Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

The Masked Truth
by Kelley Armstrong
Read: October 7 - 18, 2015
October 13, 2015 by Doubleday Canada
Source: BEA
Category: YA, thriller, hostage situation, ptsd, therapy 

In this heart-stopping suspense thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong proves herself to be a master of terror and suspense.

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.

Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

Riley Vasquez has had a difficult year and a half. Her cop father died while on a job, and then months later, the couple Riley was babysitting for was brutally murdered while she was in the house with their child. Now Riley is suffering from PTSD and survivor's guilt, despite being lauded as a hero. This weekend she's agreed to attend a therapy camp with five other teens in a newly renovated warehouse, hoping it will help her overcome some of her "issues." Max Cross is one of the teens also attending a weekend away. He has his own reasons for being at the weekend camp, but completely refuses to share what they are.

During their first meeting at the camp, three masked men take the entire group hostage. The building has no windows and all the exits are sealed shut. Because no one was allowed to bring a phone to the weekend, they have no way to contact anyone. Everything quickly spirals out of control on both sides as the captives panic and the captors go on a killing spree. Riley and Max are determined to find a way out before they're the next victims. 

The Masked Truth does a great job at intensity, and it just increases as the story continues. I did not expect where the plot was going, and I kept freaking out as I encountered another unseen twist. The whole situation was even more terrifying because of Riley and Max's personal issues. Riley's PTSD and Max's diagnosis, as well as all the things the two of them have already experienced, made me even more worried for them. But I was also proud of them for how well they handle the extreme situations they encounter. Max and Riley are forced to rely on each other under very stressful circumstances that just keep increasing, and I love how they support each other unwaveringly throughout this book. 

Amidst all the crazy happening, a romance slowly blooms between Riley and Max. I think the author did a great job balancing it within the thriller plot. It doesn't overtake what's going on, but compliments it well. And I could totally understand how these two people brought together under extreme circumstances, who already feel broken from their pasts, could come to rely on each other. I wanted so much for both of them to be okay.

Small hesitation - This is something that will likely not bother most people (possible spoiler)

This was the first book by Kelley Armstrong that I've read and it's made me an immediate fan. I'm not sure if edge-of-your-seat thrillers are her regular genre, but this was excellent! I would definitely recommend The Masked Truth! 

Love Triangle Factor: None 
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone 


  1. Yaaay :D Gorgeous review Lauren. <3 I'm so glad you liked this book a lot. But oh, I have heard so much good about it.. now I must order it. Hmph. Little room left. But I hope I will end up loving it too :D I want to, so badly. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it sweetie. <3 It sounds oh so awesome.

  2. I really enjoyed Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy back in the day when YA trilogies were my cup of tea. It's quite good, though, compared to others out there and it's relatively unique in a realm of solely vampire/werewolf paranormal series since it's about a necromancer and the host of characters experiences a ton of growth, the romance is on-point, and there are wonderful female friendships. Going my memories of it, I'd definitely recommend it. :) But I haven't read this novel so I'm glad to see it wound up being a really gripping mystery. Armstrong's adult Omens series was really well-written, but the second book didn't quite live up to the first one (though I'm hoping Book 3 jumps back and the second one was just a fluke...maybe) but I'm definitely excited to pick this one up. Thanks for such a thorough review, Lauren! :)

  3. I've been meaning to pick up a book by Armstrong for sometime, but I've never really been in the right mood for them, but this book sounds right up my alley. I do like the sound of how intense Armstrong makes the scenes come across and how well she makes the relationship between Riley and Max work, I will certainly be adding this book to my tbr, thank you for putting it on my radar! :)

  4. I enjoyed this one too, it was definitely intense. And the thing that bothered you, there were a few things that were quite implausible to me in addition to that, but I just went with it. Max, loved him, just wanted to give that boy a hug! ~Pam

  5. The snacks here had a smooth taste with a bit of cheese and lime juice. To start, we got pork rinds at the best halloween party nyc there; they were really flavorful with a spicy kick and smooth taste. Plus, it was a large fresh bag too, place is worth the price.


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