- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Sphere (25 Jan. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0751562092
- ISBN-13: 978-0751562095
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Truly Evil: When every suspect has a secret, how do you find the killer? (Pearson and Russell) Paperback – 25 Jan 2018
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DS Pearson and DC Russell return to the shores of Southend-on-Sea to investigate the murder of a young woman, which turns out to have unexpected links with long-buried case. Perfect for fans of Peter James.
From the Back Cover
A BRUTAL ACT OF VIOLENCE
A body has been found dumped on the shores of Southend. Already under scrutiny following the murder of a corrupt cop, DS Frank Pearson and DC Cat Russell of the Essex Major Investigation Team are tasked with solving the case quickly, and quietly.
A WOMAN TOO SCARED TO TALK
When the victim's identity is revealed, the list of suspects begins to grow: a young woman knows more than she's letting on, but is she really involved? Or there's the estranged father, who's been trying to find the victim for months. One thing is clear: no one is telling the whole truth.
A KILLER BACK FOR MORE?
Then a shocking tragedy leads Pearson to a similar murder case from decades before. Is it a coincidence, or is history repeating itself? As Pearson and Russell search for the answer, they find themselves drawn into a terrifying cover-up going back fifty years . . .
Praise for Mark Hardie
'Remarkable' Daily Mail
'An accomplished debut' Sunday Times
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A fresh approach that helps you engage in the plot , local area knowledge helps when he describes the environment, this is not a bad thing but may limit the appeal as it’s quite detailed which makes could be lost on some
I look forward to see these characters develop more in future , very enjoyable so far ! Well done
This is the second in the series and to be brutally honest, if you didn’t get on with the first one, chances are good that you won’t this one either as the author takes the convoluted and interconnectedness up a notch in this follow up.
If you haven't read book one, Burnt and Broken, then I would advise going back and doing that before starting this one. Mainly because there is so much going on within this book that you really don’t need to be trying to take in all the catch up stuff about what happened previously on top of what is going on now.
So, there's a body washed up on the beach. Initial examination suggests that this is not going to be a straightforward case, especially as identification is also initially tricky. In a separate thread, we are privy to some kind of talking therapy sessions between two unknowns. When the body is finally identified a shocking world is opened up to Pearson & Russell as they try and cut through the noise, lies, secrets, and interference from several parties to get to the truth of the matter. A truth that once revealed could send out shockwaves aplenty.
Once again convoluted is a bit of an understatement when describing this book. Again, it has a bit of everything including the aftermath of what happened in book one regarding the death of Sean Carragher and the ripples from that. We have armed robbery, estranged families, a rather spectacular suicide, shady government intervention, oh and the sex industry. And that is only the tip of the iceberg when you also add in to the mix an old cold, previously solved case which might not be as first thought. But, and this is important. It all comes together brilliantly. What I said in my review for book one, despite its also complicated nature, rings true here too. I did find it relatively easy to read. I managed to follow all the threads as they twisted, turned, converged, diverged and just meandered along, eventually culminating in a very satisfying, albeit shocking, conclusion.
I also said in my review for book one that I hadn't quite fully connected with Pearson and Russell. I did have a better time with the both of them in this book but I can't say that I am 100% there yet but that doesn’t really matter when there is plenty to keep me going with the storyline and all its delicious offshoots. They are definitely growing on me and together I still maintain that they are a good fit and work well. I think it's possibly a quirk of the author's style that he writes his main characters as such rather than them being easy to connect with. I suspect so anyway and I am happy to accept the both of them this way.
All in all, a rather bumpy journey that culminated in a very satisfying ending leaving me eager for book three. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Frank is called out to a dead body found on the beach. Initially believing it to be a young woman the team is surprised to discover it is a young man undergoing gender reassignment treatment. The hunt is on to identify her and her killer. In the meantime Richard Lennon is undergoing treatment with a psychiatrist to recover his memories and personality.
I enjoyed Truly Evil which is a compulsive read. Mr Hardie has a readable, enticing style which encourages the reader to keep going, mostly out of curiosity on my part, to find out how it all fits together although the format of alternating narratives between the investigation and Richard Lennon makes for a choppy read.
Who is Richard Lennon and what is his relevance to the investigation? This question preoccupied me throughout the first half of the novel and is much more fascinating than the murder investigation which doesn't really get anywhere. It soon becomes clear that the novel is straying into conspiracy theory territory and although I tend to take much of it with a pinch of salt this is very plausible, I hesitate to say believable.
As a crime novel Truly Evil is rather frustrating. Much of the victimology and her final hours is not thoroughly investigated and remains if not shrouded in mystery at least unclear at the end of the novel. Cat and Frank even fail to ask where the victim was living! Mr Hardie is more interested in his conspiracy plot than the murder.
The whole novel is rather nebulous, full of ambiguity and possibility and it can be difficult to keep hold of at times but this adds a realism to the read which my preferred option of everything tied up in a neat bow does not. I like the solutions it offers as something very different from the norm and the twist at the end was completely unexpected.
Equally I found the characters difficult to grasp hold of. I really like their relationship with their boss DCI Roberts which is a bit love/hate and again seems very realistic but Frank and Cat seem to drift through the novel. They work well together but I never feel that I have got to know them well, even after 2 novels and they remain as a couple of enigmas.
Truly Evil is a bit different from my normal fare but I enjoyed it and have no hesitation in recommending it as a good read.
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