Review - THE TRUTH WILL OUT, Jane Isaac
In THE TRUTH WILL OUT, author Jane Isaac has created the beginnings of a classic British police procedural series. At the heart of the book is DCI Helen Lavery, a cop leading a team of murder investigators. She's a widow with two teenage sons, living in a shared caring arrangement with her own mother, balancing the difficulties of raising kids with a full-time demanding career. Because of that slightly different angle, Lavery as a widow, there's a slightly different feeling about the personal. The arrangement with her aging mother assisting with the raising of her grandkids, the loss of her husband at a very young age, and the sense of moving on, trying out a new relationship (with a fellow cop), gives her a slightly different perspective. Especially with the new relationship having gone pear-shaped, and suddenly finding herself face to face with him again, competing as it were, over investigation territories.
The concentration is not fully on the personal though. At the heart of the story is the brutal killing of a young woman, with another slightly unusual twist in that the only witness to the attack is her best friend, who sees everything via a Skype call, and then can't work out if she's running from the reality of what happened, or from the killer herself. The twisty nature of Eva's involvement is mirrored by the twisty nature of the possible suspects as well, as the lay down case established by Lavery's ex is picked apart by her team due to their persistence and her failure to believe the easy answer.
The combination of plot and characters are really good, although there are some issues with pace towards the middle of the book. There's a nice sense of realisation that builds throughout the book, with just enough red herrings and doubt sprinkled through to keep the reader guessing, right up to the last few chapters. At that point things do seem to get a little ragged, with some daft decision-making leading to something dangerously close to good old fem-jep. The biggest problem, however, is that the style suddenly flips into "now we'll wrap up the resolution in a few well crafted revelations". Granted there's no living room with all the characters sitting around in a half circle while the great detective espouses their theory. But it was hard to shake that perception.
Early series books, being early series books, there's always something that the dreaded picky reader can nitpick, and to be fair, up until those few minor quibbles at the end, THE TRUTH WILL OUT was working on just about every level. Definitely a series to keep an eye out for, especially if you like a good old British police procedural, with the violence, blood and gore kept to a minimum, and a central detective who doesn't come across as never needing a battery change.
Eva is horrified when she witnesses an attack on her best friend. She calls an ambulance and forces herself to flee Hampton, fearing for her own safety. DCI Helen Lavery leads the investigation into the murder. With no leads, no further witnesses and no sign of forced entry, the murder enquiry begins.
Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle start to come together. But as Helen inches towards solving the case, her past becomes caught up in her present.
Someone is after them both. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want. And as the net starts to close around them, can Helen escape her own demons as well as helping Eva to escape hers?