A Truth for a Truth by Carol Wyer

Today I am sharing my thoughts on A Truth for a Truth, the brand new Kate Young novel by Carol Wyer. This is shaping into one heck of a series and my thanks go to publisher Thomas & Mercer for the early copy via Netgalley and Zoe of Zooloo’s Book Tours for the tour invite. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 06 April 2023
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

About the Book

DI Kate Young’s team is hunting for a killer. What they don’t know…is that the killer is her.

DI Kate Young has known for years that her boss, Superintendent John Dickson, is a violent and evil man. But when she finally confronts him and accidentally shoots and kills him, she’s forced to cover her tracks before anyone can pin his death on her. With revelations about his corruption soon to become public knowledge, Kate sets up a trail of evidence to make it seem that Dickson has conveniently vanished…

But Kate knows the corruption doesn’t end with Dickson. As she heads up the team investigating his supposed disappearance, she also pursues other loose ends. Stanka, the sex worker who supplied the evidence against Dickson, leads her to crucial information on another corrupt officer, DI Harriet Khatri, and her dubious involvement with sex traffickers.

As the noose starts to tighten on Kate, she finds herself targeted by traffickers, the bent cops on her force and even her own team of detectives. Can she stay one step ahead of them all and bring Harriet to justice? Can she trust anyone around her? And can she possibly get away with murder?

My Thoughts

Now I’m an advocate for reading books, even in a series, in whatever order works for you. It’s not unusual for me to start reading in the middle, continue onwards, and catch up with the earlier books in the series as and when I can. With A Truth for a Truth I would suggest you really do need to make an exception. At the very least you should read the previous book, A Life for a Life, but as this book is part of an ongoing story arc then you would be best starting at the beginning, just to be sure. And why wouldn’t you? This is a great series with a very unusual, and troubled lead detective who manages a team through investigations which are dark, twisted and really make the toes curl at times. Kate Young is a very memorable character and as a stalwart for justice, with this latest offering, we see a side to her character we really never expected to see.

Now all you need to know about the plot is in the blurb – I’m not going to rehash that. It’s also a good indicator as to why you need to read the earlier books first, to give what happens some context. It really does give this book a very different vibe, knowing that Kate is working in support of her team, but also with the express intent of fooling and misleading them. And that’s not something that sits easy with her. Carol Wyer has done a stunning job of portraying the conflict within Kate, in her behaviour, her evasiveness with her team and her ultimate suspicion of practically everyone in front of her. It adds an edge to the story, a kind of tension that comes from the constant subterfuge and reluctance to trust anyone. Now for those in the know, Kate has a rather … different personality, informed by personal tragedy, and one that acts as an inbuilt conscience of sorts, whilst also spurring her on to find the truth. That personality quirk explodes this time around, almost like it’s been force fed steroids, amplifying Kate’s fractured mind. It adds conflict which only enhances the story.

As for the investigation, it falls largely to the team to chase down leads to find the missing Superintendent. Add in new revelations about his own background, and accusations made against him in relation to a previous investigation, and the urgency of the story, the need to locate him, increases tenfold. This is a pacy novel, taking place over just a few days, and that tempo adds to the constantly building tension. The investigation follows and is relayed in a chronological manner, but there are moments in which we are taken back into Kate’s memories, filling in small gaps in the actions, explaining to readers just what happened and why what we are seeing in the present is actually quite crucial. It’s a narrative style that works well in this particular investigation, serving to keep some key details from readers until just the right moment, and allowing us to slowly build up an understanding of what a thin tightrope Kate is walking.

i like the team in this book. DS Emma Donaldson and DS Morgan Meredith are great characters, supportive of Kate and very intuitive and passionate a bout their jobs. Emma looks up to Kate as a kind of role model and is perhaps more in tune with the little changes in her personality than the rest of the team, but it’s fair to say that she and Morgan have their own distractions to contend with as they face a real step change in their own partnership. As for their DC Jamie Webster, the jury is still out. At times he seems as keen as mustard, and really focused on the case, but there is still something about him, perhaps fuelled by the way in which Carol Wyer has manifested Kate’s own paranoia, that makes him harder to get a grip with.

There are many other characters who inform the story to varying degree – DCI William Chase, Kate’s own mentor and long term friend, Bradley Chapman, a very resourceful man who Kate met in a previous investigation, and DI Harriet Khatri, who has little love for Kate, or Kate her. Revelations galore undermine much of what we may have believed about what is happening, and be surprised for more than the occasional shock twist to turn everything on its head. Carol Wyer has spared no-one this time around and why would she. When the black and white of the justice system starts to be overtaken by shades of grey, anything can, and does, happen. It adds jeopardy to the book, especially Kate’s position, and some bombshell revelations are going to change everything. It makes for an exciting read, even if some of the story is tinged with sadness.

There are several strong themes addressed in the book – corruption, trafficking, sexual abuse and murder – and Carol Wyer has made sure that it really packs a punch. But just when you think that maybe a corner has finally been turned, a step for Kate towards real justice, you’ll be forced to think again. One chapter may be over but this is a story which seems to be far, far, from the end. Which is pretty good for us readers really as I, for one, am more than content to keep turning those pages. Fans of the series, and fans of Kate, are going to love this one.

About the Author

Carol Wyer is a USA Today bestselling author and winner of the People’s Book Prize Award. Her crime novels have sold over one million copies and have been translated into nine languages.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, with the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost, proved that Carol had found her true niche.

February 2021 saw the release of the first in the much-anticipated new series featuring DI Kate Young. An Eye for an Eye was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia.

Carol has had articles published in national magazines such as Woman’s Weekly, and has been featured in Take a BreakChoiceYours and Woman’s Own and in HuffPost. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows, and on Sky and BBC Breakfast television.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband, Mr Grumpy…who is very, very grumpy.

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