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Monday 12 April 2021

Searching for Truth by Barry Finlay


Having enjoyed my first encounter with this author (The Burden of Darkness), it was with great enthusiasm that I dived into this book, and what a joy. I was promised a new protagonist (Jake Scott), and he couldn't be more different than The Burden of Darkness's Marcia Kane.

Jake Scott is feeling his way around recent widowerhood and retirement. The highlight of his week: Saturday morning coffee with a motley crew:  three men and Constable Danielle Perez. As a former investigative journalist, Jake is just the chap to help Danielle look into a double murder from three years previously. The pandemic has delayed so many things, not least the legal process, and it's taken a long time for the main suspect to be convicted. But Danielle isn't convinced the right man is in prison. With just a grumpy cat for company and little motivation in his newfound, reluctant singledom, Jake takes up the offer to help. 

I really enjoyed this. Jake makes a refreshingly different hero. He's not young and handsomely six-packed. He's a bit of a Luddite, a technophobe, but there's a steadfastness and sincerity about him. And quietly smart. It's rather lovely witnessing his emergence from his cocoon of grief and loneliness after the tragic loss of his beloved wife. The attractive Dani and her stereotypically monosyllabic, grumpy teenager are quite the tonic. But little do the three of them know what serious danger will befall them by wanting to put right a wrong. 

Don't let Jake's pipe-and-slippers persona fool you into thinking this is just a cozy mystery. It's not. It's merely a disguise for a sharp and compelling whodunnit. I consider myself quite a good guesser of whodunnits, but Mr F had me well stumped.

Jake (and Dani) have a sequel in them, I know it. I certainly hope it.

See also:

The Burden of Darkness

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