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What would you do if you witnessed an assault over the internet? That’s the dilemma facing Eva when a Skype call to her best friend Naomi turns nasty. In fear for her own life, Eva flees… and DCI Helen Lavery is the woman left picking up the pieces. Uncovering a web of corruption, violence and drugs, her own life is soon on the line. But who can she trust?

Issac’s second novel is an enjoyably tense read with a sympathetic heroine in Helen Lavery, who juggles single parenthood with a career. I liked the domestic detail of Helen’s life and felt that she was portrayed positively, without the fatal flaw that is compulsory for so many fictional detectives – she’s successful in her field, has a relatively normal family life, and her love life is instantly recognisable. Lavery’s understandable need for emotional and sexual distraction is realistically portrayed and the consequences of her choices are gripping; rather than a fatal flaw, she’s a normal woman, facing the same relationship turbulence that we all experience, and that makes her an eminently empathetic character.

The plot also deviates from the standard crime story by showing us the identity of the killer early on; this led me down a few blind alleys in terms of my expectations of what would happen – I was expected the killer to feature far more heavily in the last half of the book – but instead it twists into a different type of crime story, becoming far more focused on the inner circle of Lavery’s world, and it’s stronger for that. I also debated Eva’s actions quite a lot – would I react like that? – but I think that’s where a book group would have a great time arguing for and against!

The Truth Will Out is an enjoyable thriller with a strong female lead. The opening gambit is strong and compelling, and the twists and turns of the plot (some I was ahead of, and some were a shock!) kept me glued to my bench in the April sunshine. I was fortunate to be able to attend the launch of this title, and wish Jane every success with this and future novels.

Legend Press, 2013, ISBN 9781909878556

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