Trust Me When I Lie by Benjamin Stevenson
eBook review copy; 352 pages
Trust Me When I Lie by Benjamin Stevenson is a highly recommended mystery set in Australia.
Jack Quick produces a true crime TV series on the murder of Eliza
Dacey, an English backpacker working as an itinerant grape-picker whose
body was found on the land of Curtis Wade. Curtis was quickly charged
and convicted for the crime. Jack's documentary is slanted to show that
circumstantial evidence and police bias were responsible for his
conviction. Jack's series results in the retrial of Curtis and he is set
free four years after his conviction. Although Jack has private doubts
about Curtis's innocence, he keeps quiet about his concerns. When
another murder occurs after Curtis's release that seems to be an
imitation of the first, Jack is conflicted. Is it a copycat murder or is
Jack back killing again after his release?
Jack Quick is a well-developed complicated character with moral
conflicts and more than his fair share of secrets and regrets. He
travels back to the small town that was the scene of the first crime,
essentially placing himself and Curtis in close proximity after the
second murder. The prejudicial, insular, and isolated setting of the
small Australian wine town becomes another character and plays an
integral role in the plot as Jack searches for the truth.
The writing is straight forward, but there are twist embedded within
that you won't notice - until you do. The tension increases
incrementally and gradually, building to a climax in this novel. I will
admit that it was slow going for a while and I had to purposefully keep
focused on the plot until it picked up. Then it became clear that no one
could really be trusted. The ending surprised me.
My review copy was courtesy of Sourcebooks.