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Mike Stanhope Mysteries 6
A failing truck bodybuilding business seems on the brink of collapse. Journalist Mike Stanhope reports the story – and finds himself facing a libel suit. Anxious to defend himself, he heads for the country town where the company is based, but finds a series of contradictions. The factory is packed with work, and dozens of new truck chassis are arrayed in the field behind, apparently waiting to have bodies built on them; yet he’s still hearing rumours of imminent collapse. Can he believe his eyes, or is he dealing with a massive deception? If so, how has it been done – and why?
Trish, the factory owner’s engaging but enigmatic daughter, seems willing to help him, but what is her real agenda? Mike finds himself reluctantly drawn to her, but fears for his relationship with his absent girlfriend Sam, who is temporarily overseas.
To add to his troubles, Mike thinks he’s found a dead body in a wood … but then it vanishes. Is it some trick to thwart his investigation, or part of a more sinister plot?
Meanwhile, a chance request for advice on photo restoration alerts Mike to a bigger mystery in the town. It promises to give him a major scoop; but will he be allowed to publish it?
A green energy thread in the plot of Not Exactly True gives it a highly topical feel. As with most new technologies, the search to deliver “clean” motive power is encouraging many newcomers into the field, but not all of them will stay the course.
When I first drafted Not Exactly True, covid-19 was constantly in the news; yet already it feels like a distant memory. With that in mind, I re-drafted the story to remove the vast majority of the covid references. Coronoavirus is still in it, but principally as a reminder that the book is set at a moment in time. Thank goodness, it looks as though that moment has passed.
“It’s different, colourful, imaginative and infectious, drawing you into a world where you’re never quite sure what’s happening or how it will end ...”
“Among the author’s strengths are the vibrant dialogue, which really brings the characters to life, and his sense of place ...”
“It’s refreshing to pick up a book that not only has a great tale to tell but also has been well edited. The story has numerous twists and turns ...”
“I found myself trying to pit my wits against the protagonists, and to beat Stanhope to the solution, which was satisfying and plausible, and tied up all the loose ends ...”
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