It has been roughly six years since Kate Charles’ last ecclesiastical mystery featuring Anglican cleric Callie Anson. Fans of the series have been waiting and False Tongues is sure to please them.
Readers who have been following Callie Anson journey will be most interested in finding out the latest developments in Callie’s personal life – and they won’t be disappointed. Right from the opening of False Tongues, Callie and her boyfriend Mark Lombardi are center stage. They are planning to spend Easter dinner with Mark’s Italian family – both knowing, but not admitting to each other, that it mightn’t be the best idea.
Shortly after, due to circumstances beyond their control, Callie and Mark are separated for the remainder of the novel. Callie is off to a week-long reunion with her former classmates and Mark finds himself serving as a Family Liaison Officer after a teenage boy is found murdered. These two plots will propel the story forward as Callie and Mark are limited to phone calls to each other.
Callie Anson is not looking forward to Deacon’s Week at Archbishop Temple, but once she finds out that old flame Adam Masters will not be attending, she gives in grudgingly. Of course, Adam decides to show up and Callie is forced to confront his betrayal and find some type of resolution to their relationship.
Meanwhile, the teen’s death is being investigated by Detective Inspector Neville Stewart of the Paddington Green Police precinct. It turns out that the victim, Sebastian Frost, may not have been a very well-liked individual. Their inquiry quickly results in the uncovering of a cyber-bullying ring involving multiple teens. Little do they know, but that is only the first in a string of secrets that will have to be exposed before justice can be found.
False Tongues is the perfect title for this novel. So much of what happens in this book – both in the criminal case and in the clerical settings – relies on what folks say. Secrets and lies abound, but it is the gossip that is the most vicious. Multiple examples of gossip and rumor are used by Kate Charles to show the destructive power innuendo can have – not only on the target, but on the teller.
Kate Charles does a fine job of juggling the various storylines within this novel. It was a nice change of pace to not have all of these threads somehow conveniently blend into one major storyline as so happen in crime fiction. False Tongues is simply a story of several people’s lives over the course of a week. All of them will be changed by the end – and it is just possible that the reader will see the world slightly differently before it is all over as well.
Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.