Wednesday, May 13, 2020


WHERE THE TRUTH LIES by Karina Kilmore (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

Reviewed by Craig Sisterson

When investigative journalist Chrissie O’Brian lands a senior job at The Argus, she is desperate to escape the nightmares of her past. Her life has become a daily battle to resist numbing the pain. But her job is something she can do better than anyone else - and the only thing that keeps the memories at bay.

A face-off on the waterfront between the unions and big business is just the kind of story to get her career back on track. But after a dockworker who confided in her turns up dead, Chrissie becomes obsessed with unravelling the truth. When a gruesome threat lands on her desk, it's clear someone is prepared to do anything to stop her.

But who is more dangerous - a ruthless enemy or a woman pushed to the edge? Used to fighting her own demons, this is one battle Chrissie is determined not to lose. 

Long-time business journalist Karina Kilmore ably taps into her well-trodden beat with her debut crime novel, an intriguing mystery with a fascinating central character, set against escalating friction between unions and big business on the Melbourne waterfront.

Chrissie O’Brien fled New Zealand for a fresh start at The Argus newspaper in Melbourne, only to bring her nightmares and guilt along for the ride. Bottles and pills are her close friends.

A year into her role at The Argus, Chrissie isn't sure where she stands with her colleagues and supervisor, then she's tasked with writing a profile on an inspiring female crane operator at the docks. It's not the kind of journalism Chrissie wants to be doing, but she stumbles into something: the woman confesses some worries, then later turns up dead. A workplace accident, or something more sinister? Chrissie digs into things over her bosses’ objections, starts receiving threats, and then another worker dies. With several events making it clear someone is trying to squash any investigation, Chrissie doesn’t know who she can trust among her colleagues and sources.

There is plenty to like about Kilmore’s first fictional offering. Chrissie is a flawed heroine stumbling through life as she battles guilt and grief. While pacing and secondary characters could do with a shade more development at times, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES shines brightly when it explores the internal machinations of journalism and the nexus between news, politics, and business.

An author and character to watch.

Craig Sisterson is a lawyer turned features writer from New Zealand, now living in London. In recent years he’s interviewed hundreds of crime writers and talked about the genre on national radio, top podcasts, and onstage at books festivals on three continents. He has been a judge of the Ned Kelly Awards and the McIlvanney Prize, and is founder of the Ngaio Marsh Awards and co-founder of Rotorua Noir. You can heckle him on Twitter. 

No comments:

Post a Comment