Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Review | The Trust by Ronald Balson

The Trust is a mystery novel from Ronald H. Balson. It's the fourth book in the Liam and Catherine series.

The Trust by Ronald Balson

When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral—a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he’d anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland’s bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus’s estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members?

As his investigation draws Liam farther and farther into the past he has abandoned, he realizes he is forced to reopen doors long ago shut and locked. Now, accepting the appointment as sole trustee of the Fergus Taggart Trust, Liam realizes he has stepped into the center of a firestorm.

This was my first Liam and Catherine book. It's the fourth in the series, but the Trust can definitely be read as a stand alone novel.

I really liked the characters of Liam and Catherine. Their happy marriage/family life was refreshing. I also enjoyed the not-so-happy dynamics between Liam and the family he left behind in Ireland. Liam was shunned from his family 16 years ago after they discovered he was a spy for the CIA. His uncle has now passed away, and Liam must return to the family as the trustee to his uncle's estate.

Liam's uncle basically knew he was going to be murdered, and he set up his trust so that his assets wouldn't be distributed to the family until the murder was solved. Answer me this: why do dead people always leave behind the most vague letter possible? Trust no one. I'm no expert, but I feel pretty strongly that it would help solve a lot of mysteries if they included some details in their departing letters.

Liam - who happens to also be a private investigator - must uphold his uncle's estate wishes (and withhold the estate from the family) while simultaneously working to solve his murder.

While I enjoyed the writing and I was interested in what was happening, I didn't really have a reason to care who the murderer was. I realized during the reveal that I had stopped guessing pretty early on.

In the end, The Trust delivered on its promises and I enjoyed reading it, but it didn't particularly stand out from the crowd.

6/10: Good Read

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. Yeah if you're gonna leave a letter leave some details, right? Sounds like it was decent if not a super gripping read.

    1. Right? You're going through the trouble of writing the letter and all... ;)

  2. Sounds like an interesting read eventhough it didn't really stand out for you. I must admit I haven't heard about this series before.

    1. Yes, it was definitely an interesting read. I think the first one was called Once We Were Brothers.

  3. I've seen this one and was interested in it then learned it was part of a series I hadn't started. Nice you were able to read it despite not reading the other 3 and enjoyed it.

    1. I'm glad I took a chance on it. I can definitely understand opting not to jump in midseries.

  4. Making the leaver of the will vague sounds like a weak plot device. Too bad.


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