Everyone Lies

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Author: AD Garrett

Finished on: 26 October 2017

Where did I get this book: A kindle purchase

“Addicts die all the time.” DCI Kate Simms keeps hearing this, or versions of this, when she is asked to conduct a routine review of drug-related deaths for Greater Manchester Police. But more are dying than ‘should’ be, according to the statistics. And despite incurring the scorn and disapproval of her colleagues, Simms won’t let it lie.

What unfolds from this supposedly tick-box job is a horrible journey into a dark underworld of prostitution, people trafficking, drug dealing and death. There is some bleak stuff in Everyone Lies, to the point of being horrifying on occasion, but it’s all rooted in such meticulous research that it never feels anything less than real. And thankfully (or worryingly?), bleak and horrifying is just my cup of tea.

This is the first in a series of police procedural whodunits featuring Simms and her will-they-won’t-they forensics Professor associate Nick Fennimore. These two characters have what would be classed as ‘a history’. But their professional dynamic is great: complementary skills and insight that move the investigation along convincingly and with pace.

Garrett has a way with character, particularly female characters. The Latvian prostitute Marta who is at the centre of much of the book’s action deserves a series of her own, she is such a mass of contradictions whilst remaining entirely believable. Simms herself is a great creation, although I couldn’t help wishing she’d have a week’s holiday and take her family to the beach. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Fennimore and his brooding are what she needs at all.

The story twists and turns its way to a satisfying conclusion which is as much about whydonit and howdunit as it is whodunit. This is all a far cry from St. Mary Mead, and if you like your crime with a hefty helping of iniquity, then Everyone Lies will suit you down to the ground. Just like it suited me.

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