Only Lies Remain by Val Collins

This is a semi-police procedural based in Ireland. I say semi because the police end of the investigation is not revealed directly but by the interactions between the family of the deceased.

I did not know that this was the second in a series, and that was mildly detrimental to my reading of this in very subtle ways. It felt a little abrupt in the introduction of characters, which is obviously not the fault of a second book. Aoife is struggling to hold her life together. Her husband is of no help, he was depicted as the worst possible caricature of a petulant man-child. The way she dealt with that aspect of her life and her struggle to bolster her mother-in-law in times of distress makes her a lead character that one can root for. The distress is caused by a genuine scenario of the body of Aoife’s father-in-law is found. He was thought to have left his family decades ago.

This last part is the core of the narrative. The story is very straightforward, and it is not hard to identify the culprit since most of the events point to that person. It is a fast-paced narrative, and some of the additional hurdles thrown into our leading lady’s life as well as the investigation made the reading interesting. Overall, it was a decent read and has quite three-dimensional characters, it is just that I did not feel anything for the culprit of the piece and therefore was not invested. I would still recommend it to readers of the genre who are looking for a different location for a family-based mystery.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is solely based on my reading experience.

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