120. Truth and Lies (A DI Amy Winter Thriller Book 1) by Caroline Mitchell

Synopsis (as taken from the Amazon Kindle Store) is as follows:

Meet Amy Winter: Detective Inspector, daughter of a serial killer.

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.

Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims—but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.

While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.

But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?

Ability to read – I read this over the course of two days, I needed a break between because I found this book decidedly more twisted than I had expected and needed a chance for the adrenaline to calm down. I didn’t have any problem with reading this, I understood what was happening and never had to stop to understand anything or to google anything.

Characterisation – Amy Winter definitely experienced a hell of a lot within this book. Struggling with grief, she already proved herself as a strong character early into the plot. Her character grew and changed as the story progressed and running the story as though there were two separate parts of her, was very compelling. It was Lillian and Jack Grimes who caused me so much anxiety and adrenaline while reading, their actions described by the author were particularly harrowing to me. I have read a lot of dark thriller stories but somehow this one really got to me.

Amy Winter was a strong character and all things considered, I’m surprised she managed to keep herself going through the story and not crumble or fall as she passed each hurdle. There are definitely a lot of players within the story and many, I assume, will become characters of the series. There were a lot of unpleasant or sensitive themes played out by the characters involved, I definitely felt like I was walking along side the characters as the story progressed and there were several moments, especially in the chapters from the past, where I had to stop and analyse the character that I was reading, so I could better understand what I was reading.

The chapters focused on Paddy were a distraction to begin with. I couldn’t understand why he was being given center stage and at one point I almost resented his presence in the book. However, as I continued to read, Paddy grew more appealing and I began to see the character behind the name and could connect to his emotions and actions.

Characters like Pike, Flora and Craig, I’m on the fence about. I don’t feel like I got a good scope of who the characters were and with what I was given, the only emotion I felt towards them was annoyance. I don’t know whether they’ll become bigger players as the series continues or not but my annoyance towards them blended them into the background as I read.

Visualisation – It was easy to visualise what was happening in this book. My imagination was perhaps, pushed to the limits in terms of visualising some of the darker aspects of this book but I did feel like I had a strong image and was able to correctly visualise what was described in the book. I spent a lot of the book standing firmly behind Amy Winter’s, so my visualisation was heavily influenced by her pov.

Enjoyment – At the risk of sounding crazy, I did enjoy this book. As I’ve stated above, I did find parts of it darker than I was expecting and did have to separate myself from the book for an evening. I didn’t guess the kidnapper, in fact, the reveal was a complete surprise to me and not something I saw coming. The questions and worries Amy has over her newly discovered identity fascinated me and fueled my interest in the human brain and how genetics are passed over. I feel this book is just the beginning of Amy’s journey, I feel that there is much more to discover about her and much more to see her triumph against. I don’t think it’s the last of Lillian, because that would be too easy. I think things are going to get worse for Amy before they get better, which is fine, it just means I’ll see more character growth from her.

Star Rating – ★★★★

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