Tangled Web UK Review July 2011
The Liar's Lullaby by
pbk out June 11
Fawn Tasia McFarland, rock singer, ex-wife of the President of the United States
of America, insecure, unbalanced, paranoid. And dead. Dead in full view of a San
Francisco audience of thousands of fans, and yet no-one can tell if it was murder
or suicide. So forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett is called in to assess Tasia’s
state of mind in the weeks, days and hours leading up to her death. There’s
no suicide note, but there are songs, with desperate lyrics which definitely bear
a message – but is that message one of intent to kill herself, or is it
fear for her own life, or perhaps that of the President?
For the fact that Tasia is the ex-wife of President McFarland is clearly significant,
and slowly a band of extremely right-wing conspiracy theorists emerge from the
woodwork. One of them, Noel Michael Petty (online name – Archangel X), is
also a stalker, and a murderous stalker at that. But Tasia’s killer? That’s
not clear either
In fact very little is, in this extremely complicated thriller where the bad guys
believe in a government conspiracy, and the good guys believe in the bad guys’
conspiracy and also in a government conspiracy. Although the government conspiracy
they believe in is a different one from the one the bad guys believe in. Yes,
it IS that complicated.
There are scenes of breath-taking tension, and some intriguing puzzles which Jo,
supported by her boyfriend Gabe and colleague Police Lieutenant Amy Tang, very
ably solves. Watch out for a lovely farcical scene in which a pain-in-the backside
journalist is truly shafted, and at the other end of the scale, a nail-biting
rappel down the side of an ambushed building. It’s quality stuff!
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