WHERE THE TRUTH LIES
Rupert Holmes

 


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Allison & Busby. This edition published May 2007
Reviewed by Sunnie Gill

O’Connor is a confident young journalist known for her insightful celebrity interviews. There is nothing she enjoys more than delving into secrets that her interviewees don’t want revealed. When the opportunity to write a book, a biography of the most popular comedy duo of the 50’s and 60’s, arises, O’Connor jumps at the chance.

Vince Collins was the suave sophisticated crooner, Lanny Morris the monkey-faced clown. They haven’t seen each other in the fifteen years since they ended their partnership. The apparent suicide of Maureen O’Flaherty, a bellhop from Miami found in their New York hotel suite, is rumoured to have been the cause of the break-up. Neither were suspected of a hand in her death because they were both visibly in Miami at the time, taking part in a televised charity event. However rumours have circulated ever since and O’Connor is determined to find out the truth.

As O’Connor gets to know these two men she is charmed by both of them. Neither of them know she is in touch with the other and as smart as O’Connor is, she allows herself to be fooled by both. She learns more about the men and their past and secrets are gradually revealed with twist upon twist until the final shocking revelation of Maureen’s fate.

If the name Rupert Holmes rings a bell somewhere, perhaps it’s because he was the writer and singer of that cringingly 70’s song Escape, known by most people as The Pina Colada Song. Yes, folks, this is the same man. In WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, Holmes proves he has significantly more substance as a novelist than he did as a song writer. He has a deft touch with unexpected plot twists which leave the reader guessing until the very end.

The story is told from the perspective of O’Connor. Somewhat disconcertingly, we never find out her first name. O’Connor is very much a child of the 70’s. She drinks and smokes too much, is happy to pop pills and doesn’t mind the occasional one night stand here and there. There was something about O’Connor that didn’t feel quite right. Perhaps it was the lack of a first name or maybe it was the somewhat unemotional descriptions of sex that gave O’Connor’s voice a masculine tone to it. It’s difficult to pin down why it felt a little out of kilter. That being said, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES does capture a feeling of the time. The flashbacks to the 50’s and 60’s had a quality to it that evoked the time of the “Rat Pack”. Were Vince and Lanny based loosely on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis?

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is also a movie which stars Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and Alison Lohman. Apart from his skill as a writer and songwriter, Rupert Holmes has also written for television and the theatre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Holmes has a rundown on his career and a his “semi-official” website is http://www.rupertholmes.com/home.html .

March 2008 review originally posted on Murder and Mayhem

 

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