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Saturday 29 October 2011

‘Truth Dare Kill’ by Gordon Ferris

 Published by Corvus
6 October 2011.  
ISBN 978-0-85789-492-2 

Danny McRae having survived the war has set himself up as a private investigator. The world is trying to get back to normality, but for Danny, who has no memory of a year of his life, what is normality?  He knows that he was in France on a mission and he knows that he was captured by the Germans, but for the rest…..

His first case is very reminiscence of what we know of the Golden Age, as beautiful elegant, upper-class Kate Graveney hires Danny to investigate the death of her lover – she says she is not certain whether she killed him, or  if it was  the bomb that ravaged the flat in which they were both staying.

Danny set’s out on this his first investigation, but Danny is still subject to black-outs that are a result of his head injury which account for his loss of a year’s memory. As he sets off on a hunt through bomb-ravaged London, he meets Valerie who seems to be on his side, something he dearly needs – someone on his side.  But Valerie is elusive giving no address and just turning up out of the blue and disappearing just as abruptly.
As Danny attempts to establish whether Tony, Kate’s lover died in a bombing, his blackouts raise for him questions, as he reads about a brutal killer stalking London's red light district, and he wonders of just what he could be capable of when out of it.

Gradually, he begins to piece together the events leading up to his arrest in France and as he does so he becomes a threat to someone, someone who cannot risk him recovering his memory. With his handicap of not knowing Danny is stabbing around in the dark and the fact that an Inspector Wilson has it in for him doesn’t help.  

This is an excellent mystery with a wonderful ambiance of the mysteries of the late 1940’s.  It has a truly wonderful surprise ending, and is highly recommended.
Lizzie Hayes

Gordon Ferris is an ex-techy in the Ministry of Defence, and ex-partner in one of the Big Four accountancy firms. He writes about the important things in life: conflicted heroes and headstrong women embroiled in tangled tales of life, love and death.  Other books are The Unquiet Heart and the highly acclaimed The Hanging Shed

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