reviewed by Cy Wyss
Circumstantial Truth is the story of Zach Carmichael and, to a lesser extent, his dog Shadow. Shadow is the loyal friend who stick by Zach during some tough times, including betrayal by the people he loves most. One day, Zach finds a dead body. He can’t help but go to the police, including a police detective who becomes suspicious of his find. Zach is then framed for the murder of the man, someone he’d never met. Zach spends much of the book in prison, where a series of coincidences has him meeting people who eventually lead him to the real killers. With the help of his cellmate’s sister, Zach works to clear his name, in spite of the police detective getting in his way.
I found Zach a little too passive, and the coincidences of meeting people who know each other to be too many. Surely New Zealand isn’t that small. And the setting is New Zealand, which took me a while to figure out. Their gun laws differ from those in America, they are much stricter. The book could have used some editing, as there are errors that will pop you out of the story now and again. Much of the story takes place in a tiny town away from Auckland, as well as in Auckland itself. The characters were interesting and fairly well drawn. Sometimes their motivation was a bit sketchy, and the main villain was more of a caricature. The story is what really carries the book. You want to know how Zach will clear his name (or even if he’ll clear his name), with so much stacked against him. Overall, a reasonable work with a measured pace.