No More Lies by Robert Crouch #BookReview

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track.

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident.

Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide?

Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched.

It's such a pleasure to be sharing my review of No More Lies today. Many thanks to Robert Crouch for sending me a copy of the ebook.

No More Lies is the fourth book in Robert Crouch's Kent Fisher series and although it's been quite a while since I read the previous title, No Remorse, I soon found myself drawn back into his world. Newcomers to the series shouldn't worry too much about not having read the previous books as there is enough back story included here to bring you up to speed. However, I would recommend reading the books in order if you do want to properly appreciate the development of the characters and their storylines.
As an environmental health officer and owner of an animal sanctuary, Kent Fisher already has his hands full and yet somehow keeps finding himself in the midst of murder cases. Although his investigations touch on some dark themes, these are books which will appeal to lovers of cosy crime mysteries; Robert Crouch has developed an engaging lead character in Kent and I always look forward to discovering the latest on his private life. The recurring cast of characters, storylines which involve Kent's personal as well as professional life, and Columbo, the scene-stealing West Highland White terrier mean this would make a terrific television series. This time around, a couple of new characters are introduced and both have significant roles to play. The book opens with the first of the pair, DI Ashley Goodman visiting Kent at his sanctuary to enlist his help with a cold case which may be linked to a recent fire in a cafe.
Five years ago a body was discovered on a building site and the police believe the victim was murdered ten years ago. Despite their best efforts, they still haven't managed to identify him but a recent fire in a cafe could be connected and Ash informs Kent that he is involved with both leads which have recently come to light. His day job may provide some vital information regarding former employees of the cafe in its various guises over the years but he also has a rather more personal connection to the site where the body was discovered.
Kent's investigation takes him to an industrial estate where he meets the second new character, dog groomer, Freya Layman. The chemistry between them is immediate and having never been that keen on his ex, Gemma I welcomed her introduction as a possible new love interest. However, sparks also fly between him and Ash on occasion so it's never clear cut as to whether he will be more successful in love than he has been up to now. Freya is easier to like, particularly in the moments where she is awkward and vulnerable. Ash is clearly ambitious and has a ruthless streak and so I feel most readers will warm more readily to Freya. That said, the course of true love never runs smooth and this adage is particularly true for Kent Fisher who clearly seems to have commitment issues. As the novel progresses, I really enjoyed the little elements of doubt which are introduced meaning both he and readers are never quite sure who he can truly trust.
The mystery itself is satisfyingly puzzling with plenty of twists and turns before Kent manages to figure out the truth. His complicated relationship with shady local businessman, Miles Burchill changes significantly over the course of the book which is the main reason why I would ideally recommend reading the previous novels first. Although it's entirely possible for new readers to understand how and why the changes take place, I do believe that I was more able to appreciate just how disconcerting Kent must have felt to find himself in the position he does here, it's certainly not something he ever could ever have envisaged considering at one point he welcomed the possible prospect of Burchill being dead.
The natural humour flows well throughout, reflecting the repartee which occurs in workplaces, and as I've come to expect from Robert Crouch's writing, his own experiences ensure an insightful and entirely believable look at the day to day politics of working for local councils. No More Lies is the best book in the series so far; the character development is really paying off now, I love the interplay between the returning cast and I've become invested in Kent's life, I want to know what choices he will make next - and the ending definitely suggests that he has more tricky decisions ahead...

No More Lies can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US. The fifth book in the Kent Fisher series, No Mercy will be published on 16th January 2020 so look out for my review!

About the Author

In 2016, environmental health officer, Robert Crouch, hung up his probe thermometer and turned to murder. He combined his extensive experience of environmental health with his love of the classic whodunit to create Kent Fisher, a sleuth unique in crime literature. 
During his 39 years as an environmental health officer (EHO), he has worked with and alongside the police on many occasions, investigating fatal workplace accidents, bonfire celebrations that got out of hand and antisocial behaviour. 
EHOs often investigate complex cases, gather evidence, interview suspects and take prosecutions, following the same rules of investigation and evidence as the police. EHOs work closely with businesses and residents on a daily basis in their communities, having extensive networks and contacts. 
This gives an EHO the necessary skills and contacts to investigate a murder, especially one disguised as a workplace accident. 
Robert spent the majority of his environmental health career at Wealden DC. 
 “I used to drive around my district in the South Downs of East Sussex, wondering where I could hide a body,” he says with a wry smile. “I envisaged life and death struggles on the cliff edge at the Seven Sisters, and murder, mystery and secrets lurking within the beautiful villages and their tea rooms.” 
With four murder mysteries already published, and a fifth out in January 2020, Kent Fisher shows no signs of losing his appetite or unique interest in murder. 
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