Scheduled for release in March 2021, I was so excited to receive the invitation from the publishers via NetGalley to read and review this early. I thought All the Rage took the DI Fawley series to a new level, but it’s safe to say that in The Whole Truth things are better than expected in terms of storytelling.
There are three stories being told in The Whole Truth, each of which challenges our expectations and assumptions.
In the first instance we have Caleb Morgan, a young student who has come forward to his university making an allegation against one of his professors about a sexual attack. The professor concerned, Marina Fisher, is not quite what you might expect and from the outset this story challenges a lot of preconceptions. Almost certainly influenced by the #MeToo movement, this was a murky ever-shifting story where it was never quite clear what had happened, where each of those involved seemed to be hiding something and which, ultimately, led to me feeling very sorry for any officer ever involved in investigating any kind of sexual assault.
The second and third strands of the story are more closely linked than we might initially have predicted. There’s the disappearance of a young professional called Emma Smith. Her body is, eventually, discovered so this becomes a murder investigation. Unfortunately, the investigation uncovers some rather damning evidence which has serious implications for DI Fawley. The third strand of the story focuses on the Fawley couple. Alex is pregnant, and increasingly fearful that the man convicted of the attacks (one of which she survived) is determined to engineer revenge on them for manipulating the evidence that led to his conviction. Many think she’s paranoid, but the podcast researching this trial and conviction certainly offers enough to suggest Alex is right to be fearful…and, eventually, offers some very useful information to help those investigating the death of Emma (who was, in fact, a close friend of Alex Fawley).
Without giving too much away, once we start to see these strands interweave this became very hard to put down. Every part of this story was gripping, and it was fascinating to experience so many of the inevitable frustrations that must come from investigating such cases. Some of the characters definitely come out of this better than others, and though we are encouraged to remain convinced of the innocence of some key players, some of the truths that are revealed at the end most definitely left a rather unsavoury taste.