When Melbourne journalist Chrissie O'Brian gets a tip off that a string of fatal accidents at the Port of Melbourne may not be so accidental, she finds herself drawn into a frightening world of corruption and cover-ups.
Journalist Chrissie O'Brian has a secret past. Responsible for a tragic accident in New Zealand, she narrowly escaped a prison sentence. Now unable to continue working in New Zealand, her boss has managed to shoehorn her into a new job at The Argus in Melbourne, Australia.
The trouble is, there is much resentment around her appointment at The Argus, especially from her new boss, Harry. Making matters worse, Chrissie is suffering constant anxiety attacks and nasty flashbacks from the accident.
When Harry assigns Chrissie to write a puff piece about a female crane operator who works at the Port of Melbourne, things take an exciting yet scary turn. Chrissie is warned there are some dodgy practices happening at the port, which helps to explain the recent spike in serious accidents. Chrissie promises to investigate, but before she can, a workplace death occurs.
The unions argue it's Grange Industries, who run the port, that is responsible for the accidents. Grange blames the unions. The police get involved, but their intentions look dodgy. Soon another fatal accident happens and Chrissie, too close to the investigation, fears she could be next.
Set on the streets and gritty byways of inner city Melbourne, Karina Kilmore's crime debut Where the Truth Lies is a winner. With decades of experience as a print journalist, Kilmore has written a tale that explores a swag of important issues: the fate of the modern media in the digital age, gagging of information by politicians under the guise of anti-terror laws and the power of big business and the unions. Kilmore's gritty style and first hand knowledge of news rooms gives this debut a fire in the belly. The main character, Chrissie, is well drawn. She is tenacious and yet deeply vulnerable, flawed but human.
Entertaining and informative, often gut wrenching in its honesty, Where the Truth Lies is a wild journey through Melbourne's murky underground.
Where the Truth Lies, by Karina Kilmore. Published by Simon and Schuster. $29.99
Review by Chris Saliba
North Melbourne Books