I was sent this book in return for an honest review. Its my first Rebecca Muddiman novel.
From the blurb:
What would you do to protect your family?
Tell a lie?
Break the law?
Or solve the problem… for good?
The body in Lauren James’s back garden belongs to her ex-boyfriend, Ritchie. DI Gardner thinks it’s an open-and-shut case. But he reckoned without the interference of Lauren’s father, local businessman and aspiring politician Walter James. And he couldn’t know about the secrets that everyone involved wants to hide.
When a murder touches so many lives, not even the cops are immune from the consequences. In the end you must decide what you can live with: a loving lie or the deadly truth?
I believe this is the third book in the series about Detective Inspector Gardner and Detective Sergeant Nicola Freeman. The police officers are investigating different matters which end up becoming intertwined. They have had interactions in the previous books.
DI Michael Gardner is investigating the murder of Ritchie Donoghue, a low level drug dealer and ex-boyfriend of Lauren James. Lauren is the daughter of Walter James, a business bigwig and aspiring politician. He’s also well dodgy. In the prwviius books its seems that James was set up as an untouchable master criminal with friends in high places, including DI Gardner’s boss. Gardner finds his every move blocked as he tries to find the killer and bring them to justice.
At the same time Freeman is wallowing in self pity at being abandoned by her family at Christmas. Her back story is explained a bit- her brother Darren was a bit of a tearaway, was taking drugs and got into trouble. Nicola was joining the police force at the time and decided to inform against him, as she was concerned that he might end up dead and it would affect her career. Her brother went missing after he got out of prison and then went missing, presumed dead. Nicola’s parents blame her.
Then Darren turns up on her doorstep needing help. He’s been acting as a runner for a drug dealer names Healy, and he thinks Darren stole his money. He needs Nicola to request the CCTV footage from a club to prove his innocence, or Healey might break his legs, or worse.
Nicola goes to the club, uses her ID to get access to the CCTV system, reviews the footage, copies it to a USB drive, and then deletes it. The footage proves it wasn’t Darren who stole the money.
Gardner also goes to the club to check the footage, as one of the suspects uses the club as an alibi. He finds out that Freeman deleted the footage. The murde4 and missing money become irreparably intertwined. Gardner finds it difficult to know who is telling the truth, and who is lying. He needs to solve this case before more people start to die…
This was a pretty solid crime thriller/ police procedural novel. I did feel a bit out of the loop in terms of what had happened previously with the characters. There were a few things however that I did not like about the book:
- There were very few physical desctiptions of the characters; I have no idea what Gardner looks like, except that he is in his mid-forties and is fairly fit. physical descriptions. I know that Freeman is short and mid-thirties. That’s the sum total of my knowledge about the main characters appearance.
- There is very little back story about the supporting characters.
- The author uses lots (and lots) of acronyms used by the British police force with no explanation.
- Stupidity – the whole plot is centered around the fact that Freeman deleted the footage, and I have no clue as to why she did that. She’s a police officer, she’d identified herself, it proved her brother’s innocence, there was literally no reason for her to delete it. Whhhhhyyyyyy?
- Speaking of Darren Freeman, the character is an utterly selfish knob. I found myself completely baffled as to why Freeman was backing down to him and her family. I have no patience for stupid people.
So those were my thoughts, let me know if you’ve read any books in this series, and if I’ve missed anything that would explain the things that completely baffled me.
Tell Me Lies is available in paperback from Mulholland Books on 22 September 2016 priced £8.99. I believe you can get the ebook now for £9.99.