Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Truth, It Lies: by Eoin Hennigan

TITLE: The Truth, It Lies
AUTHOR: Eoin Hennigan
PRICE: $15.51
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 978-1-84728-540-9

Set in Hollywood of the 50s, The Truth, It Lies focuses on a down on his luck lawyer, Robert Harvey, whose clients, writers, actors and other industry folk, were rapidly leaving the country or going underground to avoid the attention of government investigations into alleged Communist ties in the movie industry. Just when Robert was at the point where he was going to have to let go his secretary and close up shop, he receives information from an insider at the LAPD that a big name star is about to be busted. He begins to be hopeful that he can represent that star and keep the bills paid a bit longer. The next morning he receives another call, this time from a well known director who needs his help. Perhaps his luck is changing?

The book doesn’t open with the lawyer’s situation; rather, it begins with the police investigation of a fatal, multi-car accident. The victims include an actor of some notoriety (he had been recently accused of being a Communist) who is determined by the police to be the proximate cause of the incident. The story then goes back in time two weeks, to the set of the movie that actor was working on prior to his death. We learn that he and the film’s director had a very poor relationship. Those opening chapters and the next two that give a lot of Harvey’s backstory, along with many references to the political climate of the time, slow the opening of the book.

However, the plot, as they say, thickens and the pace speeds up as Robert Harvey (whose name, since his chapters are written in first person, we don’t know until Chapter Ten) starts looking into the director’s case. There are interesting twists and turns and weird coincidences. The author has done a good job with the introduction of various revelations, each one resolving a bit of the mystery but always adding a new conundrum to resolve, right up to the very end.

I noted a blurb about an upcoming book on the last page of this one, “Part 2 of the Hollywood Trilogy”. The next one doesn’t seem to feature the same main character; rather, that book will have one of the minor characters as its protagonist according to the blurb. While The Truth, It Lies stands alone just fine, and came to a satisfactory conclusion, I’m intrigued enough to want to read the next two books to see if there’s more to this story in them as well, but with a caveat. I found the story to be a pleasant read, good but not great. It’s also a short novel (I estimate around 70k word count) and I hesitate to say “rush out and buy this” at $15.51. I wouldn’t hesitate if there was the option to buy as an e-Book for a budget minded reader.

Rating: 7/10

See Also:
PODlings: 5

Average rating: 6/10

Reviewed by Dawno

Dawno is the review coordinator for POD People as well as an 'empty nest' mom, blogger and moderator at Absolute Write's Water Cooler, a forum for writers of all kinds, including bloggers, where she moderates the Blogging forum. She is also on the staff of Coyote Wild, an e-zine of speculative fiction published quarterly.

No comments: