Publication Date: December 11, 2015
Detective Crombie investigates the disappearance of two teenagers. One of the teenagers is the daughter of a dangerous criminal found dead inside of his locked study. As Crombie ties the strings together, he finds all lines leading back to a very dangerous person and a series of coincidences from a disgraced MP to dead celebrities.
A fan of this author gifted a copy of this novel to me in exchange for my review.
Hughes greatest talent is her characters. She writes vivid characters that are base, violent, conflicted and wholly realistic. That’s not to say I’d want to meet any of them in a dark alley. As further testament to their dimension, the characters manage a convincing deception that has the reader guessing along with DI Crombie and DC McKay in a story where everybody lies.
Set during the English holiday season, the story opens with a maid named Flossie finding her employer naked and chained to a bed. We follow her as, rather than stick around to speak with the police, she collects her things and leaves her employer. In just a few paragraphs we get a sense of Flossie and where she comes from. You don’t have to be English to know the archetype; we have the same sort of people here in America. People that aren’t necessarily criminals but don’t want to be involved with the police as the result of feeling that whatever is going on has nothing to do with them and to get involved would be a mistake. This theme runs through the novel in varied characters and circumstances. All occurrences are wholly unique and integral to the progression of the story.
Hughes has a special talent for strong and interesting female characters. DC McKay, a woman that became a cop to drive cars fast, is a brilliant nutcase. She has a solid intuition that she chalks up to good senses and isn’t above hiding thoughts not fully developed from her partner. She is an observer. Crombie’s thoughtless sarcasm throws her off but McKay doesn’t waver. She is bright, brave and a ball of fire. DC McKay is a delight to read. Balancing McKay is DI Crombie who is described as a “middle-aged bruiser.” When we meet Crombie, he’s shopping at Selfridge’s for a gift for his wife. His introduction as a person that buys the perfect gift because his wife leaves folded magazines around humanizes the stern leader with a sarcastic bent and a drive to do his job that we see later in the story.
Procedural novels can be a bit of a drag. Everybody Lies: A Detective Crombie mystery thriller (Detective Crombie mystery thrillers Book 2) is fast moving and engaging. While maintaining the trademark linear mapping of the genre, Hughes challenges the readers to correctly connect the dots one by one. The intelligence of the story and the challenge to the reader is a delicious experience for people that read a lot and can usually predict where a story is going. Everybody Lies: A Detective Crombie mystery thriller (Detective Crombie mystery thrillers Book 2) is rife with unexpected twists.
When I told Dave, my 69-year-old father, that I had read and was planning to review Everybody Lies: A Detective Crombie mystery thriller (Detective Crombie mystery thrillers Book 2), his reaction was immediate. “That was such a good book!” he exclaimed. Dave is a huge James Patterson fan and appreciated how short and fluid the chapters in Everybody Lies: A Detective Crombie mystery thriller (Detective Crombie mystery thrillers Book 2) are. Dave loves dark fiction and thought it was just dark enough without being one of those novels that are like vegetables with your dinner when you’re five years old. You have to read it to get to the payoff but dread doing so. Dave reinforced my intention to keep an eye out for new releases by this talented author.
I’ve read other works by Julia Hughes in other genres. This author seems to have a cross-genre talent and appeal that makes her a mainstay in my reading library. I will be watching for the next Crombie novel. He is on my top detective list with John Sandford and Elvis Cole. If you’re a mystery reader, pick Everybody Lies: A Detective Crombie mystery thriller (Detective Crombie mystery thrillers Book 2) up today.
Read an excerpt and buy Everybody Lies: A Detective Crombie mystery thriller by Julia Hughes on