Review: The Truth by Jeffry Johnston

Monday, February 8, 2016

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Pages: 240

Summary (from Goodreads):

Lie, torture, kill—there's nothing Chris and Derek wouldn't do for their younger brothers…

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he's trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek's little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris's story won't change. It can't. There is far too much at stake…

Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn't deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother's killer is the only way to the truth, than he'll go to extremes. But Chris's truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

I requested this book because lately I have been enjoying mystery/thriller type books and I thought that this would be an interesting one. I did enjoy this book, but I didn't love it.

Chris and Derek are two seventeen year old boys who are looking out for their younger brothers for different reasons, but both apparently seem to be out of a sense of guilt they have for different reasons.

Chris's father died three years ago on the job as a police officer. He has spent the last three years being a father figure to his younger brother. Which I thought was kind of weird because they have a mom who is mostly present. She works, but she isn't really an absent parent. Their lives all seem to revolve around Devon and his love for baseball. But I found it really weird that Chris's mom basically lets Chris do the parenting to his younger brother rather than doing it herself. He's a seventeen year old high school boy who should be out doing things with his friends rather than spending his free time making sure his brother brushes his teeth before bed. I felt like Devon was really babied by everyone around him and I found it kind of annoying.

Derek is the brother of the boy that Chris shot. He is the one holding Chris hostage in a basement, threatening to snip off his fingers with a garden shears if he doesn't tell the whole truth about what happened the night that his brother was shot. He just wants to know what happened to his brother because he's sure that he didn't deserve to die. They come from a really crappy home life and now that his brother is dead, Derek doesn't really have a lot to lose for holding someone hostage in a basement.

The story is told through then and now chapters. Now being Chris taped to a chair in a basement with Derek threatening him with garden shears and then being what happened the night that everything went down and then everything after that as well. I don't know how I felt about this layout. It's good for seeing what happened then and then going back to how Derek reacts about what Chris says, but at the same time, why does Derek want to make a running commentary on everything that Chris does up until he wakes up in that basement?

There is a minor bit of romance in this book. It's really not important to the story though and it would be pretty much the same story without it.

The twist at the end of this book definitely took me by surprise, but I think that was about the only thing that seemed to surprise me about this book. It was fairly slow. The only interesting things that happen are right at the beginning, learning about the shooting, and right at the end. It kept my interest fairly well, but I wasn't just dying to know what happened.

Overall, this book was a decent thriller, but it didn't really hit the mark for me. I thought the characters were mostly boring and I thought a lot of the story was somewhat pointless. It was a pretty 'meh' read for me. But if you like thriller/mysteries, you might like this book!


  1. Hmmm, a thriller. I don't read many of them, but this one doesn't seem to draw me in. If it wasn't for you, it probably won't be for me! But I'm glad you somewhat enjoyed it, Cyra. :)

    Lovely review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I would pass on this one. It was fairly interesting, but not so interesting that I would recommend it.


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