Review: Spare Me the Truth by CJ Carver

Wednesday, 13 April 2016
Title: Spare Me the Truth
Author: CJ Carver
Publisher: Zaffre
Publication Date: 7th April 2016
Pages: 528
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Dan Forrester, piecing his life back together after the tragic death of his son, is approached in a supermarket by a woman who tells him everything he remembers about his life - and his son - is a lie.

Grace Reavey, stricken by grief, is accosted at her mother's funeral. The threat is simple: pay the staggering sum her mother allegedly owed, or lose everything.

Lucy Davies has been forced from the Met by her own maverick behaviour. Desperate to prove herself in her new rural post, she's on the hunt for a killer - but this is no small town criminal.

Plunged into a conspiracy that will test each of them to their limits, these three strangers are brought together in their hunt for the truth, whatever it costs. And as their respective investigations become further and further entwined, it becomes clear that at the centre of this tangled web is a threat more explosive than any of them could have imagined.

It wasn't long after I began reading Spare Me the Truth that I thought to myself, how have I not read CJ Carver before? I wasn't even 50 pages into the story and already the author had me wanting to tear through the rest of the book because of the mystery and intrigue packed into such a small amount of time and I warn anyone who is yet to pick this book up to do so only when you don't have anything planned for the hours that follow.

Spare Me the Truth is the story of a lot of different characters, but our three main ones are Dan Forrester who is slowly piecing his life back together after the tragic death of his son. His whole life is thrown into further disarray than it was already in when he is approached by a woman in a supermarket who he doesn't appear to know, but who knows everything there is to know about him. She tells him that everything he remembers about his life - and his son - is a lie. Grace Reavey is accosted at her mother's funeral and threatened to pay the money that her mother allegedly owed, or lose everything. And Lucy Davies has been forced from the Met by her own maverick behaviour. She has a point to prove, and is soon on the hunt for a killer. These three characters are soon plunged into a conspiracy that will test each of them to their limits and at the centre of a very tangled web is a threat more explosive than any of them could ever have imagined.

Spare Me the Truth is a very intelligent and thought-provoking thriller which goes far beyond being just another bog-standard thriller and actually tackles multiple genres within and does so with great success. It's difficult to know how much to give away in trying to explain my next point but to any spoiler police reading, I can only apologise. There are moments in the story where I did have to really try and believe in what I was reading, as the story does tackle some subjects, namely drugs and technology, that some people might not be able to accept as things that could actually exist in real life but for me, this was one of the more realistic elements of the story and was definitely what set this book apart from a lot of other thrillers. CJ Carver simply expands on subjects that are already 'out there', that are being developed or have been developed and the scary thing is when you realise the damage they can do in the wrong hands and that's why Spare Me the Truth is a book that anyone who is a member of a book club should be recommending to their fellow readers with great gusto. A lively discussion would be had by all, I can guarantee it.

Characterisation is a huge plus point in this book's very long list of plus points. For a book that contains so many characters, each of the main players are more than well established to the reader and I never had any trouble keeping up with the story. In fact, I loved the back and forth nature of it and felt that it only served to keep the suspense up the whole way through. It was a very long night the first time I picked this book up, but the absolute best kind of long night. The characters are believable and very well-drawn and this mixed together with terrifyingly accurate, contemporary storytelling means that Spare Me the Truth will without a doubt be one of the best thrillers I will read in 2016 and I have no trouble recommending this book to those that might be becoming tired of the genre, are looking for something new or really, just someone who likes a seriously great book because that's what this is in simple terms. A must-read thriller. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a back catalogue of books by CJ Carver to go and devour.

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