After reading Carol Cox’s new releases from the past two summers, I was excited to read her 2014 publication from Bethany House, entitled Truth Be Told. Similarly set in Arizona in the late 1800s, Ms. Cox’s newest novel revolves around the interesting – and clearly very accurate to history – elements of small-town newspaper publication. Although the story begins at a leisurely pace, it continues to pick up speed until the climax when, well, let’s just say I do not recommend reading this portion just before turning out the lights and going to sleep…
Amelia Wagner, Ben Stone, and a host of secondary cast members bring Truth Be Told and the town of Granite Springs to life. Although the characters do not light up the imagination with their vividness or real-to-life essence, they successfully cause you to at least care what happens to them. Although readers may feel Amelia is hard to warm up to, and Ben should open his eyes and stop being so naive, by the end of the story we are glad for their happy ending. On the negative side, one secondary character is especially creepy in his highly improper actions and words – this may cause a few scenes to be uncomfortable for conservative readers.
The interwoven storyline – complete with land disputes, investments-gone-bad, and murderous connivers – is intriguing and well laid out, but the numerous problems seem hazily resolved. If readers do not understand the various operations that comprise vital details of the story – such as hydraulic mining – they may finish the book feeling slightly left in the dark, just as I did.
Overall, Truth Be Told is an enjoyable novel that will transport your imagination to a time when newspaper print was entirely set by hand, and communicating truth was the highest priority of a reporter. These elements combine to form some of the best portions of the story, pointing to the higher truths of God’s kingdom. Although Truth Be Told may not leave a life-changing imprint in your mind, it is still worth reading. It supports the ideal of searching, finding, and living truth, no matter what the cost – and as we all know, the world is in need of as much truth as we can add to it.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”