Giving public lecture on a recent miscarriage of justice that he had worked to have overturned, when the lecture is videoed and streamed online Professor Nick Fennimore puts himself clearly back in the public eye. Trolled on the internet and with hundreds of letters arriving per day, the last thing that he needs now is a visit from an old adversary, journalist Carl Lazko. Seeking Fennimore’s assistance to review another potential miscarriage of justice case, that of convicted killer Graham Mitchell. Reticent at first, Fennimore’s interest is piqued when he spots some inconsistencies in the evidence and reluctantly he agrees to work with the journalist to try and find the truth. Whether or not this exonerates Mitchell is yet to be seen.
Meanwhile, in Manchester a mother and daughter are abducted while on their way home from an afternoon at the cinema. For some reason it appears that the perpetrator is fixated on Fennimore, sending him taunting letters with evidence that link this latest abduction to the disappearance of his wife and daughter some years before. Fennimore contacts an old friend for help, DCI Kate Simms, the woman he was meeting with on the day his wife disappeared. She isn’t assigned to the case but is tasked by the top brass to keep an eye on Fennimore and report back on anything he does. Torn between a loyalty to the force and her feelings for Fennimore, Simms puts her career at risk helping Fennimore in investigations outside of official channels.
Someone wants this case to be personal. Someone wants to prevent Fennimore from discovering the truth, but which truth. With Fennimore already distracted by his ongoing search for his missing daughter, a photograph taken in Paris of a young girl who could well be his daughter adds to his confusion. With his mind elsewhere, can he concentrate long enough to find the truth? When the mother is found dead Fennimore and Simms know that time is running out to find the little girl. And as the investigations into Mitchell’s shaky conviction lead Fennimore and his PhD student Josh back to Fennimore’s old turf of Essex, will their investigations put them all in danger?
‘Truth Will Out’ by A.D. Garrett is the third book in the Fennimore and Simms story and what a book it is. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.
From the very first chapter, when some ominous stranger watches as Fennimore delivers his public lecture, you know that this particular lecture is going to have repercussions. But even though I kind of knew what the mystery observers probable motives were, I wasn’t expecting the effects to be so far reaching.
The scenes between Julia Myers and her daughter Lauren are so well written that you can feel every moment of frustration from a mother coping with a child suffering ADHD. Julia’s regrets at having let Lauren have her ‘yellow peril’ sweets are so consuming and distracting that the scenes in which they are abducted are all the more stark and disturbing in comparison. The interactions between the pair and their abductor are powerful and the sense of fear and threat and, ultimately, resignation felt by Julia emanate from the page.
With the mother/daughter abduction dominating my conscious reading state, the miscarriage of justice investigation that Fennimore undertakes for Lazko almost seemed like a side story and yet it is anything but. This in itself becomes a complex weave of open story threads, bring to a head the tension which exists between Fennimore and his mentee, Josh. We learn more of Josh’s past and with the discovery comes a new source of jeopardy for all involved in the investigation. Far from feeling far-fetched, it fits the story perfectly, adding to the mystery and the misdirection that comes as a result.
This is a well-paced story, moving between Fennimore’s investigations into the Mitchell case and his missing daughter, and Simms’ intervention in the open Myers case. Interwoven are scenes told from first Julia’s and then Lauren’s point of view, taking us into the minds of two of a sadistic killer’s innocent victims. The clear understanding of and passion for forensics shines through in the writing as Garrett makes accessible what could be a very difficult subject, without insulting intelligence, stretching belief ala CSI style or over complicating matters with too detailed descriptions. And Fennimore’s simple reliance upon and interest only in fact certainly rings true to the way the character is written. While there is a hint of the simmering relationship between the two main protagonists, Simms and Fennimore, they spend little actual time together in the story, most of their interactions occurring by phone or via the wonder of skype. And yet the ending will give the true fans hope that there the still unfinished business between them may see a favourable conclusion. There is certainly scope for more development of the characters, in spite of a major story thread reaching a conclusion.
If you haven’t read they first two books (which I confess I hadn’t) then there is enough back story for the characters to give you a good sense of place and the journey they had been on up until now. That said, while there will no doubt be a certain element of spoilers to the first two stories, I don’t think this would stop me from going back and reading them. If anything, this has piqued my interest as I liked the character of Fennimore and I want to know the full story behind his history, not the abridged version I have read so far. I don’t know that there was enough of Simms in the story for me to truly engage with the character, but I did get a sense of her fierce loyalty to Fennimore and that in itself made her an intriguing character.
If you like a fast-paced story, with a very strong forensic, fact based theme that takes you away from the straight forward police investigation route, and with very intense, enthralling characterisation and plot, then absolutely give this a go. I became so engrossed in this story that when I finally got the time to sit down properly and read I didn’t get up again until I was done.
A thoroughly satisfied 5 stars.
I reviewed an advance reader copy provided by NetGalley and Publishers Little Brown Book Group.
‘Truth Will Out’ was released on 3rd November and is available to purchase here: