The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.
“An ambitious stand-alone thriller that is both an absorbing crime story and an in-depth exploration of grief, betrayal and corruption… Iles’s latest calls to mind the late, great Southern novelist Pat Conroy. Like Conroy, Iles writes with passion, intensity and absolute commitment.”
— Washington Post
When Marshall McEwan left his Mississippi hometown at eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington, DC. But as the ascendancy of a chaotic administration lifts him from print fame to television stardom, Marshall discovers that his father is terminally ill, and he must return home to face the unfinished business of his past.
On arrival, he finds Bienville, Mississippi very much changed. His family’s 150-year-old newspaper is failing; and Jet Talal, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of a dozen powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Bienville Poker Club. To Marshall’s surprise, the Poker Club has taken a town on the brink of extinction and offered it salvation, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. But on the verge of the deal being consummated, two murders rock Bienville to its core, threatening far more than the city’s economic future.
An experienced journalist, Marshall has seen firsthand how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Joining forces with his former lover—who through her husband has access to the secrets of the Poker Club—Marshall begins digging for the truth behind those murders. But he and Jet soon discover that the soil of Mississippi is a minefield where explosive secrets can destroy far more than injustice. The South is a land where everyone hides truths: of blood and children, of love and shame, of hate and murder—of damnation and redemption. The Poker Club’s secret reaches all the way to Washington, D.C., and could shake the foundations of the U.S. Senate. But by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth about his own history, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.
When solicitor Finn Fitzpatrick is approached by a man to investigate the death of his daughter, her first instinct is to refuse.
The father is grieving, and unable to accept that his daughter committed suicide. And yet something about the man’s story chimes with Finn.
Why did a bright, confident, beautiful young girl suddenly drop out of school? Could the answer lie in her relationship with Ireland's most famous film director?
The deeper Finn goes into the case, the more dark, twisted and dangerous the picture becomes.
Because these are powerful people she is trying to expose. And they're willing to do anything to keep the truth hidden.
'Just finished Darkest Truth by Catherine Kirwan. It's brilliant! A heroine flawed but not in the normal whisky-soaked-my-wife-has-left me way - that takes you on an evocative crime journey through the cut-throughs and cobbles of Cork City. A febulous sleep theif and great read.' - Owen McDonnell, of Killing Eve fame
'A clever twist on the genre.' ARAMINTA HALL, author of Our Kind of Cruelty
'A gripping, twisting novel of mounting suspense. It couldn't be more relevant.' AMY LLOYD, author of The Innocent Wife
'A fast-paced and twisty thriller, with a gutsy protagonist you can't help but root for. It left me breathless.' CLAIRE ASKEW, author of All The Hidden Truths
'The story is told at a propulsive rate, the legal details are persuasive and the dialogue is excellent.' Irish Times
'This is a wonderfully assured debut. While the plot of Darkest Truth may have been suggested by the recent worldwide #MeToo movement, there is little of the 'me too' in its writing because Kirwan delivers her cracking tale in her own distinctive voice. In Finn Fitzpatrick, she has created an immensely likeable, feisty and individual character, and the supporting cast in this intriguing mystery are equally well drawn.' Irish Independent
'Her quest to expose Gill is dark and twisted, but the believability of the characters is undeniable. Powerful writing’ Woman