Book review: Tell Me A Lie by CJ Carver

Tell Me A Lie by CJ Carver
Tell Me A Lie by CJ Carver

A ruthless Russian oligarch, a doggedly determined policewoman and a British spy with memory block on a deadly mission…

Award-winning author CJ Carver is on top form in the second instalment of her Dan Forrester series, international, fast-paced, all-action spy thrillers that pack a powerful punch and have an all-star cast of eclectic characters.

These twisting, turning, high-octane adventures have won Carver a flurry of critical accolades and an army of fans who are hooked on dark, complex plots, seductive intrigue, page-turning tension and the irresistible combination of a feisty female detective and a fallible but fearless ex-MI5 agent.

Tell Me A Lie sees spy Dan Forrester, who we first met in Spare Me The Truth, desperately trying to protect his wife and daughter whilst struggling to remember who is actually hunting them as he embarks on a gripping rollercoaster ride from the wilds of Wales to a perilous nest of vipers in Moscow.

When his three-year-old son was killed in a hit-and-run accident, Dan suffered terrible trauma and his memory was damaged by a mental breakdown. Five years later, he is no longer living with his wife Jenny and seven-year-old daughter Aimee in Wales, and is working for a global political analyst.

But now his former boss at MI5 has been approached by a sleeper agent in Moscow called Lynx wanting an urgent meeting with Dan, claiming that they have a shared past and offering to spill the beans on a big story in Russia that will have global ramifications.

Meanwhile, PC Lucy Davies is called out to a shocking family massacre on Teesside. The Calder family seemed to have it all but the father, Adrian Calder, has apparently taken a gun and mercilessly mown down his wife and children. It looks like an open and shut case but Lucy is convinced that Calder is innocent.

Despite opposition from Dan’s estranged wife and the fact that he still has no memories of his work with MI5, the former spy heads off to Moscow for the meeting with the unknown agent Lynx, only to find that his cover has been blown and he’s on his own.

Back in England, Lucy discovers that their cases are linked and the two desperately race to find answers. They soon realise that their lives aren’t the only ones in danger. An ageing oligarch in Siberia has gathered his henchmen to discuss an English accountant… Dan’s wife.

Carver pulls out all the stops in an addictive thriller which encompasses every emotion from cold hatred and abject fear to unconditional love and heartfelt passion, and explores the fall-out from secrets, lies, revenge, greed and ambition.

The growing relationship between Dan and Lucy is one of the highlights of the series… Lucy’s gutsy bravado and dark humour are the perfect accompaniment to Dan’s vulnerability, professionalism and natural intensity.

Packed with explosive action, dark deeds, evil baddies and white-knuckle suspense, and with a terrific twist in the tail, Tell Me A Lie is sheer entertainment all the way.

(Zaffre, paperback, £7.99)