The Lies That Bind

DarkHorse Trilogy, Book 1

Fiction - Southern
270 Pages
Reviewed on 09/13/2017
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Ed Protzel has written three novels, five original screenplays for feature film, and developed scripts/projects for 20th Century Fox. His antebellum South mystery/thriller, The Lies That Bind (Dec. 2015), was the first published book in his Civil War-era DarkHorse Trilogy. Based on one of his screenplays, it was recognized by Missouri Playwrights Association. Second in the trilogy, Honor Among Outcasts (Feb. 2, 2018), is set in Civil War Missouri, with Book 3, Something in Madness (late-2018), returning South during Reconstruction.

Ed’s most recently novel is The Antiquities Dealer, a futuristic mystery/thriller about a Jewish antiquities gallery owner drawn into a scheme to clone the great minds of history—purportedly beginning with Jesus Christ. Release date tbd.

Ed has a master’s in English Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He and his wife live in St. Louis, where he writes full time.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

The Lies That Bind is a stunning opening in the DarkHorse Trilogy by Ed Protzel, a gripping tale for fans of Southern fiction, and a story of deceit, slavery, and dangerous complicities. The trickster Durksen Hurst returns to Mississippi after being away for a long time and after leaving a very disgraceful legacy. He is broke and he wants to make things better this time around. He finds the opportunity when he discovers a group of slaves hiding in the wilds, hungry and desperately seeking a livelihood. He convinces them to start a plantation with him. But this venture doesn’t come as good news to many people, especially the widow, Mrs. French, and her son, Devereau. Conflict becomes inevitable and it builds up pretty fast with the arrival of the enigmatic Antoinette DuVallier, seeking her missing son. The reader is pulled into a world of deceit, greed, and lies.

Ed Protzel is a gifted storyteller and readers will enjoy the setting he has created for this impassioned story, a world where slavery is a gruesome reality and where the value of human life could be traded for a morsel of bread. The story is conflict-driven and readers will love the protagonist, a man who is motivated and determined to right his wrongs. The pacing is great and the narrative voice is light and friendly, coming across compellingly through the tight and well-crafted prose. The Lies That Bind features very powerful themes masterfully written into the story, like slavery, family, and what it took to survive in the harsh world of the racial South in the 1850s. The historical elements of the story are strong and the reader’s imagination is filled with vivid images from the lyrical writing.

Ed Protzel

I'm thrilled that Readers' Favorite enjoyed and got so much out of my novel, The Lies That Bind! The themes are many and the plot twists weave throughout. The tale continues in book 2, Honor Among Outcasts, soon to be released. Learn more at