“Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.
Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.
DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.
When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?”
I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the The Lies Within blog tour. The Lies Within is the third book in the DI Will Jackman series written by Jane Isaac and was published by Legend Press on 2nd May 2017. I have read the second book in the series, Beneath the Ashes which I really enjoyed. If you missed my review of the wonderful Beneath the Ashes then please click here.
The opening chapter takes you right to the heart of the story. You’re immediately thrown into a courtroom scene where Grace Daniels, a mother and wife is on trial for murder. “Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder”. My curiosity was immediately piqued. Grace came across as a normal, everyday person – not a psychopath (not that psychopaths are normally easy to spot, this I have learnt from being an avid crime reader!).
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The main body of the book is pre-trial. It beautifully drip feeds the reader, giving them brief glimpses into how a perfectly pleasant, non-threatening mother could be on the stand for murder. Grace is a woman with secrets. She chooses to keep certain parts of her life hidden, from her friends and most definitely from her family. Then one day a possible link to that past rears its hideous head. Grace’s daughter, Jo is sexually assaulted, her body dumped by the side of the road. Grace is distraught and begins to shut those she loves out. On a rare trip outside of the house, a chance encounter with an old school friend proves the lifeline Grace needs. Despite Grace and Faye being in different years at school, a strong friendship is formed. Grace confides in Faye, invites her to stay in her home when work is being carried out to the boiler, the pair become inseparable to the detriment of everyone else.
But then a second body is discovered and Grace is the main suspect. All of the evidence points to Grace being the killer. Now all she has to do is prove she didn’t do it.
I loved spending time with DI Will Jackman again, and what a case he finds himself in the middle of. This time he’s investigating cold cases in Leicestershire rather than his hometown of Stratford upon Avon and I really enjoyed that change of scene. Particularly when Jackman is re-introduced to beautiful Camela Hanson. There was a significant amount of chemistry between the two of them in Beneath the Ashes so I was pleased to see the sparks still flying in The Lies Within. For those not familiar with DI Jackman and his circumstances he is a married man but Alice, his wife, was involved in an accident which has left her suffering from Locked-In Syndrome. I truly love Jackman’s devotion to his wife but I also like the friction Camela Hanson brings to the story. I guess I feel quite torn when it comes to Will Jackman and his ladies, ha!
The last one-third or so of this book made it for me. I absolutely loved the courtroom scenes. Legal thrillers are normally something I shy away from but having read this exciting, thrilling court-based ending it’s something I will definitely rethink. I felt as though the investigation into Jo’s murder was only the warm-act for this superb final flourish. Don’t get me wrong here, I really enjoyed the investigation but oh my, that final third. I was 100% convinced that Grace was innocent….most of the time. I probably changed my mind every paragraph or so whilst reading! And I loved that doubt. I have so much respect for authors anyway, but if they can make me question a character once I’ve made my mind up, then count me as a fan and destined to buy every future release.
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely. And even though it’s the third book in the series, I believe The Lies Within can be read as a standalone (although why would you when there are fabulous prequels available!). A thoroughly enjoyable read and I can’t wait for more DI Will Jackman (and I have my fingers crossed that the next book will feature Carmen Hanson too).
Four and a half stars out of five.
I chose to read and review an ARC of The Lies Within. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’
In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It’s Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, will be published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, to follow on 2nd May 2017.