Spare Me the Truth by CJ CarverTitle: Spare Me the Truth

Author: CJ Carver

Pages: 528

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication Date: 7 April 2016

Rating: ★★★

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley

Dan Forrester, piecing his life back together after the tragic death of his son, is approached in a supermarket by a woman who tells him everything he remembers about his life – and his son – is a lie.

Grace Reavey, stricken by grief, is accosted at her mother’s funeral. The threat is simple: pay the staggering sum her mother allegedly owed, or lose everything.

Lucy Davies has been forced from the Met by her own maverick behaviour. Desperate to prove herself in her new rural post, she’s on the hunt for a killer – but this is no small town criminal.

Plunged into a conspiracy that will test each of them to their limits, these three strangers are brought together in their hunt for the truth, whatever it costs. And as their respective investigations become further and further entwined, it becomes clear that at the centre of this tangled web is a threat more explosive than any of them could have imagined.

My first thought upon finishing this book was that if the technology the book is based on is even close to being true, then that is both amazing and terrifying. While it would be pretty awesome to be able to just get rid of bad memories, this book shows that it could be pretty dangerous in the wrong hands.

Spare Me the Truth is a thriller novel by CJ Carver. The book follows the story of Dan Forrester, a man suffering from dissociative amnesia after the death of his young son. While out shopping with his daughter, Dan is approached by a woman who claims to be from his past and needs his help. The only problem is that Dan has no idea who she is or how he could help her. The book also follows the story of police officer Lucy Davies as she investigates the abductions and murders of several victims who are linked solely by the fact that they are all bipolar and taking the same medication.

The plot was interesting, but maybe a little too sci-fi-y for my personal tastes. I really liked the fact that this book sort of merged two of my favourite genres and created a story that managed to both involves spies, while also having that murder mystery element. I felt the whole amnesia angle was quite well-done and not something that you see very often. My only problem was that amnesia drugs and electromagnetic weapons that affect the brain were just a little too much for me as I like books to feel like they could really be happening in the outside world.

Probably the best part about Spare Me the Truth is the characters. I found Dan Forrester to be a pretty interesting character as he is a spy that doesn’t actually know he is a spy. My favourite thing about the characters is that for the most part they felt real. The small elements such as how Dan’s wife uses the amnesia to make Dan get rid of his bad habits and Dan’s reaction when he finds out just made the characters feel real and much more interesting for me.

I liked Carver’s writing style because it is relatively straightforward and easy to read. The book isn’t super-fast-paced, but it doesn’t drag either. There wasn’t as much action as you’d expect from a book that is marketed towards fans of Lee Child and Jason Bourne, but it really does both start and end with a bang. I found that I tore through the last 100 pages or so as the action really picked up. All in all, it’s a good read but the plot was just a touch too sci-fi for my tastes.

Worth a read? If you’re a fan of spy thrillers and detective novels, then Spare Me the Truth is probably worth a read. The book combines the two genres and Carver’s writing style makes the book become a real page turner once you get into it.



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