DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising young detective whose first case involved capturing a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then people start dying: tortured, murdered, in an uncanny echo of Ridpath’s first case.
As the investigation intensifies, old bodies go missing, records can’t be found and the murder count grows. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, digging up skeletons some would rather forget, Ridpath is caught in a race against time: a race to save his career, his marriage… And lives.
When a detective goes missing everything is on the line. Can Ridpath close the case and save his colleague?
Title: Where The Truth Lies | Author: MJ Lee | Series: DI Ridpath #1 | Publisher: Canelo | Pages: 352 | ASIN: B07HYQ99YV | Publication date: 22nd October 2018 | Source: ARC .mobi from NetGalley
I haven’t yet reviewed a book I really disliked on CriminOlly, but that streak of good luck was bound to change at some point. It has, quite resoundingly, today. As I put down my Kindle after finishing MJ Lee’s ‘Where The Truth Lies’ I was filled with that kind of existential despair that you get from realising you’ve just wasted hours of your life on something that wasn’t worth it. As a result, this will be a shorter than normal review as I don’t want to spend any more time on this book than I need to.
‘Where The Truth Lies’ is one of those books that tricks you into thinking it’s good by simply being very easy to read. I kept turning the pages even as the plot got more and more ridiculous and the characters less and less engaging until the end, when I wished I hadn’t bothered. I was left unsatisfied and frustrated by this by the numbers modern policer that buries the little promise it has with lazy writing and tired tropes.
It starts promisingly, with a gripping chase scene that ends up with rookie Manchester copper Tom Ridpath unexpectedly catching a serial killer. Skip forward 10 years and Ridpath, now a Detective Inspector and returning to work after beating cancer, is assigned to work with the coroner’s office on an inquest into the investigation into one of the killer’s victims. The first few chapters had me hooked, but as the book progressed the quality deteriorated and I found myself scratching my head over plot holes and bizarre twists. There are some interesting elements. The divided loyalty Ridpath has between the coroner and his old boss on the force was quite well handled. His domestic life was convincing too, with a constant internal battle between the need to attend his appointments at the hospital and the demands of the case. The book can also be genuinely gripping at times. There is a great race against time sequence towards the end, that has my pulse racing until I realised how ridiculous the circumstances that set it in motion were.
My advice is to avoid this one. It’s very easy to read, but so flimsily put together that as soon as you actually think about what you’re reading the whole thing crumbles to nothing.