True Death by Dale E Lehman is a marvellous contemporary murder thriller. It is the second book in the Howard County Mystery series but could be read as a stand-alone. I would, however, recommend reading book one, The Fibonacci Murders, first as this story follows straight on from that, being set just a few weeks later.
The plotline was intricately constructed and grabbed my attention from the start. I immediately became engrossed in the action and remained glued to the end. The story alternated between present day and the past, which set the scene for the action to come.
In True Death the reader hears the back story of the main characters. They are more than just detectives, they are ‘real’ people who have loved and lost. The three detectives reminded me of the three musketeers, with the police chief as D’Artagnan. Their loyalty to each other and their fight for justice was admirable.
There was an unknown voice that drew the reader in. I was asking questions – who is this? What have they done?
A cold case collides with present day crimes in the novel. The reader is intrigued and wonders if there is any connection? Or just coincidence?
The story has the themes of regret and revenge. Both have the power to destroy from the inside out.
A theme with far greater power than regret and revenge, is that of forgiveness. Forgiveness frees us from the past, enabling us to step into the future. Without forgiveness, we can become trapped in a prison of bitterness.
Faith in God was a theme that bubbled away beneath the surface. Sometimes life events mean we wander away from God. When life makes no sense or little sense, we realise our need for God and find ourselves returning to Him. God is the God of restoration and new beginnings. We can lean on Him in any storm.
The criminal underworld features. Dale Lehman has constructed an intricate story that has the reader guessing and trying to join the dots from the start.
Dale Lehman is a new author to me and I cannot get enough of his books – fabulous, clean murder mysteries that have me hanging on his every word. I do hope there is a book three.
I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.