Monday 15 May 2017

The Lies Within by Jane Isaac

Published by Legend Press on May 2, 2017

The Lies Within is the third book in the DI Will Jackman series, following Before It’s Too Late and Beneath the Ashes. I have the other two books on my Kindle but this is the first one I’ve read, but I’m planning on going back to catch up on the rest of the series as I found this book to be entirely gripping and I’d love to read more about Jackman.

The book begins with a really intriguing and quite excellent prologue, a court case of a woman on trial for murder. It’s not until further into the book when I realised the true significance of the court case and the woman being accused of murder, and by then I was well and truly hooked. The prologue is where we meet Grace, who is on trial for murder. But then following on from the prologue, the book steps back in time and we meet Grace again, and the idea that this grief-stricken and numb woman has committed murder is one that blew my mind, and one that had me dying to know what had gone on to lead this woman into doing the unthinkable, or whether she was really capable of that at all.

One thing I particularly liked in this book was the insight into the family of Jo, the girl who has been murdered at the beginning of the novel. I thought Jane’s handle on this family and the way she delved into the grief of all of them was strong and although Grace is the standout member of the family, I still felt like I could “get” what the other members of Jo’s family were feeling. I could feel Grace’s pain immediately, how distraught she was that she couldn’t get into her daughter’s room to grieve after she finds out she’s been killed. Grace feels helpless and overwhelmed and it’s almost as if the end of her daughter’s life has caused Grace to sacrifice her own, as she is like a shadow of her former self when the grief gets a hold of her.

I liked Jackman straight away. The first two books in this series appeal to me more because he is a character I’d like to learn more about. There’s something about him that made him quite refreshing. He’s not your typical fictional DI, one who has lived the worst life thinkable which has made him toughen up to the extent where talking to his colleagues and feeling emotion is never on the radar. No, Jackman felt much more realistic and interesting and I could believe his character. I found learning about him to be engaging and whilst he is not the main focus of this book, I could see the development in his character come the end, and so I’m looking forward to reading even more from him.

The police procedural aspect to this novel was realistically written and because I could believe it all so easily, it gave the book more strength to me as I was focusing on the raw emotion and the mystery of the murderer rather than trying to believe what I was reading. When the case slips down the priority list at the force, and Jackman’s not happy about it, in a weird way this made me care for the case more and as much as I was liking the book, I couldn’t wait to get to the end of it so I knew what exactly had gone on, and why. This is one of those books that gets better with every page. If I thought I was gripped early on, by the final part of the book I was absolutely obsessing over the book which had increased tenfold in tension, and the short chapters throughout really encouraged me to read on, not that I needed much persuading.

There were twists and turns throughout this book too, especially later on. Some of the twists weren’t necessarily unpredictable but the time of their reveal often was, and I was really so engrossed in the book that sometimes they caught me off guard even though I had thought they were coming.

The Lies Within is intelligently plotted and brilliantly executed. I can’t wait to read what’s next.

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