Tell No Lies, by Julie Compton

Jack Hilliard is a successful lawyer who's offered the chance to run for DA. He wants the job, but worries that his moral conviction that the death penalty is wrong will rule him out with a large proportion of the electorate. But he has a supportive wife and family, who he loves very much and is determined to remain loyal to, regardless of whatever temptations life my throw in his path.

I assumed from the cover that this was some sort of thriller - I didn't pay much attention to the guff on the back - but as time went on and nothing very thrilling happened I was less certain what genre this book belonged to. A bit like Killing Me Softly, this added some interest because I didn't know where it was going.

Because of the vagueness of the book's mission-statement, I was fairly happy to go along for the ride, and put up with what I assumed would be relevant scene-setting before the plot started up. And boy there seemed to be a lot of that. There is a sort of thriller plot, but that doesn't get going until half-way through the book, after there's been tons of tedious stuff which I think is meant to show that Jack is an honourable, but flawed, person, who makes compromises in his professional and personal life. There's so much of this that the crime bit which happens in the latter part seems like it's tacked on.

The first half of the book didn't succeed in engaging my sympathy for Jack (it's not that he ever behaves particularly honourably, we're just told that he is honourable) so that when he started getting a bit entangled in the crime later on I didn't really care. And the story there was not particularly interesting or believable either.

Until the end of the book I was expecting some kind of dénouement or reversal that would bring a new and surprising perspective on things, to validate the effort I'd put into getting through it, but no.

It wasn't particularly badly written (nothing like Seizure for example), but it wasn't notably well written either, and without a decent story or characters it was a bit of a nothing really. Not worth reading any more by Julie Compton.

Completed : 06-May-2009 (audiobook)

[nickoh] [2009 books] [books homepage]