Home Truths by Mark McGinn
Set in post-earthquake Christchurch, Home Truths follows Detective Sergeant Jonah Solomon as he investigates the murder of a team- mate. The investigation leads him into a complicated and confused under-world of deception and fraud while, at the same time, he must negotiate the obstructions and complications caused by the destroyed city in which he lives. The narrative moves more slowly than most traditional police procedural novels but there are plenty of twists, turns, and surprises within the main plot as well as the addition of intriguing sub-plots; Solly’s family issues, the past he must live with and the fact of his secret lover.
Solly is Maori, which creates tension as he comes up against racism and prejudice. As well as that, he is gay and a victim of past sexual assault. All of this results in a protagonist who not only must deal with the demands of his occupation but his own demons. His relationship with his father who is serving time and his psychologically damaged sister adds further to the complexity.
The writing is pacey and filled with energy and I enjoyed the humour which alleviates the fact of both police and commercial corruption and the increasing number of murders. I’d like the beginning to be a little more engaging and, at times I felt the narrative lagged a little and the number of characters was sometimes confusing. But overall this is an engaging novel with an intriguing protagonist, plenty of surprising plot revelations and a wonderful ending.
Reviewer: Paddy Richardson
Story Grid Publishing