immature. Definitely not a recommended read, and I won't be checking out any of her other novels.
I liked this one, liked how the farm played such an important part in the rest of things. I liked how Lorna teamed up with the PI, the writer, and the FBI guy. What I especially liked was the business the decided to start at the end. I really liked how we learned what happened to Meli at the end and can't fault her for the choice she made.
Karen Syed
Aug 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this installment of the series. Mariah Stewart touches on some tough topics, but her realistic characters and off beat sense of humor keeps the stories from being darkly overwhelming.

HARD TRUTH is a pretty darn good read and I look forward to the next book in the series!
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Mariah Stewart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-six novels and three novellas and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. She is a RITA finalist in romantic suspense and the recipient of the Award of Excellence for contemporary romance, a RIO Award for excellence in women's fiction, and a Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times Magazine. A three-time winner ...more

Other books in the series

Truth (4 books)
  • Cold Truth (Truth #1; John Mancini #7)
  • Dark Truth (Truth #3; John Mancini #9)
  • Final Truth (Truth #4; John Mancini #10)
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