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Forensics expert Nick Fennimore and DI Kate Simms return in their third outing Truth Will Out/, a strong entry in the series that finds the two struggling against the professional boundaries that restrain them from working together.

While Fennimore is always on the hunt for his kidnapped daughter, Suzie, a possible sighting in Paris from Believe No One has the action switching back and forth between Scotland, England and France.

Simms is still feeling the sting from her family after being away for several months spent in the US. This undercurrent will play throughout the book when a mother and child are kidnapped driving away from what should have been a day out at the cinema. Police politics keep Simms at arms length in the investigation as she’s supposed to be home on leave.

Julia Meyers and her young daughter Lauren are leaving a movie, the little girl on a high as only a six year-old entranced with a princess movie can be. Yellow food coloring the child is sensitive to, eaten in sweets, set Lauren off on a temper tantrum that is only subdued when she has a near miss with a car leaving the car park.

A chastened Lauren is soon strapped into her car seat, and the harried mother joins the cars leaving the car park. Then the unthinkable happens: What appears to be a monster breaks through the trunk where he’s been hiding into the back seat, taking mother and child captive, and starting a nationwide search for them both.

The case has a eerie resemblance to an eight year-old kidnapping/murder Fennimore has just been using to illustrate his summer course. DNA evidence had arrested the wrong man, whom Fennimore had been able to have released–but the real killer was still at large.

Along with Fennimore’s search for Suzie, these cases form the compelling and distinctive plot of this book, which has several surprises near the end, with twist piled upon twist. Just when you think it’s over, there’s another plot point curve to keep you immersed.

Auntie M loves this series for what she learns about forensics, thanks to one of the co-authors, forensic scientist and Senior Policing Lecturer Helen Pepper. Award-winning psychological thriller author Margaret Murphy is the flip side of the duo, and the series illustrates her complex plotting and rapid-fire pacing.

The chemistry between the widowed Fennimore and the married Simms adds to the tension, and the dialogue is realistic. Highly recommended.

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