Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pg. 69: Julie Compton's "Tell No Lies"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Julie Compton's Tell No Lies.

About the book, from the publisher:
Jack Hilliard has the perfect life. A family man with two young sons and a supportive wife that he has loved since the day they met, he’s also on the verge of being elected District Attorney of St. Louis. As secure at home as he is in the courtroom, he has plenty to fight for and nothing to hide.

But everything in Jack’s life is not nearly as perfect as it seems, as he learns when he finally admits to being attracted to one of his old friends and colleagues, Jenny Dodson. Jack tries hard to put his feelings for her aside, but his attraction develops into an obsession that he can’t control. What should have been a terrible mistake never to be repeated turns into even more when Jenny is accused of the murder of one of her clients, and Jack is her only alibi. Now Jack’s in the painful and precarious position of being trapped between saving a friend and protecting his family.

Julie Compton’s searing debut novel, Tell No Lies, is as much a whodunit as it is about why--why does Jack Hilliard do what he does, even when it seems he can’t win, why does Jenny Dodson let him, and why is human nature as much about love and conviction as it is about trust and betrayal?
Among the praise for the novel:
Tell No Lies has all the requisites of legal thrillers including courtroom dramas and lawyers' behind the scenes work… Compton proves she has real storytelling skills. Tell No Lies' final twist is as stunning as that classic surprise in Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent.”
Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Compton’s debut is a taut, tense cautionary tale complete with courtroom drama and a surprise ending.”
Kirkus (starred review)

“Readers will like this debut by a practicing attorney for its fluid prose and insight into the legal system.”
Library Journal

Compton's portrait of an idealistic and ambitious prosecutor creates suspense the old-fashioned way: through the relentless unfolding of character and its consequences. As we are swept up in the story, much as Jack himself is, the novel deconstructs any easy moral superiority, challenging readers to place themselves in Jack's shoes and then to say truthfully how-and when-they might act differently.
Alison Hicks, author of
Love: A Story of Images

“[A]n absorbing account of an honourable man gradually yielding to multiple temptations," and "a strong debut from a writer who knows her law, and more importantly, can depict the ebb and flow of relationships, the conflict between love and desire and the irresistible urge to self-destruct of a 'man who has everything'.”
Read an excerpt from Tell No Lies, and learn more about the novel and author at Julie Compton's website and her blog.

Julie Compton practiced law in St. Louis, Missouri, and most recently worked as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Tell No Lies is her first novel.

The Page 69 Test: Tell No Lies.

--Marshal Zeringue