Believe No One by A. D. Garrett
Forensic expert Professor Nick Fennimore has engineered lectures in Chicago and St Louis – a ploy to get to Detective Chief Inspector Kate Simms. She’s in the United States on sabbatical with St Louis PD, and he’s keen to see her again. Simms is working with a ‘method swap’ team, reviewing cold cases, sharing expertise. But Simms came to the US to escape the fallout from their previous case – the last thing she needs is Fennimore complicating her life.
A call for help from a sheriff’s deputy in Oklahoma seems like a welcome distraction for the professor – until he hears the details: a mother dead, her child gone – echoes of Fennimore’s own tragedy.
Nine-year-old Red, adventuring in Oklahoma’s backwoods, has no clue that he and his mom are in the killer’s sights. Back in St Louis, investigators discover a pattern: victims – all of them young mothers – dumped along a 600 mile stretch of I-44. The Oklahoma and St Louis investigations converge, uncovering serial murders across two continents and two decades. Under pressure, the killer begins to unravel, and when a fresh body surfaces, the race is on to catch the I-44 killer and save the boy.
I received this book free through Goodreads. I was thrilled as it was the first book I’d won through Goodreads and it was an A.D. Garrett book, and the second in the Simms and Fennimore series which I am loving.
In this book we have relocated. Both Simms and Fennimore are over in the States but there for different reasons. Fennimore to do a book tour and lecture and Simms to get some space from Nick Fennimore.
I love reading American crime fiction. I just soak it up and I loved Believe No One for its American setting. It had the feel and tone I like. They were in redneck country and the way they spoke and handled themselves felt real. American crime fiction feels like real escapism to me and this had it in spades, but with a couple of British characters thrown in.
Nick Fennimore is drawn into a case by Deputy Hicks who asks for his help and very quickly it becomes clear that their case is linked to the one Simms is dealing with (she is over on some kind of attachment) and they find themselves working together again.
There was an incident when two scientists, one British and one American, clashed over phrasing of words and their understanding of them, because of the language barrier, and this surprised me because I understood both of them and I don’t know if that was because I’m a big crime reader/watcher and the reality is people who aren’t would have this issue, or that the book was trying too hard to show the differences between the working partnerships.
For me the American characters stood out more. I really like Hicks, the female Deputy and I liked Dunlap the Detective on Simms team, I also liked Ellis who was so bad-tempered about everything it was amusing. It wasn’t over done. He just appealed to me. There genuinely are people out there that can be that cranky in their jobs.
Everyone is working really hard to catch a serial killer who is murdering women and taking their children. It’s tightly plotted and intricately detailed on the American politics inter-agency workings.
It might have been a Simms and Fennimore novel, but the other characters were so well drawn I think they overshadowed them somewhat. I really enjoyed it and I will be reading the next one because Garrett leaves a wonderful cliffhanger on the last page to keep you hooked.
Do you have a favourite location for your crime fiction?
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Prashant C. Trikannad says
Rebecca, thanks for the review. I’m going to check out these two novels by A.D. Garrett. I don’t have a favourite location for crime fiction but I’m partial to crime fiction set in small towns in America.
shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says
I just finished this and enjoyed it as well, I don’t think I have a favourite crime setting but if it is set in the Uk I prefer it to be set outside London and if it set in the US, anywhere but LA or NY.
Ha – I like your thoughts on the clash of American/British cultures – with all the TV shows we now get in the UK, it’s becoming less difficult to understand the ‘other side’- although I did have some trouble when I worked for the first time in the US.
As for favourite locations – you know me, the more exotic, the better. Mongolia, Lapland, Samoa…
Margot Kinberg says
Rebecca – So glad you enjoyed this one as much as you did. And I think it’s a credit to the author when the location is changed, but the story is still really well-done. As for top locations? I’m not particular so long as the location is depicted authentically.
This sounds like a new author (to me) to look out for! I really enjoy US fiction; I’m a huge Michael Connelly fan but that’s due to the quality of his work, rather than the LA setting. James Ellroy, though, brings the city in the 40s and 50s alive. I REALLY love books set in New Orleans, and indeed anywhere in the Southern states. I fell in love with New Orleans as a place after reading Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil by John Berendt, a non-fiction book about a real murder. (One of my favourite books ever, along with The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal.) Some of James Lee Burke’s books feature New Orleans. I’d love to read crime fiction set in Russia, or in Communist countries before the wall came down, but all I’ve found, apart from spy novels, is Tom Rob Smith, and Snowdrops by AD Miller. I think Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels are set in West Germany, if I remember correctly….does anyone have any suggestions for crime fiction set in Russia/behind the Iron Curtain?? I’d be v grateful!
Jacqui Murray says
Sounds like a wonderful book. I can read it while I await Mari Hannah’s next in her series.
I must read Mari Hannah – I’ve heard so many wonderful things about her books!
Maybe those of us based in the UK get more exposed to US language differences than vice versa but the world has definitely got smaller. I love books set in London because although I’ve never lived there I have spent lots of time there since childhood and I do like recognising places in my reading. Great review Rebecca.