By Paul Bishop
Pro Se Press
On average, we read approximately fifty books a year. The bulk of those are fairly decent whereas a small number are amateurish and difficult to get through while an equally small number are truly exceptional; what we call great reads. Finding the latter is always too rare an event, which makes reviewing them that much more of a challenge. You see, we really want you to know just how superb these books truly are.
“Lie Catchers” by Paul Bishop is one of those gems. In fact we have no qualms in saying it is among the top five great reads of our year. Obviously it’s a crime thriller, that much the title and back cover text will tell you. What they don’t give away is just how different a cop mystery it is. Rather than focusing on the usual detective action of investigating the crime and chasing down the unknown perpetrators, “Lie Catchers” takes us into the world of expert interrogators; highly skilled, and trained, men and women whose job it is to question suspects and ferret out the truth from the mountain of lies it is usually buried beneath. It is this crucial aspect of police work that is examined in a truly fascinating narrative that had us flipping pages late into the night.
Not to say the other cop-book tropes aren’t employed. Two young children from two different families have been kidnapped. When the police are called in there seems to be no apparent connection between the two cases. Leading the investigation is detective Ray Pagan, considered one of the finest interrogators on the force, and his new partner, Calamity Jane Randall, recently returned to active duty after having been wounded on her previous case. Part of the charm of this story is the relationship evolution between them; Randall, who is hiding a very special secret, and Pagan, an odd-duck personality with an obsessive passion for the truth. Randall had heard stories about Pagan, most of which she’d thought to be exaggerated bullcrap. But once partnered with him, she soon learns the eccentric detective is far more colorful than his fabricated exploits.
Together each possesses a unique ability and it is their eventual coming to grips with those talents that ultimately molds them into a cohesive partnership with one single goal, to find the bad guys and uncover the truth. “Lie Catchers” is a brilliant treatise on the realities all of us grapple with every day and the fantasies we often surround ourselves with to survive. Heaven forbid, we call them lies. In the end “Lie Catchers” is a remarkable reading experience you will not soon forget, and that my friends, is whole truth…so help me God.