Now this electrifying writer and his vulnerable, fearless heroine have returned.
Smoky heads a team of FBI agents who hunt down the most horrific of criminals. That’s only fitting, since early in her career, Smoky lost her husband and daughter to a violent madman who tied Smoky to a chair and sliced a curling scar across her face. Unbowed, Smoky continues to throw her heart into chasing twisted killers with her team of quirky, wise (and drily funny) agents. To work alongside this intensely talented FBI agent is an education in unravelling how evil slithers through the world.
As THE TRUTH FACTORY opens, Smoky is pregnant and happily remarried. She and her team have just been summoned to a baffling scene in Denver: In a suburban cul de sac, two seemingly happy families have been slaughtered and carefully displayed. This leads Smoky into an enormous underground bunker and a plot that threads through the entire community. And then…well, this is a crime that will grip the world.
I’m not even going to attempt to follow my standard when reviewing a book. The “what I liked/what I didn’t like” format doesn’t work for what I want to say about The Truth Factory.
There is oh so much I was disappointed in with a book I feel like I’ve waited forever to publish.
The Smoky Barrett series has been on my recommend to others list ever since I read the first in the series, Shadow Man which has over 600 reviews on Goodreads. It was just that bit different from other thrillers with female FBI agents, that I took a chance and then just flew though the series.
It's been almost 6 years since the last book, Abandoned, was released and I had almost given up due to the rumors I was hearing about Mr. McFadyen’s health. Then there was a rumor it was his parent’s health. Then The Truth Factory released in Germany and I couldn’t wait for the translation. Even noticing the ratings by the German readers weren’t that great, I wanted to decide for myself. (I don’t read reviews of series I’m committed to reading but I do look at the “Star rating”).
Finally with little fanfare, I noticed The Truth Factory had released. I dropped everything else I was reading, even my ARCs. The beginning grabbed me and then…..then…..utter and complete disbelief on my part. It felt like everything fell apart and I was somewhat confused as to what I was reading. Was it a fiction book or a psychology text book? This series has always been a bit different but the “different” I was reading, it wasn’t a good different, at least for me.
I totally respect authors with their courage to share their work and the ultimate imagination used to create the novel. Some books you read and you wonder, what were they thinking or okay, the story is going in another direction. Usually in those cases the characters come alive to save the storyline. Not in this case and it even felt like the characters were trying to move through molasses. Parts were good but the overall book was a head shaker.
Having said all that, Mr. McFadyen does write very well. His words flow and his descriptions paint the pictures in my head. The picture this time felt fractured.
I sincerely hope Mr. McFadyen or his parents or whomever was ill is doing better. Maybe The Truth Factory was just a bit of him dipping his feet back into the water of being an author. I don’t know. What I do know is just based on his previous work, I would try the next book in the series, if there is one. I always have hope.