"Where the Truth Lies" is a satisfying page-turner with terrific period detail and well-drawn characters. The main character, a young woman named O'Connor (she never shares her first name), is smart and competent, and if she's a little devious sometimes, it's well justified by the behavior of everyone around her.
It's hard to say much about the plot without giving away too much. Rupert Holmes is a master of sneaky plot twists, and it would be criminal to leak them to someone who hasn't read the book. ("Accomplice," his Edgar award-winning play, was similarly twisty.)
But in a nutshell, O'Connor is investigating Lanny Morris and Vince Collins, a former comedy duo (think Martin and Lewis) with a shared skeleton in the closet: twenty years earlier, a young woman was found dead in their hotel suite. The crime was never solved, and now O'Connor is writing a book about Collins with the promise that the truth will finally be exposed.
All of this takes place against the backdrop of the entertainment world in the 1970s, a rich environment that Holmes, as a young singer-songwriter, probably experienced for himself in much the same way as his heroine. O'Connor is the outsider, the guest, taken to wondrous places she could never go on her own.
Holmes' writing is funny and well-paced, and completely entertaining. He describes his settings so well, it feels as if we're there (especially the scenes that take place in Disneyland ... and could I be more jealous of O'Connor in those scenes?)
Songs, plays, TV shows, novels ... regardless of the form, I hope we'll see many more stories from Rupert Holmes.
No one quite knows why a famous comedy team broke up at the height of their success and went their separate ways. A young journalist who is determined to write the definitive book about the team, discovers that both men are attractive as well as attentive. But which one--the singer with the killer voice or the comedian with the killer smile--is a real killer?
It's not often that a book (especially a first book) excels on all levels: wry observational narrative, delicious period and location details, clever, sparkling dialogue, unique insight into the dynamics and dissolution of a strong partnership, and of course, a truly inspired plot. I found it to be the best--the most entertaining and most memorable book I've read in a very long time.