A compelling crime thriller about friendship, life-changing moments and the liberating but devastating effects of finding out and coping with the truth …
The truth will out. The book’s title is the first sentence in this captivating and intriguing crime thriller, set in Ireland. A man who has been imprisoned for decades is finally closer to a truth – one that could free him. The power of truth is sometimes underestimated – and always more devastating than you could ever imagine. There was a gruesome night forty years ago – anonymous letters – a trial. What terrible crime has been committed? How far does a friendship go when one is accused of horrific acts?
We go back to Ireland in the year 1971 when 12-year old Jamie had yet again one of his fits of violent temper. He knows he has to control them but what can you do when the anger is building up inside you? His parents deny that anything is wrong with their son and he has to deal with his uncontrollable anger himself. One person who is able to get through to Jamie when he has these temper fits is Mary Kate, only a few years older but much wiser. This time Jamie has gone too far and Mary Kate decides to teach him a lesson: her cousin Shane who was attacked by Jamie, will deliver the punishment, a vicious blow to the head with a stick leaving Jamie unconscious. It might seem strange but the events somehow ensure a lifelong friendship between Shane and Jamie. The three of them become almost inseparable and when Mary Kate moves to her own apartment, both Jamie and Shane get their own keys. If only they knew the terrors lying ahead of them.
It starts out quite innocently: a party, the three of them are present. Jamie cannot hold his liquor and in his drunken stupor, he mistakes Mary Kate’s words of friendship ‘I love you’ for a declaration of passion. There are so many witnesses to their argument – is it any wonder when a neighbour finds Mary Kate raped and almost beaten to death in her apartment, with Jamie lying next to her unconscious, that the Guards (Police) consider Jamie their prime suspect? The whole community is in shock as Mary Kate was loved by all: no wonder the blame falls on Jamie and his parents. Shane feels guilty for having left Jamie alone with Mary Kate but then again Jamie would never hurt her, he loved her! They were that close as friends there is no way Jamie could have acted like the newspapers say: raping and battering their friend Mary Kate to near death. Now she is in hospital, struggling for her life. Nobody doubts Jamie is guilty except one person – Shane.
Nevertheless, even he is powerless when Jamie is brought to the Garda (Police) Station by Detective Inspector Flood and Detective Sergeant Cullen. DI Flood is furious and insists on Jamie being Mary Kate’s attacker; he has no problem using violence to beat a confession out of Jamie. Although DS Cullen at first seems to be the friendly one, it turns out he can do nothing to prevent Flood from attacking, brutalising and humiliating Jamie. Somehow we watch Cullen’s behaviour change from disapproval (without confrontation) of his superior’s actions to tacit acceptance of the prevailing culture in the Garda Station. At first, he is eager to disentangle himself from the aggressive behaviour. As time goes on he apparently makes his choice to adapt to the prevailing system, up to the point where he becomes actively involved. The devastating result of such behaviour will become clear as the plot evolves towards its shocking ending.
When you are beaten and humiliated daily, will you confess to a crime you cannot remember having committed? Jamie feels in his heart that he could not have performed the gruesome and horrific acts on Mary Kate, that he is not capable of hurting the one he loves so dearly because are they not friends for life, the three of them together – Jamie, Mary Kate and Shane? The days of mistreatment turn into weeks but whatever DI Flood tries, Jamie will not confess to acts of which he has absolutely no memory. Jamie struggles to find explanations for what has happened. He can see no other way than to rely on that which helped him control his anger – his faith in God. Now his actions are determined by what he feels is “the ultimate test of his faith.” What follows is a series of events that will be life-changing, a friendship tested and people who have to pay the ultimate price. Tom, Jamie’s lawyer, is desperate to help Jamie, as is Shane but, somehow, everything turns out differently from what could be foreseen or suspected.
The Truth will Out is a captivating crime thriller! It is gripping shocking and heartbreaking: I loved it! When you are denied professional help to control your anger, when you are left out there to deal with it yourself, it is no wonder you desperately want something to cling to. In Jamie’s case, it is his faith that helps him through the ordeals of life. At the age of 12, he has been taught a lesson to such an extent that it will influence the rest of his life. The close friendship he feels defines and shapes his future. I found it thrilling but sometimes painful when I realised what seemingly harmless events can lead up to. Everything you do in life influences others to an extent you cannot predict. In this case, people were getting hurt and lives were to be changed forever. Sometimes the truth will be the last thing you expect or want but once you know the facts, it is too late to wish you had never found out. The Irish influence is there in this well-written novel, as are the plot twists and unexpected turns. Brian Clearly has written a cracking crime debut!
About the Author
Brian Cleary was born in Dublin, Ireland and never left. He has always lived in Dublin. In the 1980s Brian Clearly began writing this novel but for some reason it was not finished. Just like his protagonist has to wait 40 years to learn the truth it took Brian the same number of years before he started working on his novel again. This time he was encouraged by his family to complete the story – and so he did.
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (17 Oct. 2016)|