Review: "The Truth Factory" by Cody McFadyen

Title: The Truth Factory
Author: Cody McFadyen
Publication: 2016
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery
Link: goodreads
Stars: 3.8/5

Cody McFadyen’s thriller series starring FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett series is an enormous bestseller around the world.

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 thread through the entire community. And then…well, this is a crime that will grip the world.

My Thoughts
"The Truth Factory” is the fifth book in the book in the Smoky Barrett series by Cody McFadyen and had the hard task to meet the high demands, set in the previous books.

Like every other book in the series “The Truth Factory” stars with a reintroduction of the main characters, which mean the reader gets the whole biography of Agent Barrett’s family and team. Well, this feature is perfect if you haven’t read McFadyen’s other books, but if you read the rest of the series you recite all that in your sleep and that can be annoying with time.
However, it feels good to see the main characters again after such a long break. I’m especially happy that James, one of my favourite characters got a bigger and way more important role, even if the reasons for that broke my heart into many many pieces.(Don’t worry I won’t spoiler you.)

Agent Smoky Barrett is next to Clarice Starling, one of my favourite female detectives. She is brilliant, strong and fearless, but after being kidnapped in the last book, you can see that the author wanted to include her psychological issues , which she developed in “Abandoned”. Having a pregnant detective with an unsolved psychological trauma (I don’t know how to describe the fact that she starts to speak with her unborn child every time she is in a life threating situation in a different way.) is slightly too unrealistic to my mind.

Furthermore, the book is divided into three main parts. The first and the third part are, without a doubt, as brilliant and thrilling as the rest of the series. It all starts with a brutal series of murder with a personal connection to Agent Barrett and many plot twists and shocking events within a few chapters. All of that is followed by an investigation  of  Smoky’s team and a shocking solution and an open ending for the book.
However, the second part was disappointing and I nearly reached the point where I wanted to give up. The whole part deals with Agent Barrett’s psychological issues and the reader is faced with a series of dreams and inner monologues. Stretching this part over 100 pages was a torture. I personally skimmed this section until the last two chapters where Smoky finally visits Dr. Childs for a therapeutic conversation. That is absolutely enough, to sum up the whole second part.

Nevertheless,”The Truth Factory” is a good sequel in the whole series, if you can ignore the part mentioned above and some other unlogical aspects concerning characters featured in former books.  I mean A.D. Jones but I might spoiler you if I would describe the issued in detail. Moreover, I’m glad that the end reveals that there will be at least one more book in the Smoky Barrett series to solve the events from “The Truth Factory”.

… Let’s just hope that we don’t have to wait another 6 years for the next book.