WHERE THE TRUTH LIES by Karina Kilmore (Simon & Schuster, March 2020).
Australia seems to be blessed at the moment with an increasing number of good, intelligent crime writers set on portraying the diversity of life in this country.
The latest addition to the local crime fiction scene is former kiwi, Karina Kilmore. Karina was a long term financial journalist, under her Karina Barrymore byline, and she makes good use of this expertise in her first novel, Where The Truth Lies.
Set on the Melbourne docks, Where The Truth Lies is a complex, credible thriller that takes a sharp look at corruption, in business and the unions, and the declining power of newspapers. Fragile and potentially unstable journalist Chrissie O’Brian is given the opportunity to redeem her reputation at The Argus newspaper, when she is assigned to investigate a recent spate of accidents at the docks. When one of the people she talks to is killed in a suspicious accident, Chrissie realises that there is something more sinister going-on than the usual union vs big business conflict. Fighting internal rivalries at the newspaper, growing threats and political pressure, Chrissie pushes on with the story despite the consequences.
This novel starts well, but slows a little over the middle portion. The central character, journalist Chrissie O’Brian, is a nice mixture of determination and fragility, and like most modern crime narrators, she has a dark secret in her past and a taste for guilt relieving vices. Probably too much time is spent on Chrissie’s mental state, but Kilmore develops her well over the course of the book and it will be interesting if there is another outing for the intrepid reporter.
Karina’s extensive experience as a financial journalist allows her to bring a good deal of insider knowledge and credibility to her story. The newspaper scenes ring true and Karina ably conveys the desperation that exists in so many newsrooms these days. She also shows a good grasp of big business machinations and corruption. There are some unexpected revelations towards the end as Karina unwinds the various strands of her plot and the conclusion is suitability cynical.
In all, a good crime thriller, although some more suspense and action at the end would have been welcomed.
Where The Truth Lies is due out in Australia on 1 March 2020.
Thanks to the Canberra Times and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of the book.