Truth or Lies is the third in Kylie Brant’s “Tremaine Tradition” miniseries, featuring the wealthy Tremaine family of New Orleans. This book continues to maintain the high standards Brant established in her other novels. The novels are compelling for the depth of the characters as well as the precarious situations they find themselves in.
Detective Cade Tremaine works the Vice Squad on the New Orleans Police Department. One night, Cade and his partner Brian meet with Brian’s snitch and both are unexpectedly shot. Brian does not survive and Cade is back to work much too soon in pursuit of the killer.
In the course of his search Cade encounters Jon LeFrenz, sleazy aspiring mid level drug dealer. One small gun battle later finds LeFrenz hurt and Cade guarding him in the emergency room of Charity Hospital where Cade meets Shae ORiley, trauma physician.
LeFrenz immediately lusts after Shae, and Cade reluctantly follows suit, only to be slightly subtler. Le Frenz later escapes from the hospital, gets in touch with Shae and lets her know that he expects his affections to be returned.
Shae has grown up impoverished, diametrically opposed to Cade’s background. Her father is a charming con artist who has always lived on the run, and her brother is in the penitentiary. It is hard to decide if Shae’s enthusiasm for cops is greater or less than her enthusiasm for her father who has reentered her life trying to get her to help him in his latest swindle.
The plot thickens when Internal Affairs starts investigating Cade’s partner for illicit activity. Shae reluctantly is forced to accept Cade’s protection and the romance begins. Knowing how it will end takes nothing away from the enjoyment of the personalities of Cade and Shae. Bright, independent, and 30+, Shae is used to fending off admirers. Cade is loyal, driven and pretty spoiled when dealing with women.
Brant keeps layering the plot, but doesn’t make it so complex that it becomes tedious to unravel. She introduces the concept of ER physicians and cops being a lot alike because of the urge for the adrenalin highs and makes it work in this story.
In terms of her settings, rather than focus on New Orleans the city she focuses on the ER and the police department, adding authenticity. The conflict between the characters, and the conflict in the resolution of the plot is maintained with equal deftness. Her segues are fluid and her dialogue is in voice for the characters she has created.
Truth or Lies is a worthy addition to “The Tremaine Tradition” which certainly equals her past mini-series, and showcases the evolvement of Kylie Brant as a maturing writer.