Lay Bare the Lie

An ex-con, Nora Dockson pulled herself out of the gutter and became an appeals lawyer. She works only for convicted felons. She’s sure her current client didn’t murder his wife. The jury was misled by testimony from an expert witness who reconstructed the crime based on bloodstain patterns. She’ll prove the so-called expert made leaps of logic incompatible with the latest forensic science.

But a family emergency pulls her away from the case and back to her unsavory roots. Events spiral out of control. Instead of arguing in a courtroom, she’s once again on the dangerous turf of her childhood. And this time she may not escape alive.

Lay Bare the Lie, the sixth and newest Nora Dockson legal thriller, tops all the others in so many ways.  There’s a gripping I-didn’t-see-that-coming plot, the relationships among the continuing characters are evolving, and the descriptions of Oregon and Washington are wonderful. The author is a master at putting you inside a scene so vividly you’d swear you had actually lived through it.   I’ve never been to Pendleton, but I feel I could walk down a street there and recognize everything. Nora, Hunter, and Patty-Jean are true-to-life characters that we’d like to spend more time with.”  (reader review).


After three minutes of wordy exchanges, Nora ended the call.

She pocketed the phone.

Stubbed out her smoke in a second clay pot containing sand instead of flowers.

Channing gave her an inquiring look.

“I heard your end of the conversation. I take it Hunter’s still in Pendleton?”

Nora snorted. “Patty-Jean vanished. Left Hunter high and dry.”

Shaking her head, she added, “Doesn’t surprise me. Like I told Hunter, our mom has a bad habit of disappearing with the first new guy who grabs her attention.”

She sighed. “But Hunter’s worried that something bad happened. Insists she can’t leave Pendleton till she’s sure Patty-Jean is okay.”

Channing gave her a puzzled look. “I gather Hunter wants to call the cops and report Patty-Jean missing. Why’d you tell her not to?”

Nora threw up her hands. “The cops know Patty-Jean too well. And they don’t know Hunter at all. They’ll brush her off. I have to go straighten this out.”

“Are you afraid Patty-Jean won’t come back for Hunter?” Channing asked.

“No, she’ll return today or tomorrow. But not on account of Hunter.”

Stone-faced, Nora folded her arms. “Patty-Jean’s latest roadster has been sitting in the same parking spot at the Snooz Inn since Thursday.”

Channing nodded understanding. “She’ll come back for the car.”

“You bet she will.” Nora’s voice was as harsh as her expression. “Patty-Jean ditched me with Grandma from age five to fifteen. Sold my sister to her adoptive parents minutes after Hunter was born.”

She dropped her arms and her fingers clenched into fists as she spat out her last words. “But Patty-Jean never walked away from a flashy set of wheels.