**** - The Whole Truth
THE WHOLE TRUTH
An attractive student. An older professor.
Think you know the story? Think again.
THE NEW UP-ALL-NIGHT THRILLER FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER CARA HUNTER
She has everything at stake; he has everything to lose. But one of them is lying, all the same.
When an Oxford student accuses one of the university's professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley's team think they've heard it all before. But they couldn't be more wrong.
Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.
Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don't realise is that someone is watching.
And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good...
The Whole Truth is the 5th book in the DI Adam Fawley series. This was my first taste of the series but it did work quite well as a standalone story so don’t let that put you off too much! I really liked that there is a table at the beginning containing information on the main characters including their physical appearance and anything about them we should already know from reading the other books. I have not seen this used before and it was a really nice way to get an overview of everyone and to stop some bits from becoming repetitive for those who have read the other books. I assume it is full of spoilers though so if you want to read the rest of the books, don’t start here first!
The main case in The Whole Truth was really intriguing – a story of sexual assault but the victim is a 6 foot rugby player and the perpetrator is a female college professor. I really liked this premise and it showed how hard it is to find the truth in these cases when a lot of it relies on he said/she said evidence. There are also another 2 cases within this story, both of which feature on our main character DI Fawley and I won’t give any spoilers but they were certainly very interesting! All of the cases have a plot which kept me gripped and guessing from the outset – I never once felt lost although they do take a lot of twists and turns and it was hard to guess where they were going which is great for a reader who often correctly guesses the conclusion mid-story.
Even with my handy little ‘who’s who’ guide, there are a lot of characters to get to know in this book – it becomes a little overwhelming at times. There are 7 main character police officers outlined at the beginning of the book, then 3 cases, each of which have their own victims, suspects, witnesses and family members, then each of the police officers also have their own personal stories in the mix too and we meet their partners and members of the family. I guess if you already knew the 7 officers very well from other books this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you. I did feel sometimes that the secondary character’s personal lives were focussed on a little too much, particularly when the main stories were ramping up to their climax. I do understand that loyal readers may have favourites though and these also set up some good drama which I’m sure will be used in the next book.
The writing style of the book was also very different from crime thrillers I have read before. We have the usual 3rd person accounts of some characters, although as it rotates between 7 voices plus Adam’s wife and occasionally the victims so there’s a lot going on here! We also have a 1st person diary-like account from our main character Adam Fawley. This felt very odd although I’m not sure if that’s because it’s quite an usual narrative technique, particularly as the rest of it is in 3rd person. As Fawley is quite a central character in the other cases this also became a bit jarring as it sort of took away any doubt the reader may have about him as he doesn’t really come across as an unreliable narrator.
The book also has a lot of interspersed media text to break up the story and give us insight into the wider world. There’s transcripts of podcasts and police interviews, snippets from newspapers and threads from Twitter. These worked nicely to keep the pace up and often all of the sections would be kept very short and particularly at the end, cycled through quickly with just enough information to keep you hanging on for the next part. There are also a few images in the book – there’s a picture of a phone with a Whats App conversation on it for example, also a page from a notebook and medical and police reports. Unfortunately, on my Kindle Paperwhite these were so small they were unreadable, although I don’t think there’s too much on them that’s important to the story – I never felt like I missed too much from not reading them.
Overall The Whole Truth is a fast paced and intriguing crime thriller which keeps the genre fresh with it’s interesting writing style. Now that I have gotten to know the characters a little better I would certainly keep an eye out for the next one! Thank you to NetGalley & Penguin General UK – Fig Tree, Hamish Hamilton and Viking for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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