First before I write this review I must thank Craig Sisterson and all the other organisers of the Ngaio Marsh awards for working with Zaffre publishings and Bolinda Publishing PTY Ltd to get me a free Audio reviewer copy of C J Carvers Spare me the Truth in order that I can review the book as part of the Ngaio Marsh blog tour.
C J Carver has been nominated this year for the Ngaio Marsh Novel of the year 2017, as the blog tour has been split between several bloggers we have only been asked to do one each. However, before I read Spare me the Truth I had also read the third novel of fellow nominee Ben Sanders – American Blood the first in the Marshall series, the second of which Marshalls Law he has been nominated for this year. I feel that it was important to say this as when I was reading Spare me the Truth I was automatically comparing both styles of the nominees to see which one I preferred. Ben Sanders journey style is a marked difference to C J Carvers character driven chapters were you learn a lot about each character from a number of different points of view. C J Carver often switched between first person perspectives to allow the story to flow in a way which allowed the action to keep you enthralled despite these different perspectives. However, the number of different character stories in my view made it overly complicated at times and maybe could have done with a few less strands to the tale. The strands however were well tied together at the end of the book and I felt more for the characters than I did for the Ben Sanders Marshall Series because of this.
The Marshall series was more action packed but was less dramatic because it didn’t go into the characters the same as C J Carver did. Putting them as a direct comparison I would put C J as my winner and would hope to see a spin off novel with Lucy as the main character. The complicated story within Spare me the Truth was clarified very well with the authors note at the end of the book and I wish more authors did this, without this the realism of the story may have been more questionable but knowing where she got the research from, and the basis of the story, and that is was scientifically possible, made it more palatable as a reader. Being a prospective writer myself I understand the changing nature of turning something into a work of fiction and how complicated this can be.
Overall I give Spare me the Truth 4* out of 5.
I hope she wins and this encourages her to write more books.