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Chris High books reviewed

Front cover of the book, Everone Lies by A D GarrettA D Garrett
Everyone Lies

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: C & R Crime

Language: English
ISBN-10: 1780339798
ISBN-13: 978-1780339795

20 Jun 2013

A dark often brooding thriller, Everyone Lies by A D Garrett – a collaborative by author Margaret Murphy and Forensic Scientist Dave Barclay – marks a welcome return to Crime Fiction novels by one of the genre’s finest exponents.

DCI Kate Simms is on the fast track to nowhere. Five years ago she helped a colleague when she shouldn't have and she's been clawing her way back from a demotion ever since. Professor Nick Fennimore is a failed genetics student, successful gambler, betting agent, crime scene officer, chemistry graduate, toxicology specialist and one-time scientific advisor to the National Crime Faculty. He is the best there is, but ever since his wife and daughter disappeared he's been hiding away in Scotland, working as a forensics lecturer. In Manchester, drug addicts are turning up dead and Simms' superior is only too pleased to hand the problem to her. Then a celebrity dies and the media gets interested. Another overdose victim shows up, but this time the woman has been systematically beaten and all identifying features removed. The evidence doesn't add up; Simms' superiors seem to be obstructing her investigation; and the one person she can't afford to associate with is the one man who can help: Fennimore.

There is a clear and distinct change in style from Murphy’s usual prose style, as the violence held within the pages is unfaltering in its shock value. This is not in any way a criticism, however, as the brutality described mirrors beautifully – if in a nevertheless understated way – the reality of the situation, and beautifully illustrates the fears of the victims.

It is also a fact that, whilst there is a heavy inclusion of science, this never burdens the plot but instead helps to provide a thoughtful insight into the way such investigations are carried out. Think CSI or Silent Witness without the Gucci suits and you’re nearly there. This is gritty stuff, indeed, and Dave Barclay’s part in the writing of the novel demonstrates how the real forensics world operates without going all “text book”.

Yet it is the combination of the delightfully drawn characters, the keen sense of place and a plotline that is at once more than credible, yet deeply disturbing, that really marks Everyone Lies as a highly polished, thoroughly recommended novel that will leave readers yearning for more of the same.

Chris High

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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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