Written by AD Garrett – Is this author’s name new to you? Then take note – because you’ll be hearing plenty more about AD Garrett, the pseudonym for the writing collaboration of prize-winning thriller author Margaret Murphy and Professor Dave Barclay, a world-renowned forensics expert and advisor to both police forces and the media. And it looks like a marriage made in crime fiction heaven, because this pair have produced a debut novel that might well take your breath away.
Everyone Lies introduces us to DI Kate Simms, a bright and intuitive officer who is on the fast track to nowhere. Five years ago, she bent the rules to help a colleague, got found out, and has been in the wilderness ever since. After clawing her way back from demotion, Kate is trying to make her mark in pastures new, and it is while crunching numbers in her new patch of Manchester that she spots an anomaly. An unusually large number of female drug addicts have been turning up dead. Her bosses dismiss her ideas as foolish, but then a reality TV star dies in the same manner and the media jump on the bandwagon.
Meanwhile, up in Aberdeen, Professor Nick Fennimore is in the midst of delivering a forensics lecture to rapt students. His story is another story of a fall from grace – Nick was once scientific advisor to the National Crime Faculty and was regarded as the best in his field. But ever since his wife was killed and his young daughter disappeared he has been hiding in Scotland, away from the limelight… and from Kate.
It is inevitable that they are thrown together in the search for whoever is responsible for the drugs deaths, but this relationship is never going to be an easy one. The pair have a history which is gradually drip fed to the reader as the story progresses. The water is muddied further by the fact that one of Kate’s new bosses was there when her career imploded. Assistant Chief Constable Gifford is determined to see her fail again, and if he knew that Nick was back on the scene, Kate would probably be out of a job. Much of the story takes place on the mean streets of Manchester and Hull, and these areas are painted with deft brushstrokes. The characterisation is spot on and the action moves along at a cracking pace, but it is the sheer depth of forensic detail which sets this book apart.
Kate Simms and Nick Fennimore form a fascinating pairing. Both have their faults, but together they make a formidable pairing. Fennimore is helped by one of his students, Josh Brown, who is young, bright, energetic and something of an enigma. There are far too many loose ends for us not to be given a second Simms and Fennimore novel. Nick is still looking for his missing daughter, and just what is Josh’s secret? I’ll be devastated if we don’t meet this lot again. Everyone lies is out on 20 June.
Constable & Robinson
CFL Rating: 5 Stars