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The Perfect Lie    by Dinah McCall order for
Perfect Lie
by Dinah McCall
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Jonah Slade thought he'd chosen the perfect moment to ask socialite Felicity Blaine to marry him. But when she told him she'd changed her mind, that she'd thought it over and decided Jonah wasn't the right man for her after all, he was shocked and hurt. Her next revelation devastated him -- she casually announced that she had aborted their baby. Furious with her and her father (the manipulative Declan Blaine, who always thought his daughter's boyfriend to be beneath her), Jonah turned his back on the Blaines and on California.

For the past fifteen years Jonah has been a top operative with the CIA. His latest assignment had him successfully infiltrate and bring down ruthless South American drug lord, Miguel Calderone. During the ensuing takedown Jonah killed Calderone's beloved eldest son and as Calderone was transported to prison he vowed revenge - 'a son for a son'. Now, while Jonah is winding down from months of undercover work, Felicity's younger sister Macie pays an unexpected visit to reveal shocking news: Felicity has been murdered, her father critically wounded, and Evan, Jonah's son, kidnapped. Jonah is shocked, then furious. What game is Macie playing? He has no son. Felicity made sure of that fifteen years ago. Macie tells him that Felicity lied to him. Hers might have remained theperfect lie if gunmen hadn't stormed the Blaine estate. So far the authorities can't pinpoint a motive other than ransom.

Jonah knows exactly why Evan was taken. Somehow Calderone found out about his son and has taken him to exact his revenge -- an eye for an eye -- a son for a son. Together Jonah and Macie return to California, working closely with the task force assigned to the case. During their days at the estate, they get to know each other all over again. She is no longer the little girl with a huge crush on her older sister's boyfriend. Jonah thoroughly appreciates and approves of the beautiful, loving and caring woman she's become - one who lost everything when she defied Declan Blaine's ruling that Evan never know about his real father. While Jonah tries desperately to find young Evan before it's too late, Calderone makes his own plans. He orchestrates a daring prison escape. Can Jonah and the task force re-capture Calderone and save Evan before the hate-filled drug lord exacts a grisly revenge?

In The Perfect Lie, versatile author Dinah McCall (aka Sharon Sala) keeps the adrenalin pumping in a gritty, action-packed story of a lie with far-reaching consequences. Realistic situations and dialogue, compelling, sympathetic characterizations, and a few nifty twists kick this story into high gear, taking it to a very satisfying and poignant conclusion.

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