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Thursday 12 April 2018

‘Truly Evil’ by Mark Hardie

Published by Sphere,
25 January 2018.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-6209-5 (PBO)

Detective Sergeant Frank Pearson is called to a crime scene where the body of a young woman is found by an old man walking his dog on the beach at Chalkwell, Southend, Essex. The “girl” turns out to be a young man dressed as a girl, they give “her” the name of Rachel. At the post mortem it is revealed that Rachel was strangled and had not been drowned.

An old friend of Pearson's mother, Jack Morris, identifies the body to be that of his son Michael, whom he hasn't seen for years and has been trying to trace.

Pearson and Detective Constable Catherine Russell, known as Cat, discover that in1966 the body of another young woman was found in exactly the same place, also strangled. A coincidence? Could the two crimes be connected?

Frank and Cat then find out that Michael was involved in dubious sex sessions, sometimes quite violent ones.  It is slowly revealed that a Richard Lennon had been experimented on in the 60's to change his identity and personality, a practice that was carried out on criminals, but what was his crime? A psychiatrist, Dr. Fitzgerald, tries to get through to him to find out what happened and who he really is. However he is in a near vegetative state and the only information she can get out of him is that he knew he had done something “truly evil”. Can he be connected to the murder in 1966?
When there is another death MI5 intervene in their enquiries, what can it possibly be that they want covered up? Quite a lot as it turns out.

Meanwhile it seems that Michael was not the person everyone believed him to be. More hidden secrets.

Can the team headed by Pearson and Cat solve not only the present deaths but also the one that took place in 1966? There are so many people with so many things to hide in both the past and present that it is a very difficult task and one that nearly costs them their jobs.

I really enjoyed this book, every time I was convinced a certain person committed a crime, it was proved otherwise. Very cleverly written.

It made things more interesting as I know Southend and could picture where the bodies were found and the surrounding areas. Added to the interest was the theories of why the Crowstone, where the bodies were found, is so named.

Recommended for those who enjoy an intriguing book full of surprises and a plot that gets the little grey cells working!
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Mark Hardie began writing full time after completely losing his eyesight in 2002. He has completed a creative writing course and an advanced creative writing course at the Open University, both with distinction.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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