Liz Mistry’s The DI Gus McGuire novels had passed me by before I was asked to contribute to the blog tour of the latest novel in this series, Unspoken Truths. However, the blurb was more than enough to entice me and I was reassured that it could be read as a standalone.
Here’s the blurb:
In Unspoken Truths, DI Gus McGuire and his team navigate a complex web of intrigue, espionage and murder. Set in Bradford, Manchester and on Saddleworth Moor, Gus is pushed to his physical and psychological limits.
First a rural train between Manchester and Bradford is deliberately derailed by a vehicle with a boot filled with drugs, then a woman’s tortured body is discovered in Keighley. When Gus’ brother-in-law goes missing, the investigation becomes personal. As he battles against the storms of the Beast from the East, Gus must uncover the links between the dead woman, a pharmaceutical company in Manchester and a research facility in Northern Cyprus, as well as the disappearance of his brother in law. With the body count increasing, Gus sets Compo loose on the Dark Web – how will Gus react when he discovers that things are not as they seem?
Meanwhile, DS Alice Cooper faces extreme danger in prison and, as the evidence piles up against her, Gus and his team’s loyalties are pushed to the limit.
Can Gus stop the blueprint for a deadly bio weapon from falling into the wrong hands? Can he solve a series of murders and track down a psychotic killer? Never before has Gus faced such a demanding test.
Now you can see why I was intrigued!
Throughout the novel there are references to previous novels in the series, this being book five, but while I would imagine it would have been an advantage to have read the other books in the series, Mistry explains what has gone on well enough for a reader who is new to the series, such as myself, to be able to follow the plot. I’m certainly keen to read the first four books, having enjoyed this one so much.
DI McGuire’s team are a contrasting mix of people who work well together, and have a very distinct family feel to them, which further increases the intensity of the plot. as each team member is invested more, particularly where DS Alice Cooper is concerned. They all have their own personal crosses to bear and this is reflected in their investigations, for better or worse.
Mistry uses the backdrop of “The Beast From The East” snow storms as an additional troublesome character, causing further barriers for the team to solve the case, from the perspective of destruction of vital evidence and the simple logistics of getting around to potential sites of interest.
This is a finely balanced novel by Mistry that intertwines seemingly separate incidents for Gus’s team to figure out, as well as the additional plot concerning their colleague to distract them along the way. Gus, in particular, is fighting battles on many fronts and Mistry cleverly depicts his struggles against his instinctive brilliance at his job. I really enjoyed this novel and I will definitely be reading books one to four to catch up, ready for book six, should there be one.