Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Trust Me When I Lie

Trust Me When I Lie by Benjamin Stevenson
Sourcebooks: 8/13/19
eBook review copy; 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9781492691150

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.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Sourcebooks.

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