Black Sheep Review
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In the 2012 re-release of her best-selling thriller, Blind Faith, author C. J. Lyons set up a new series, promising to follow FBI Special Agent Caitlyn Tierney on her typically unconventional cases. Now, in the follow-up, Black Sheep, Tierney sets out to solve the case that started it all.

Black Sheep follows Tierney back to North Carolinaóto the small hometown that she hasnít even visited in the 26 years since her fatherís suicide. Caitlynís father was a no-nonsense copóand his dedication to his job inspired Caitlyn to become an FBI agent. So when his best friend, Eli Hale, reaches out to Caitlyn, asking her to find his missing daughter while promising information about her fatherís death, she packs her bags, leaving an unstable job and the man who loves her behind.

Caitlyn expects her stay to be brief and mostly uneventful, but when her meeting with Eli takes an unexpected turn, she finds herself faced with old wounds and a deadly new threat.

In Blind Faith, Caitlyn Tierney was little more than an intriguing background characteróbut, in Black Sheep, sheís transformed into the kind of heroine that readers will be eager to follow from one case to the next. The flawed crime-fighter who doesnít play by the rules isnít exactly a unique character, but Lyons makes Caitlyn stronger and more memorable than the average hero by writing her story with a feminine touch. Thatís not to say that Caitlyn is a girly-girl who frets about chipping a nail or breaking a heel while chasing down the bad guys. On the contrary, sheís as tough as they comeóbut her story has the kind of personal touches that help readers connect to the character.

Still, Black Sheep is more than just a character-driven family drama. Itís mysterious and suspenseful, with a number of attention-grabbing storylines running through each otherófrom Caitlynís fatherís death and the murder that started it all to the search for Eliís missing daughter. Meanwhile, a band of bikers waits in the background, ready to do their leaderís biddingóand one in particular takes a special interest in Caitlyn and her case. And itís all set against a marvelously rustic mountain backdrop, lit by just the occasional flash and sparkle from the nearby Indian casino.

Really, the only aspect of the story that doesnít work involves a group of rescued zoo animals. The creatures have taken up residence with one of the characters, and they tend to pop up at convenient times to manipulate the story in the strangest and most contrived of ways.

Overall, though, Black Sheep is a captivating crime thriller with just the right amount of heartóand its strong yet vulnerable main character is sure to have readers coming back for more.

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