Thursday, 5 May 2016

Spare Me the Truth by C.J. Carver

Spare Me the Truth
By C.J. Carver
Published by Zaffre (7 April 2016)
ISBN: 978-1785760334

Publisher's description
Dan Forrester, piecing his life back together after the tragic death of his son, is approached in a supermarket by a woman who tells him everything he remembers about his life - and his son - is a lie. Grace Reavey, stricken by grief, is accosted at her mother's funeral. The threat is simple: pay the staggering sum her mother allegedly owed, or lose everything. Lucy Davies has been forced from the Met by her own maverick behaviour. Desperate to prove herself in her new rural post, she's on the hunt for a killer - but this is no small town criminal. Plunged into a conspiracy that will test each of them to their limits, these three strangers are brought together in their hunt for the truth, whatever it costs. And as their respective investigations become further and further entwined, it becomes clear that at the centre of this tangled web is a threat more explosive than any of them could have imagined.

My verdict
Spare Me the Truth is a gripping intelligent thriller covering conspiracy theories, spies, action and murder. It packs a lot into its 500+ pages, but certainly doesn't feel like it's a long read, as it's fast paced and well plotted.

It's also highly addictive and a book that you will struggle to put down until you've read the final page. I was gripped from the prologue, and continued to be absorbed throughout. The plot is a fascinating one, especially the theme of memory loss and how memories can be easily manipulated.

Spare Me the Truth is character-led as well as being plot-driven. There's Dan, who has such a mysterious past that he doesn't remember it - and soon discovers that his family can't be trusted to divulge the truth either. Which memories is he suppressing? And will his true memories ever return? There's Grace, a GP who realises her mother was leading a double life - and appears to owe a huge sum of money to some unsavoury people.  And then there's Lucy, a detective searching for a killer, who has her own demons to contend with. These characters'  intertwined threads tie up nicely at the end of the book.

Spare Me the Truth is also well-researched - and it's quite frightening to think about the drugs and technology that's either already out there or at the Research & Development stage. It gives the book a slight science fiction feel too.

This was my first C.J. Carver book, but it certainly won't be my last.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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