The Shape of Lies (DCI Tom Douglas #8)
Published by Black Dot Publishing Ltd
Available in ebook and paperback (12 February 2019)
Source: Copy provided for review via Netgalley
I’m a big fan of Rachel’s books (and in particular of Tom Douglas!) and couldn’t say no when asked by Maura Wilding to review and take part in the tour. Thank you Maura! My review is below, but first, a little about the book.
About the Book
Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he’s back. And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts. Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets.
Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she’s a good liar. She made one mistake, and now she is having to pay for it. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past, but how can he be alive?
Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she loved; the man she watched die; the man who has come back to life. She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.
Having enjoyed Rachel’s previous books (the last one being a standalone And So It Begins), it was good to be back with the familiar and especially Tom Douglas and his team.
This is one of those stories that begins with a dilemma that you could understand a naive young girl struggling with. As a teenager at university, Anna made her decision and has been paying for it ever since.
Anna is now a respected head teacher with a husband and family of her own however her past comes back to haunt her when she hears her ex boyfriend’s name together with his nickname for her, on a local radio show phone in and makes reference to a place known to both of them – promising to tell all, if voted for, the following week. Anna is totally bewildered and scared as to how this is possible. Scott is dead. So who else know their secrets.
Whilst this is happening, the police are dealing with a dead body found in a car, parked in a multi storey car park. With no identification, the body is assumed to be the owner of the vehicle. But as ever, nothing is as straightforward as it seems.
Anna was a difficult character for me to engage with, she had a complicated personality and whilst I felt sorry for her, especially as a young girl, I didn’t take to the adult version very much. I could see how the younger Anna could get sucked into a situation that spirals out of control but as an older woman with a family? I just couldn’t really buy into the lies and deceit.
Despite my misgivings about Anna, I was nevertheless completely sucked into the various strands of the story. As the body count rises the police face an uphill task to find the person, or people responsible, before the next victim is claimed. In this midst of all this, Tom Douglas is facing a personal family crisis of his own. Luckily for him DI Becky Robinson is back from maternity leave and playing a good supporting role as his wingman.
I’ve always found Rachel Abbott’s books absolutely engrossing and this one is no exception. The story moves between the past and the present, gradually revealing the truth as to what happened all those years before. I have to admit there were people in Anna’s past that I could quite happily have killed myself, I hated them so much. There are some very nasty characters here, none of which you would ever want to come across in real life, and the suspense is maintained throughout. And the twists! Did I mention that that there are twists. Well there are.
The Shape of Lies is another brilliantly executed crime thriller from this very talented author. I don’t know how she comes up with such intriguing and twisted plots each time, but I’m very glad she does!
About the Author
Rachel Abbott, born and raised in Manchester, founded her own interactive media company in the 1980s, before selling it and retiring in 2005. She then moved to Italy where she worked on the renovation of a 15th century Italian monastery, and it was here that, one day, she found herself snowed in and decided to begin writing for pleasure. This became her debut novel, Only The Innocent, which she went on to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, topping their chart for 4 weeks.
A true self-publishing pioneer, The Shape of Lies is Abbott’s ninth novel. She splits her time between Alderney in the Channel Islands and Italy.