The first installment of the new Carter Mays
mystery series by Alan Cupp, WHEN
LIES CRUMBLE introduces us to a seamy underbelly of
Chicago's upper middle
class and the private investigator who uncovers it.
When Cindy Bedford's fiancé disappears on their wedding
day, she's crushed.
But Tyler Moore has left with more than Cindy's heart. Her
real estate developer Jasper Bedford, soon discovers that
Tyler has also stolen
close to seven million from his company. Jasper, who isn't
quite the concerned
father figure he appears, immediately deploys his
"security" team of unsavory
characters to find Tyler and punish him.
Eager to prove Tyler's innocence, Cindy goes behind her
father's back and hires
private investigator Carter Mays, formerly of the Chicago
PD, to find her
erstwhile fiancé. Mays warns Cindy to be prepared for any
knowing that his investigation will reveal much more than
a case of cold feet.
What, for example, is a successful businessman doing with
a hired gang of
thugs with criminal records?
As Mays discovers the answer to this and other questions
the impressive façade
of the successful, beautiful Bedford family starts to --
yes -- crumble. But what
does Tyler have to do with all of this? His reappearance
in the story hastens an
exciting climax that finally reveals who, exactly, is
fighting whom in this
deceptively benign world of Chicago real estate.
An examination of greed, its excesses and prices, WHEN
LIES CRUMBLE makes
the point that human relationships, not money or status,
are valuable. Fittingly,
human relationships abound: new loves, old loves,
forbidden loves, ruined
loves, and violent loves. Carter Mays, our house-
restoring, dog-loving private
eye, is the especial beneficiary of the love fest. In the
course of his weeklong
investigation he scores dates with three beautiful women.
The lack of a physical
description of Mays and his stilted dialogue make their
attentions suspect. A bit
more development of Mays' character would help explain
just why every eligible
bachelorette he encounters throws herself at him.
What the story lacks in characterization it more than
makes up for in plot.
Theft, arson, breaking and entering, a frame job, and
murder all lead up to a
final denouement that is fast-paced and unexpected. Cupp's
storytelling skill is
sure to serve him well when he returns to Carter
Mays for the second installment
in the series.
Chicago PI Carter Mays is thrust into a house of lies when
local rich girl Cindy Bedford hires him. Turns out her
fiancé failed to show up on their wedding day, the same
millions of dollars are stolen from her father's company.
While Carter takes the case, Cindy's father tries to find
him his own way. With nasty secrets, hidden finances, and
trail of revenge, it's soon apparent no one is who they
Carter searches for the truth, but the situation grows
volatile as panic collides with vulnerability. Broken
relationships and blurred loyalties turn deadly, fueled by
past offenses and present vendettas in a quest to reveal
truth behind the lies before no one, including Carter,