Saturday, December 23, 2017

Tell me a lie by C.J. Carver

Tell me a lie is the sequel to Spare me the truth, and while you can read it as a stand alone you will enjoy the series more if you read them in order.  This review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you haven't already read Spare me the truth.

Dan Forrester is coming to terms with his new reality, not only is he coming to terms with the fact that he used to be part of MI5, he is also coming to terms with the fact that his wife knew the truth and kept it from him.  Living separate lives while he tries to wrap his head around his new reality, their relationship is already under strain, so when he has to bow out of family time to fly to Russia on a mission for his old boss his wife is less than thrilled.  Going to Russia is risky, because although Dan used to work there he has no memory of that time, and he has no memory of the contact that reached out to him.  In Russia he is far from home, and as a retired spy he doesn't have the same support network as an active member of MI5.

Back home in the United Kingdom Constable Lucy Davies arrives at the scene of a bloody and brutal family slaying - the only survivor is the father, who swears black and blue that he didn't do it.  All the evidence points to him, but something about the case doesn't feel right to Lucy and she feels the urge to investigate further.  When she hears about another family tragedy she finds herself slowly making connections, connections that no one else seems to see, and she finds herself going out on a limb to follow the case.  Walking a fine line between doing her current job and not upsetting her new boss, Lucy will have to use all her skill to try and untangle the truth behind the secrets, half truths, and the lies.

Tell me a lie is an intensely satisfying read, with layers of complexity that keep you guessing what is coming next, and startling twists that keep you hooked and wondering what could possibly come next.  Carver has characters that are easy to connect to, action sequences that are believable and suck you into the story, and the ability to side swipe you with twists that you might or might not see coming (depending on how much attention you are paying).  This is a series that sits firmly in the middle between action/adventure and crime and would appeal to readers of both genre - it would also appeal to anyone who likes the challenge of trying to figure out what is happening before the traditional big reveal.  

When you read as many books as I tend to it takes an author with a strong voice and new ideas to capture and really keep my attention - and I was hooked on both Spare me the truth and Tell me a lie right from the start.  Dan and Lucy are interesting characters that haven't been moulded from clay that has been used by hundreds (if not thousands) of authors before, and the locations have not been done to death either.  The action sequences are well thought out and believable, and the characters react to situations in ways that are all too human.  This series has been a pleasure to read, and I am not waiting (im)patiently for the third book in the series so I can see what happens next!

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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