Where the Truth Lies (DI Ridpath) by M J Lee
|Where the Truth Lies (DI Ridpath) by M J Lee|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: DI Thomas Ridpath is back from extended sick leave but has been sidelined to a job as Coroner's Officer. His first case harks back to his first case in CID - and he has doubts as to whether the right man went to gaol ten years ago. A promising start to a new series.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: October 2018|
DI Thomas Ridpath - call him Ridpath as he doesn't think Tom or Thomas suits him - looked to have a promising future in CID until he was forced to take extended sick leave nine months ago. He's back, but the word cancer leaves people doubting how well you really are, or are going to stay. Perhaps it would be better if he quietly retired? His wife, Polly, would like to see him in a desk job. Ridpath would like to be back in front-line policing, but all that's available to him is a secondment for three months as Coroner's Officer. If that's how it's got to be, then he'll do the best job he can.
His first case harks back to his first major crime in CID - that of the Beast of Manchester, the man who tortured and killed young women. James Dalbey was convicted of one murder but other cases have been connected to him and everyone's happy that they've got a killer off the streets. No one is willing to even consider that there might be a link between the latest cases and the murders of more than a decade ago. You can understand it - it's almost the equivalent of suggesting that Peter Sutcliffe didn't commit all the Yorkshire Ripper murders and that the real killer might still be at large. Well, when I say 'no one', I've got to exclude Ridpath and Sarah Castle, both of whom have open minds. Open minds don't go down well with the higher ups. They like old cases to stay closed.
James Dalbey is creepy: it's easy to believe that he's a killer, but he's never admitted any guilt or been prepared to discuss what happened to the bodies of the other women. He's spent the ten years he's been in Belmarsh prison trying to prove his innocence. Where the Truth Lies is the story of a man who is killing now and the people he manipulates and of the investigations which Ridpath and a rather reluctant Sarah Castle pursue into what happened ten years ago. The investigation then looked good on the surface, but was deeply flawed as CID rushed to get a quick conviction.
It's a neat story and a promising opening to a new series. I'd like to have seen more depth in the characterisation, but that will doubtless come as the series progresses. Manchester comes to life in the pages and the plot is well-conceived and executed. Ridpath (and the coroner) rather overstep the limits of their job and at the end of the book I still wasn't completely clear about the exact responsibilities of the coroner and his/her officer. If the series continues in the coroner's office then this will perhaps become obvious. The book was a good read and I'll be pleased to read more in the series.
For more about a coroner, try The Coroner by M R Hall.
You can read more book reviews or buy Where the Truth Lies (DI Ridpath) by M J Lee at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Where the Truth Lies (DI Ridpath) by M J Lee at Amazon.com.
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