Deadly Lies by Chris Collett
6th May 2020. 5 stars.
Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint why a story captures your imagination.
At first glance, Deadly Lies is a gentle, unpretentious police procedural. DI Mariner is a fairly typical detective, who works more hours than he should and goes home to an empty house. The story starts in a bar with Mariner on a blind date he wishes he’d never agreed to. There he spots a journalist he knows, leaving with an attractive woman.
When the journalist is found dead in his home several hours later, like Mariner, you know it’s not suicide. When a younger, autistic brother turns out to be the only witness, you know you’re reading something a little different. When Mariner meets the brothers’ attractive sister, Anna, you know there’s going to be sexual tension and conflict.
From this simple beginning, Deadly Lies drew me in with a cast of rich, believable characters I cared about. I felt their pain, struggled with them as they overcame personal troubles and the challenges of a murder that lacked hard evidence.
I was hooked by the engaging story that led me to an exciting and satisfying climax that didn’t need gimmicks. I enjoyed the tentative relationship between Anna and Mariner, a cop without the usual personal traumas that seem so common in crime fiction today.
When I started reading this novel, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it.
If you prefer gentle, but absorbing crime fiction, led by strong characters and an intriguing plot, you should try this story. It’s the first in the series and I’m looking forward to finding out more about Mariner in his next investigation.
Journalist Eddie Barham is found dead in his home. A syringe is in his arm and a note by his side reads, ‘No More.’
Open and shut case of suicide? Not for DI Mariner. Hours before, he saw Barham picking up a woman in a bar. And then Mariner discovers Barham’s younger brother, Jamie, hiding in a cupboard under the stairs.
Jamie is the only witness to his brother’s death, but his severe autism makes communication almost impossible. Mariner is determined to connect with Jamie and get to the truth. Is the journalist’s death related to his investigation of a local crime kingpin?
What other dark secrets does Jamie hold the key to and can Mariner keep his relationship professional with Barham’s attractive sister, Anna?
In a nail-biting conclusion, Mariner races against time to prevent more lives being lost.
Tags: Crime fiction, Police procedural