Everybody Lies A.D Garrett

Everyone Lies A. D. Garrett

Well I seem to have spent most of 2014 discovering new British authors writing some great crime novels, and it seems that I have left one of the best till last. Amazon suggestions came up trumps when they directed me towards Everyone Lies by A. D. Garrett

This police procedural novel is set in Manchester and the story is based around murders in the sex and drugs industries. If you like gritty, true to life, realistic stories, this is for you. If you don’t like reading about the violence that surrounds the subject then it’s probably best you don’t read this book, but you will be missing out.

From the beginning it is obvious that violence is going to be central to the theme in this book. In some books it’s there for the shock factor, in this one it’s inherent to the tale being told and is used as a tool to describe the viciousness of life within inner city drugs and prostitution trade.

The two main characters DCI Kate Simms and Forensic Practitioner, turned lecturer, Nick Fennimore come together to investigate a spike in drug related deaths and soon uncover a link to the violent deaths of two young prostitutes.

As the investigation progresses and the bodies mount up political, and hierarchical, pressures are put on to DCI  Simms. Her relationship with her colleagues is strained and she increasingly relies on the help of Fennimore. Whilst the story is told it becomes obvious that the two have history and that they have both suffered professionally, and in Fennimore’s case personally, during a previous investigation. Although rules are broken the story remains believable.

The forensics in this book are second to none I have read in a work of fiction, and it came as no surprise to find out that A D Garrett is the pen name of a writing duo; Margaret Murphy a prolific writer of crime novels; and Proffessor Dave Barclay, a Forensic Practitioner/ Lecturer who I cannot help but wonder if the character of Nick Fennimore was at least partially based on.

There are places in the book where it is tough reading not just because of the violence but because of the science. Fennimore is a great believer in applying Bayesian Statistical Analysis, and uses it to build his initial hypothesis, which is great as long as you understand it. Thankfully I do.

Margaret Murphy has a section on her web site where she discusses the use of graphic violence in her novels. I agree with everything she said in the article, and this book is a perfect example of her reasoning. The violence is there. Is it graphic, in my opinion yes but not shocking. She describes violent actions which people would rather not accept are happening, they are. Without those passages in this book it would have been just another crime novel.

So we have a collaboration between a no-holds-barred novelist, with an up to date Forensic Practitioner. What’s not to like.

The second book in the series is already on my Kindle and hopefully it won’t be the lasteveryone-lies-200px

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Killing for Keeps Mari Hannah

Killing for Keeps    Mari Hannah

Earlier this year I wrote a blog about the first four books in The DCI Kate Daniels series written by Mari Hannah. I said then that she was the best British Crime Writer I had read; this latest book confirms her place at the top of my reading list.

Killing for Keeps starts with a violent assault quickly followed by a gruesome murder. I wrote about Deadly Deceit that there was an original story line with one of the murders. In the first murder of this book Mari Hannah takes it up another notch. The description of DCI Daniels and her Crusty Trusty Sergeants arrival at the incident, and the scene they encounter, was so realistic I could imagine it being told by some of my old colleagues around a pub table. Again this murder was original to me in a book of fiction, but so well detailed I cannot believe that it hasn’t happened somewhere and that maybe Hannah has researched it, if not what an imagination.

The story brings back all of the characters in Daniels Team, although in this book they take more of a back seat with Daniels and Gormley taking the majority of the story-line. Along with the established members of Kate’s team and Jo Soulsby, her will-she-won’t-she love interest, we are introduced to a list of criminal characters from some old style “Family” gangs.

The book takes the reader from Newcastle to Scotland and on to Spain. Each destination is described perfectly and is there for a reason, you don’t get unnecessary padding in any of Hannah’s books.

The story is excellent. I was hooked from page one and finished it within 2 days. I will not put any spoilers in this blog which would give the game away but with families involved the plot obviously revolves around revenge, but for what, and by whom exactly. At one point towards the end of the book I actually caught myself not breathing. The suspense gets built up in several places and you fear the worst but when it comes, it comes out of nowhere.

I like to think that I can usually predict the ending of most books but I must have had about half a dozen different guesses at this one before getting to the end and finding out for sure.

What I Like most about Mari Hannah’s writing is that I never have to suspend reality. The subjects she covers are real; the procedures, or sometimes lack of them, are real; the main characters are realistic, as are their strengths and weaknesses; the criminal characters are as realistic as I’ve ever read.

I could happily recommend this book to friends who are in the Police and know that they will enjoy it for its realism as much as me.

I recently found out that Pan MacMillan have Mari Hannah contracted for another two books following this one. Please let it be more, and soon.

It has also been announced that a company has acquired the TV rights. If they stick to the storylines in the books, those programs will be brilliant

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