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Thursday 16 February 2023

‘No More Lies’ by Rachel Abbott

Published by Black Dot Publishing,
16 February 2023.
ISBN: 978-1-9999437-5-2 (PB)

At a regular book club meeting Mallory Hansen learns from a new member of the club that her lover Nate who is a partner in a prestigious law firm has been accused of sexual harassment of a staff member Gabriella Stafford and suspended pending an investigation.

As Mallory walks home, she is in turmoil, how can she not have noticed anything different about him? Why hasn’t he told her?   In the five years they have been together, he has shown himself to be predictable, reliable and a creature of habit. But he wasn’t always like that she muses, at school he was a nightmare with the girls who all fell for his good looks.  It was only a chance meeting ten years after leaving school that she bumped into him and they had both by that time changed.

Her thoughts turn back to that final get together the six friends had 15 years ago, and the vicious argument on the eve of their departures to different universities, and Jodie going to the US.

When Mallory asks Nate about what she has heard, he denies any wrongdoing. But Mallory recalls the younger Nate and isn’t sure she believes him.

Then, Gabriella is reported missing, and Taya Kimura’s baby is kidnapped. DCI Tom Douglas organises his team, to cover the different cases, but as the investigations get under way it reveals links between the people involved.  But more is to come and soon all the lives of the six former friends are damaged in some way. So, who is targeting them and why?

Tom Douglas has much on his plate, as he attempts to unravel the past and discover who is the behind the misery being inflicted on these six people. Although just back from a wonderful holiday where he met up, after a long time apart, with his brother Jack now in witness protection and called Pete, he worries that the meeting may not have been a good idea as now he is unable to contact Jack at all, despite using the safe system he has previously used successfully.

The story is narrated mainly in the first person by Mallory, and third person narrative by Tom Douglas.

This is a terrific mystery. It is clever, intriguing, enthralling and will keep you guessing right to the end. And like all good mysteries it has a delicious twist. I admit to having sat up reading it until the early hours because I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Rachel Abbott was born just outside Manchester, England.   She became a systems analyst at the age of 21 in the early 1970s and formed her own software company in the mid-1980s designing computer programmes for education.   The company expanded into all forms of interactive media and became extremely successful. The sale of the company in 2000 enabled her to take early retirement and fulfil one of her lifelong ambitions - to buy and restore a property in Italy.  Once there she completely restored a ruined monastery and started a second successful business renting it out for weddings and conferences. In 2010 she embarked on her third career and wrote her first book Only the Innocent.

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