Liars Candle by August Thomas


Reminiscent of the work of John le Carre and Olen Steinhauser, this brilliant debut novel features a young State Department intern on the run in Turkey, trying to outwit and outmaneuver everyone from the Turkish president to Islamic extremists to the CIA.

Penny Kessler, a young intern at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, wakes up in a hospital on the morning of July 5 to find herself at the center of an international crisis. The day before, the Embassy had been the target of a devastating terrorist attack that killed hundreds of Penny’s friends and colleagues. Not only has a photograph of Penny emerging from the rubble become the defining image of the event (#TheGirlwiththeFlag), but for reasons she doesn’t understand, her bosses believe she’s a crucial witness.

Suddenly, everyone is desperately interested in what Penny knows. But what does she know? And who can she trust? As she struggles to piece together her memories of the event, she discovers that Zach Robson, the young diplomat she’s been attracted to all summer, went missing during the attack. Now his boss at the CIA, Christina Ekdahl, wants people to believe that Zach was a traitor. Only one person knows he’s innocent: Penny. And Christina will do anything to silence her.

Racing to keep from being killed and to uncover the truth, Penny reluctantly partners with Connor Beauregard, a rookie CIA officer on his first overseas assignment. But the two won’t survive unless they can trust each other and keep their wits about them. From the first page to the last this is a white-knuckle ride.


Set in the unique place of Turkey, this book starts with a bang. A bomb explodes at the U.S. embassy party, killing hundreds of people. One of the survivors is a young intern, Penny. Penny wakes up in the hospital after the bombing with very few memories of the event. The photograph of her emerging from the rubble sends her on the ride of her life. What does she know?

The setting of the embassy in Turkey is really what first interested me about this story. This unusual place, customs and people added so much to the saga. But, the character development in the tale is really weak. I had no connection whatsoever to any of them. Christina, the boss of the CIA, is the worst. To me…and this is my opinion, she is not the force she should be.

The intrigue and the location is what kept me reading. It is a wild ride and action packed. With many plot twists and conspiracies you never know what spin will be next.

This novel is not due for release until April. Forgive the early review. Plus, I usually do not say much about the price of an ebook…but $12.99 for this one….I would wait for a sale.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble



About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 4 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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