By the Light of a Lie by Marjorie Orr
|By the Light of a Lie by Marjorie Orr|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Great plot, characters you root for and a real sense of location. An all round good read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 270||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: Horme Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
Tire Thane was devastated when her best friend, Erica, was killed in a hit-and-run accident (if, indeed, it was an accident) but she really couldn't understand why she should have been in Hammersmith. She'd left her getting into a taxi at 11 o'clock the night before outside the theatre in St Martin's Lane and she was on her way home to Hampstead to review papers ready for a court appearance the following morning. Then she died three hours later and miles out of her way. The police didn't seem likely to pursue the case on the grounds that it had probably been an accident, but being an investigative journalist made Tire suspicious and she wasn't going to leave her friend unavenged.
Erica had been involved in some difficult cases as a barrister - big names who might prefer to keep their reputations unsullied, who might object to their business practices being made public or react badly to suggestions that they'd been abusing their daughter. Then there was the man who was accused of murdering his wife: Erica didn't believe that he was guilty, but that was how he intended to plead. Was it possible that someone felt that life would be easier with Erica Smythson out of the way? Permanently?
Tire knew that getting information wouldn't be easy and if what she suspected was correct then her life could be in danger too. Even in the worst of situations some luck can come your way and for Tire that good fortune came in the form of Herk Calder. Actually it was Hercules Calder, but you can understand why the ex-squaddie prefered Herk. Tire's strength was in investigation: Herk's was in reconnaissance and resourcefulness and they were going to need all their skills. Tire has another strength too - she's into astrology only it's not the stuff you get in the tabloids. She's more into the geopolitical stuff.
It's a very good story. Marjorie Orr is a former journalist and BBC TV documentary producer and you can see the skills shining through. The plot is complex - there's no straight line drawn through the story for you to follow. Erica's clients all have stories of their own and they often intersect. It's neatly done and very compelling: I had someone else chalked in as being responsible for Erica's death. It's not just a good story though: Tire carries the plot well and I was rooting for her. Her heart does rule her head on occasions, but no one would ever call her a coward. It was good too to see a man in a supporting role: it's usually the other way round. Here it's definitely Tire who's running the show and what a relief it was to read about a relationship which wasn't based on sexual chemistry of some description.
Orr has a real talent for evoking place, with locations in London, Scotland, France and Spain. It seemed to take remarkably few words to set the scene and it certainly added to my enjoyment of the book. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
You can read more about Marjorie Orr here
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