Thursday, 2 June 2011

It's fresh review time over at ...

Yup, peeps, it's that time of the month again. Eeeesh, where does the time go when you're reading all these books?

Here's the review I did for the excellent Tony Black's Truth Lies Bleeding - with some (coughs) minor changes. I must have been half asleep when I sent the original off to CRIMESQUAD. (And those minor errors are gonna bug me for a lifetime - and no I'm not going to point them out to you.)

Anywho, on with the review - 

The blurb reads like this ...

Teenagers find the mutilated body of a young girl in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alleyway. The police are stumped at all the questions this raises. Who was she? Where has she come from? More importantly, who killed her and why?

Inspector Rob Breannan, recently back from psychiatric leave is still shocked by the senseless shooting of his brother. The case of the girl in the dumpster looks like the best way for him to get back into work and on track with his career.

As luck would have it events don’t quite go to plan. Brennan has enemies within the force, a habit of getting into trouble and what he discovers about the murdered girl blows the case – and his life – wide open.

What did I think?

As a fan of Tony Black’s Gus Drury series I was desperately keen to see what he would make of the police procedural and I am happy to report I am delighted with the outcome.

Reading the blurb and I could see a couple of tripwires. The loner cop and worryingly misogynist murders of young girls are ten a penny in modern crime fiction, but I needn’t have worried because Black hurdled these with ease.  Yes, Brennan is your archetypal loner but he is so well drawn and sympathetic that this never becomes a problem. And the issue of the murdered and mutilated girl never feels exploitative. This matter is treated with sensitivity and compassion, both for the recently deceased and for the bereaved family.

Another area where Tony Black excels is in his depictions of those living on the edge of the law. There is no soft edge to these people. Every flaw is stripped of shadow and every bad deed gets punished.

The city of Edinburgh receives the same treatment, as Brennan and crew journey through its ancient and new streets, in among a world of tourists, in search of uncomfortable truths.

Truth Lies Bleeding is fast, sharp and brilliantly plotted. It’s only just turned spring but if I read a better example of the police procedural this year I will be amazed.

There's more - much more - crime and thriller goodness over at CRIMESQUAD. Get yourself over there for a look-see right now.


  1. It is a very unusual title. Those are three separate nouns in the title, yes?

  2. Sounds right up my street.

  3. They could be, Dezmond but in this example "lies" is a verb.

    The guy is class, Ricky.

  4. ah, like truth spreads bleeding! /dezzyneedsabrainexamination/ :)