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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

'Based on Lies' by Barbara Fagan Speake

Published by Country Books,
28 May 2017.
ISBN 978-1-910489-46-8

Barbara’s excellent series continues with this fifth adventure for Annie MacPherson and Ellie Harrington in Connecticut.   Annie is a Scottish detective seconded to the Westport police and Ellie is a journalism student who became involved with Annie’s previous case.  That fascinating undercover operation was the topic of the previous book, Scared to Tell.   This book begins with an attack on a female student on the local University campus.  The police investigation soon reveals that there have been similar assaults previously both in Connecticut and in Massachusetts.   The police are, therefore, looking for a serial perpetrator who has attempted or achieved rape of a number of college women over a period of time.

Ellie, meanwhile, is preoccupied with the sudden death of her father and the mystery she finds concerning her mother’s death years before.  The two topics have some links as is gradually revealed.  The experiences of the women attacked are described very clearly and the investigations into the identity of their attacker is equally clearly developed.  Obviously, a reader can quickly become concerned with the individuals here, and other characters around Annie and Ellie are well developed too.  The sometimes-tedious work of the police is well shown, while the life of a campus with the dangers women can face is also well delineated.  The denouement is most satisfactory from the aspect of justice though the past lies hinted at in the title show why this justice has been delayed.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Barbara Fagan Speake uses her own experiences as an expatriate American and a psychologist in the NHS in her books.  They form a sequence but knowledge of previous books is not necessary - it adds to the pleasure if you do read them in order, though!

Barbara Fagan Speake was born and brought up in Connecticut. She has written 3 crime novels so far.  The first, Secrets Only Sleep, is a standalone mystery.  The second is this book and the third, Programmed to Kill, develops Annie’s adventures in the USA further

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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