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review 2017-10-11 07:01
The Trust
The Trust: A Novel (Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart) - Ronald H. Balson

By: Ronald H. Balson 

ISBN: 1250127440

Publisher: St Martin's Press

Publication Date:  9/19/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 4 Stars


International bestselling author, Ronald H. Balson returns with his powerful Liam and Catherine series, following (2016)Carolina’s Twins (#3), (2015) Saving Sophie (#2), and Once We Were Brothers (#1) with THE TRUST — (#4) A riveting murder mystery mixed with history, and dark family secrets, set in Northern Ireland. 

Liam Taggart a private investigator receives the news his uncle has died and gets called away to attend the funeral. His childhood home in Northern Ireland. He has not returned since a family disagreement years ago. 

His life was comfortable now. A routine. His new baby, a happy marriage with Catherine, and a solid investigation practice. However, the one call from his cousin may change things entirely. 

Uncle Fergus. He had feared this day would come and he knew he had to make amends before it did. Now it was too late. They had unfinished sentences. Words left unsaid. They had shared so much to end this way. Now he was gone. 

Their last words, sixteen years earlier. They were never supposed to be the last words. His estranged Irish family. Janie wants him to come and he would rather not.

He had not left under the best of circumstances. He had a falling out with his uncle and returned to America. He was living a lie and got caught. He should not have accepted a posting in Northern Ireland that was bound to end in a betrayal. At the time he was young and he thought it was the right thing to do. 

He was the uncover spy who was going to help bring an end to the war. What he did not realize was that he had chosen to alienate himself from the family he loved.

The job directed him to use his family to spy on the Catholic community. He had done some good. He returned to American in 1999. When his uncle learned he really was and what he had done behind their back. A fraud. He had betrayed his family.

He was with the CIA when he pretended to be working for a whiskey exporter. His family took him in and he conned them. It ended badly. He does not want to attend the funeral and face everyone. He had thought his decision courageous and for the right reasons. 

He decides to return to made amends. He goes alone since Catherine has the baby to look after. A white envelope. His aunt Deirdre found in the mailbox the day Fergus was killed. A photograph. 


“May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.”

They go through his belongings and in his box was a sealed envelope with Liam’s name with a handwritten letter. It mentions in the letter if the cause of his death is suspicious or the result of a homicide, then the person responsible must be identified and brought to justice before his estate is distributed. 

He will be in charged with handling his estate. Executor. His legacy will be in Liam’s hands. “You’re the only one I can trust. My warning to you: be careful and do not trust anyone?" With love, Uncle Fergus

His uncle was proud of him. How he wished they had been close so he could have reached out to him earlier. What was so dangerous that Fergus’s words, “threatens everything I value?” 

Death threats? The inheritance will be postponed until the killer is prosecuted. After everything is paid, the remainder of Mr. Taggart’s estate is left to a testamentary trust. The trustee named is Liam Taggart. 

The trust remains sealed to all but the trustee, pending the occurrence of a certain condition set forth in the instrument. 

Some family members are not happy about this turn of events. Until the son’s killer is caught and prosecuted, no one gets anything. It sits in trust until decided how to be maintained and final distribution.

Did his Uncle know he was going to be murdered? Why didn’t he identify his murderer in the trust? 

Motive? The Taggart connection to the IRA and Fergus must have made a lot of enemies back in the day. An old vendetta? Money was also a strong motivator. 

Who coveted Fergus’s property so strongly that they would kill him for it. The beneficiaries? His two sons, Conor and Riley, seemed well off, but you never know. Robert and Eamon would never have killed their brother for money. Would they? Janie was also a beneficiary. It couldn't be Deirdre. What about Bridget? 

Now, will other family members be in danger? Then the threats. “Payback time Taggarts.”

Old doors are opened and secrets are revealed. 

From the stunning front cover, the first page, to the last. Riveting dark hidden family secrets. A blending of history, suspense, and gripping mystery murder thriller. 

As always Balsom’s books are well-researched, with well-developed characters and infused with intriguing historical events. I enjoyed catching up with Liam and Catherine and learning more about The Troubles, an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century. The conflict was primarily political and nationalistic, fueled by historical events. Unionists and the British government referred to the long-running political violence as a law and order problem of ‘terrorism’.

For fans of intelligent, compelling and intriguing historical suspense thrillers.

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Fred Berman for an engaging performance. 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/05/01/The-Trust
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review 2017-09-30 14:57
The Trust
The Trust: A Novel (Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart) - Ronald H. Balson

Liam Taggert hasn't been back to his home in Ireland for seen years. He became estranged from his family, the aunt and uncle who raised him, feeling betrayed when they found out what his actual job was. It was the time of the Trouble, an intense time, a time when nothing could he counted on and there was danger everywhere. Now married, with a young son, he returns to Ireland, after a phone call from his cousin Janie, informing him his Uncle's had passed. What he finds in Ireland, opens them all to hidden danger, he being informed his uncle was n fact murdered. He himself has been appointed the executor of his Uncle's trust, a trust that cannot be dispensed to the heirs, until the murder is solved.

This one was fantastic, a wonderful mix of history, character and thriller. Who is picking off members of this family? Is it one of the family members, or someone from the past, a revenge motive? Everyone is in danger, and the stress begins to tell on the family. There is much going on here, but it is seamlessly interwoven into the storyline. Interesting characters, family dynamics, and it was quite suspenseful. I have read all but one of this series, and this was by far my favorite. Definitely exceeded my expectations.

ARC from Netgalley.

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review 2017-09-21 20:03
The Trust: A Novel (Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart) - Ronald H. Balson

There are so many good things going on in this book. I sped right through it. Not only was there suspense, action, and great plot twists, you also got to learn a little history of the "Troubles" in Ireland.

I went back and forth guessing the suspect so many times I thought I would get dizzy. Always a good thing when you are reading a "Whodunit".

I really grew to like Liam and his family and I was a little sad when it was over.

A great read with action, suspense, great character development, history of Ireland and totally unputdownable.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-09-03 15:28
The Trust
The Trust: A Novel (Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart) - Ronald H. Balson

Being away from Ireland for 16 years had not eased the feelings a few of Liam Taggert's cousins had for him.

Liam had moved to Chicago from Ireland 16 years ago on bad terms, and now that his uncle had been murdered, he returned for the funeral.

What Liam returned to was his being chosen as the Trustee of his uncle's will and a task that was both dangerous for Liam as well as his family.  There were a lot of stipulations set in the last will and testament for distribution of the estate as well as hard feelings because Liam had been out of touch and was now in charge.

Liam now wished he hadn't answered that phone call not more than a week ago.  If he had ignored it, he may not be in the legal predicament he was put in by his uncle nor the danger it was causing the entire family both in Ireland and the United States.

Being Trustee carried a lot of responsibility as well as legalities family members didn't want to understand. The family also couldn't understand why Liam wouldn't break the rules and tell them the details of the last will and testament of Uncle Fergus.

To further complicate things, the Taggert family was getting threats and notes indicating payback time. No one was sure who was murdering members of the Taggert family, but forty years of hatred, vengeance, and fighting still ran deep among the Northern Ireland residents.

The Taggert family was an interesting lot, and the murders and family mystery were intriguing.

THE TRUST is beautifully written and so well written that you smoothly move along and become captured in the story line and the characters.

If you enjoy books set in Ireland, mysteries, murders, and family drama, you definitely do not want to miss reading THE TRUST.

I truly enjoyed the book and found it difficult to put down. ‚Äč 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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review 2017-01-01 22:27
KAROLINA'S TWINS by Ronald H. Balson
Karolina's Twins - Ronald H. Balson
Karolina's Twins
Ronald H. Balson
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN:  1250098378 (ISBN13: 9781250098375) 
  I found myself looking forward to picking up this book after putting it down. Balsom does well going between past and present throughout the story. He developed Lena's and Karolina's characters well, and I wanted to be there to help Lena fulfill her promise to Karolina. Balson did not shy away from describing the Ghetto, concentration camps, the risks of being in the underground resistance, and the impact of keeping those events secret from family members. A definite must read recommendation.
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