Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Deadly Lies by David C Dawson

Reviewer: Catriona Troth

What We Thought:

David Dawson’s sequel to his debut crime novel, The Necessary Deaths, makes for another entertaining read.

Dominic Delingpole is on honeymoon with his beloved Jonathan, but neither in life nor in love are things allowed to go entirely smoothly. When a former lover sends a cryptic message to Dominic minutes before a fatal car crash, it puts both their lives and their barely-formed marriage in peril.

With the help of maverick student programmer, Steve, can they solve the riddle before anyone else is killed? And can Dominic and Jonathan's marriage survive its first big hurdle?

The theme of lies runs through the novel. The main plot concerns a chip that could allow the mysterious Charter 99 to rewrite online history – with little regard to the lives they would turn upside down. At the same time, as Dominic and Jonathan navigate the new territory of marriage, the impact of lies – even innocent lies - on relationships is thrown into relief.

The action moves between two long-established gay communities - Sitges in Spain and San Francisco in California. If Dawson’s first novel showed us his relatively conventional hero at home and at work, here he is on holiday, and like Dominic himself, the text has become a little more unbuttoned. There is more explicit (though still not graphic) sex than in the first book.

Last time I compared Dawson’s writing to Margery Allingham. This time, there is an echo or two of Dorothy Sayers’ Busman’s Honeymoon. But Dawson writes with a lighter touch than Sayers. There are no great intellectual challenges here. It remains, however, an affectionate portrait of the manners and mores of gay relationships, as well as fast-paced study in cyber-crime.

You’ll Enjoy This If You Loved: The Necessary Deaths by David C Dawson, Babycakes by Armistead Maupin, Cold Pressed by JJ Marsh.

Avoid If You Dislike: Light-weight crime fiction. Explicit references to gay sex.

Perfect Accompaniment: Albondigas en salsa and a glass of Cava

Genre: Crime, LGBTQ fiction

Available on Amazon

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