Archive for 'Holmes, Rupert'
Where the Truth Lies is set in the 1970â€™s, when a young female writer named Oâ€™Connor is trying to write a book about a successful show business duo of the 1950â€™s. The two performers (who sound remarkably like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis) mysteriously broke up in 1959 and have not spoken since. Oâ€™Connor is having difficulty getting them to commit to the project and to be forthright about a particular incident that she has to cover in the book â€“ the body of a dead girl mysteriously appeared in the performersâ€™ hotel suite right before the team broke up. The performers had been cleared of any involvement in the death of the young woman at the time, but the hint of scandal has lingered and the reading public wants more details.
Oâ€™Connor shuttles between the two performers, trying to reconstruct the events of 1959 through what they have and havenâ€™t said. At the same time, she is trying to find out more about the dead girl. She quickly realizes that the performers may not have been blameless in the death of the young woman. But to get to the truth, she needs to play all the parties involved against each other, without doing permanent damage to her career if she gets caught.
This book is all about the cult of celebrity, the special privileges that come with being rich and famous, and our collective obsession with famous people. Just as you canâ€™t keep your eyes off the tabloid headlines at the grocery store checkout, you canâ€™t put this book down. The description of the parties, money, sex, mobsters, drugs, and scandal is just too titillating. Everybody knows they did those things in the 70â€™s, when much of this book occurs, but in the 50â€™s? The detailed adventures of the thinly disguised Martin & Lewis characters imply that these guys were scandal trendsetters and the story is too salacious to ignore. Without the quality writing by Holmes and the mystery theme, I would consider this book rumor mongering trash. However, Holmes is a good writer and this book comes across as a guilty pleasure. Whether you admit to reading it or not is another issue.
Also interesting is the writing that captures two different periods in time â€“ the 70â€™s, when Oâ€™Connor is working on the book, and the 50â€™s, when the events in question happened. It is an interesting effect, but I am too young to remember either the orgiastic 70â€™s party days or surprisingly wild 50â€™s described. Seldom have I read a book where two different sets of cultural references went over my head.
Favorite character? Lanny Morris. Did I guess it? Yes. Will I read another? Perhaps. The writing quality is very good and the story engrossing. The mystery had an interesting twist, but wasnâ€™t very fulfilling. If Holmes could put the parts together, I would definitely consider reading another book.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007