The Lie, by C L Taylor

Publisher: Harper Collins UK / Avon  |  Published 23rd April 2015  |  Edition: Kindle via NetGalley

WARNING: A packed lunch is advisable, as you’re not going to want to put this one down!

It’s addictive and impossibly twisty – I just couldn’t stop reading it – when I’d finished, I looked up and saw that it was dark outside. Now THAT’s the sign of a great plot.

The Lie by C L Taylor

How well do you really know anyone? Gripping stuff.

At first our narrator, Jane Hughes, tells us the pretty ordinary story of her life. Presently, she works at Green Fields Animal Sanctuary. She has a new fella in her life, a respectable primary school teacher no less. His young daughter seems to love both her and the animals she looks after. Jane doesn’t have any cause for complaint, until she receives a letter addressed to her at the sanctuary.

It simply reads:

I know your name’s not Jane Hughes.

Really? I’m already intrigued, and it’s only chapter one.

But the writer’s statement is accurate. Jane Hughes is not her name. It’s an identity Emma Woolfe adopted to free herself from events that she and three friends endured 5 years ago…

Aaaand cue flashback:

She and her ‘friends since university days’ plan a trip to help one of the group take their mind off a recent, obsessive breakup. They could have gone to Ibiza, or another similar place for fun. But no, at the suggestion of one of the friends they settle for trekking up Kathmandu to spend time at a retreat, which is designed for chilling-out and generally taking a step back from life.

We can all appreciate, there’s nothing quite like a remote location for a bit of psychological terror…

Over the period of their travels, some traumatising events take place and instead of drawing them closer, the friendship within the group starts to crack. Soon they begin to realise the bond that tied them together all these years may not be as strong as they might have believed, and you’re left wondering if the group will ever recover.

Five years after her return from the holiday from hell, despite making a new life for herself, a different nightmare is about to begin for the animal sanctuary attendant. During the course of the story, Jane, aka Emma, receives further unnerving contact from the anonymous source, intent on dropping sinister hints about their ‘knowledge’. The wait to discover ‘the truth’ is indeed a suspenseful one.

Oh, I do like a plot where you don’t know who to trust – although I could have struck a few of them for being perfect candidates in ‘the exceptionally annoying friend category’. At the end I can’t say my heart truly warmed to any of them, except for the rescued Staffordshire Bull-Terrier, called Jack!

The Lie is a well-constructed, psychological crime thriller that is guaranteed to get under your skin. It dares to ask the question: just how well do you really know anyone?

Good stuff.

Rating: 5/5

(My thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for the advanced Kindle copy.)

You can follow the author on Twitter:  @CallyTaylor