This was no accident…
Haunting, compelling, this psychological thriller will have you hooked. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Daughter.
Best friends are there for each other through thick and thin. You trust them with your life. At least that’s what Emma, Daisy, Leanne and Al think. But all that changes when they embark on a trip of a lifetime together. When they return home, only two of them are left alive and the group has been torn apart by lies and deception.
Many years later, when the dust has settled and life has moved on, one girl receives a threatening letter. Someone knows the truth about what happened on that holiday and will stop at nothing to expose it …
*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
‘The Lie’ is C.L. Taylor’s second psychological thriller, and certainly one of the most anticipated books of 2015. Both her debut ‘The Accident’ and this follow up are highly praised book, and after reading them I can totally understand the buzz. It’s obvious that Ms Taylor has a knack for creating a dark and atmospheric read, despite previously writing more light-hearted chick lits under the name Cally Taylor.
Being a huge fan of chick lit, it’s obvious I enjoyed her chick lits greatly and must admit, I was kind of sad she decided to go to ‘the darker side’, however I think the thriller genre got a great addition when she decided to make this change. While both ‘The Accident’ and ‘The Lie’ are creepy and have an interesting story, I definitely enjoyed ‘The Lie’ more.
It’s a story about friendship, but you know…a toxic one. Before reading this one, I read ‘When We Were Friends’ by Tina Seskis, which also deals with these toxic, twisted friendships. While having a similar theme, both of these books turned up quite different, which in my book is very good. ‘The Lie’ tells the story of 4 friends, especially Jane (now called Emma) and their dream holiday to Nepal five years ago that turned into a hell.
Going back five years ago to Nepal, from before to after certain events that completely changed their lives, we’re immersed into a tense story that definitely kept my interest. Why did Emma change her name? Why did these friends fall apart? Chapter by chapter we go deeper into their story, friendship and dark secrets.
When it comes to the characters cast, I was not very impressed by any of them. I didn’t feel connected fully to Emma or any of her friends or side characters. While I still enjoyed the story and wanted to find out what exactly happened in Nepal, I really wish I could like the characters more, or at least Emma. I’m sure I would have enjoyed the book more if that was the case.
I also expected a faster pace. The book started off kind of slow for me, but then again, I know Ms Taylor was just building it up, introducing us to her characters and making sure we distinguish them throughout the book. The suspense is built gradually and there were couple of twists I couldn’t see coming, however I had my suspicions about some of the characters which later on proved I was right. I can’t say I could absolutely predict the whole story, but being very good in psychology, I can tell a good from a bad person very early on. While I know many people make poor choices in friendships, there were moments when I couldn’t see these 4 women together. I just couldn’t picture them hanging out, telling each other about boyfriends and you know, all the usual stuff women in their twenties do. They are a weird ‘team’, I’m telling you, and I think this could be a problem for some readers. But like I said, I’ve read a book on same topic recently, so this relationship of theirs didn’t come as such a shock. We’ve all had (or still have) at least one toxic person in our lives. Why do we hang on to them? What powers do they have over us? This is what ‘The Lie’ is about. If I should sum it up in just few words I’d say- friendship, toxic, betrayal.
However, the whole thing about the cult was certainly an interesting and rather original spin. I haven’t read many books about cults and I certainly didn’t expect it in this book, but it felt right and was a great change from my usual reads.
Overall, if you enjoy psychological thrillers and read Ms Taylor’s debut ‘The Accident’ I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one too. We can see Ms Taylor’s style is more polished now and she’s more brave to write about some weird topics. It’s creepy, twisty read and definitely one you’ll devour in couple of sittings.
My rating: 7/10
EXCTRACT FROM ‘THE LIE’
“Shouldn’t you be at work?” That’s how she greets me. No, “Hello, Emma”, no “Everything ok, darling?” just ‘Shouldn’t you be at work?’
“I am at work.”
“Should you be on the phone? You don’t want to upset your boss, not after your recent appraisal.”
“Mum, can you just…never mind. Look, I can’t make it to Henry’s show tonight.”
There’s an audible intake of breath then an exaggerated sigh. “Oh Emma.”
There it is, her disappointed tone, the one perfectly pitched to make me feel like utter shit.
“I’m sorry, Mum. I really wanted to make it but-“
“Henry will be disappointed. You know how much work he’s put into his one man show. Tonight’s the night he’s invited lots of agents along and it’s so important that the audience is on his side and -“
“Mum I know.”
“He wants to take it to Edinburgh, you know that don’t you? We’re ever so proud.”
“Yes I do but Geoff -“
“Can’t you ask him nicely? I’m sure he’d understand if you explain why.”
“I have asked him. He said I have to work until seven because I was late this morning.”
“Oh for god’s sake. So it’s your own fault you can’t come? Don’t tell me, you were out drinking until late with your friends again.”
“Yes. No. We had to help Al. I’ve told you how upset she’s been about Simone recently and -“
“And that’s what I should tell Henry is it? That your friends are more important than your family?”
“That’s not fair, Mum. I’ve been to all William’s matches and I was there when Isabella opened her dance studio.”
I spent most of my childhood being dragged from one sibling to event to another, a habit that so ingrained I start each day by checking the calendar in my kitchen to see who’s doing what. Isabella is my oldest sibling. She’s 32, an ex-dancer, ridiculously beautiful and married with a son. William’s my older brother. He’s 28 and a golf pro. He lives in St Andrews and I rarely see him. Henry’s the youngest, he’s 24 and the next Jimmy Carr if you believe my mother.
There’s a pause, a pause that stretches for one, two, three, four seconds.
“Mum? Are you still there?”
She sighs again. “You should get back to work. It sounds like you’re in enough trouble as it is.”
I swipe at my eyes with the heel of my hand. “Could you wish Henry good luck from me?”
“I will. I’ll speak to you soon. You’d better get back to it. Work hard and make us proud.”
The line goes dead before I can reply.