Preface Publishing, 2011
Detective Inspector Rob Brennan after the murder of his brother spent six months in a psychiatric hospital, recovering from the shock. Returning to work, Brennan rips right from the chief right to investigate the brutal murder of a young girl whose body was brutally mutilated. The body can not yet be identified, but the Brennan suspects that the girl was a local, as the killer, trying to disguise with the cruelty ordinary murder after rape. At the same time, the local crime boss Deil McArdle (the Deil, as he is called) agrees to crank a small crime, working with German mobsters, and Barry Tierney, a small criminal, brings a baby into the apartment of his drug addict girlfriend. In addition to investigating the murder of a girl, Brennan also must deal with the murderers of his brother.
Tony Black, who has written four novels about Gus Dury, for a time abandoned his serial hero and launched a new series of police procedurals about Inspector Brennan. Of the two novels about Dury what I read, one was good, one was bad, and «Truth Lies Bleeding» did not become too successful start of the series. Black writes the same scathing prose, and Brennan is a worthy successor to Dury. He is sharp on the tongue; he is always displeased with something, with troubles in his personal life. The first half of the book is good because you can enjoy the leisurely development of events, savoring some moments: the dialogue between criminals, Brennan’s rudeness, insider’s police wars. The good thing about «Truth Lies Bleeding» is the way Black writes intrigue within the police department. It is interesting to watch how the inspectors are fighting for a particular investigation, how the inspectors are trying to curry favor with his superiors, how the authorities urge their subordinates. And Brennan, of course, is not the one who is easy to handle:
«Brennan hadn't wanted the leave; the Chief Super had insisted on it. She'd wanted to put him out because he wasn'ta yes-man. Galloway was a typical careerist: she surrounded herself with the types that were no challenge to her. People like the boy, Stevie McGuire. He was a no-hoper, perfect material for promotion in Galloway's ranks. More like McGuire beneath her and her ascent was assured, carried high on their shoulders. Providing she could keep the likes of Brennan in check, that is. She still needed to rely on someone providing the clear-up rates if she was to get the Chief Constable's job»
The second half of the book is disappointing in that Brennan does not think hard, and the killer himself finally comes into his hands. And the background of murder and all subsequent events seem ridiculous and absurdly false. Everything too easy comes to happy ending.
Let's hope in the next book in the series Tony Black makes Brennan sweat.