The Simple Truth – James Buckler

Published By: Random House
Pages: 368
Released On: 05/01/2023

A young woman is dead.

A very wealthy client needs a favour. You’re newly qualified as a lawyer and this could be your big break, so you jump at the chance.

The case is about to be closed.

All you have to do is talk to a family, ask them to sign some papers. How difficult could it be? Their daughter was found dead at a beauty spot on the outskirts of London in what you’re told was a tragic suicide.

Only you can uncover what really happened.

But the truth is never that simple. And this case could cost you your life…


Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I had just finished a really good book before this one and was worried that I’d be left in a book hangover, unable to focus on anything new. But that fear lasted about ten seconds as this sweeps you away instantly. You know pretty early on that this will be the type of book that leaves you with the hangover.

I don’t really do crime books. I do thrillers and murder mysteries, and books that do involve a certain amount of crime and police, but straight police crime? Never really been on my radar. But this was a good one to start with.

This really hits the ground running. You’re thrown in at the deep end, right in the action. It’s a brilliant start. It contains many short chapters, which I like generally, but it also helps add to the frenzied pace. The fast pace of it makes it a quick read, you easily get absorbed into it. It’s all encompassing. I thought I’d only been reading for a few minutes and then I noticed I was half way through. It’s a mile a minute and you really have to have your wits about you.

I’m not entirely sure how much of it would genuinely happen, how much is realistic to real police conduct and crime, but I’m not totally convinced it matters. It’s a fictional action, crime novel so does it really need to be 100% real? I don’t think so.

There’s several stories, several narratives, several characters, but for me, Lewis is the main character. It’s his involvement which ties all the other people and stories together. He’s a great character, young and unimposing but brave and determined.

Whilst it’s not completely focussed on the climate change angle, it’s not rammed down your throat. But it produces some really important moral questions.

It is full of twists and turns, secrets, red herrings, lies, shocks and surprises, from the first to the last page. It doesn’t let up at all, right through to the end.

This is James Buckler’s second book. His debut “Last Stop Tokyo” was published in 2017 and I’m definitely going to seek it out. Based on this book, I would be very happy to take on further crime novels.

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