Not Exactly True by Peter Rowlands

Not Exactly True by Peter Rowlands

1st April 2023.

This is another complex mystery of several interwoven threads that keep transport journalist Mike Stanhope on his toes in the sixth adventure of the series. It’s different, colourful, imaginative and infectious, drawing you into a world where you’re never quite sure what’s happening or how it will end.

It starts with a tip off about a failing transport company in Wiltshire.  His article prompts a libel claim that leaves him mystified and a little shaken. Forced to return to visit the factory to see what’s really going on, he meets Trish, the owner’s daughter, who seems less than enamoured with the way her mother operates.

Then there’s the favour for a friend who wants to self-publish a book about old postcards. One of these postcards relates to the town where the factory operates. It’s another chance to see Trish. To further complicate matters, there’s a dead body that disappears, hints of a connection with nearby Porton Down, where chemical weapons may once have been made during the Second World War, a beating and trouble with existing girlfriend, Sam.

Nothing is simple or straightforward when Mike gets his teeth into something. He’s an eminently likeable character who wants to do things right. He has a strong moral streak, which means he gets involved where perhaps he should exercise discretion, and there’s always a hint of a romance to tempt and distract him.

It’s all extremely well crafted and skilfully blended into an engaging mystery where each strand is neatly woven into a comprehensive thread that explains and accounts for every detail. There’s always a woman, or two, to tempt him off the straight and narrow, lots of humour and adventure, plus plenty of puzzles to keep you reading.

Not Exactly True works on its own, but will mean much more if you’ve read the rest of the series first.


A compelling mystery compounded by a grand deception

When journalist Mike Stanhope is accused of libel, he’s determined to clear his name. His crime: he reported that a company was failing. Its owners claim that it’s busy and flourishing, and they’re not happy with him. Did he get it wrong, or is he the victim of an elaborate deception?

The unpredictable Trish, daughter of the company boss and a self-confessed admirer, seems eager to help him, but her real agenda is frustratingly unclear.

Matters take a darker turn when Mike stumbles on a body in a wood. But when he returns later, it has vanished. Another illusion?

Gradually Mike’s investigation gets entangled in a much older mystery. What happened in the building that once stood at the corner of the factory site? Could it be the scene of an ancient crime … or something even more sinister?

Meanwhile, Mike strives to keep his relationship with his girlfriend Sam on an even keel, but he’s being pulled in a different direction.

Not Exactly True by Peter Rowlands

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