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


Murder, by Sarah Pinborough

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books | Publication date: 4th December 2014 | Edition: Paperback (own copy)

Any arguments deduced from the nature of her wounds suggest not that she was murdered for her money…but that she was assassinated by somebody who found a revengeful satisfaction in battering her even after his first blows had killed her…

Murder by Sarah Pinborough

We meet again, Dr Bond | Murder, the sequel to Mayhem.

You know those books you have to keep reading in a frenzied, all-consuming attempt to discover what happens next?

Well, the first there was ‘Mayhem’, by Sarah Pinborough, which was such an excellent read I had no hesitation in buying it’s sequel, ‘Murder’ – and I was not disappointed!

To summarise:

Dr Bond believes that his previous connection with the Jack the Ripper case had ceased, along with his Opium dependency, but to his dismay, he finds that the depravity soon returns to haunt him, and it’s far worse than he could ever have expected.

Now, not only are there the bodies of dead infants in the Thames, murder on railway and the underbelly of Victorian life to contend with – “Jack” is back, with a habit that grows and needs to be fed.

Don’t be fooled into believing that these books merely regurgitate the same reports of old. The stories we’ve all heard surrounding the infamous serial killer now have their own unique and slightly fantastical element behind the crimes being committed. The evil deeds are perfectly descriptive to let you oversee just enough horror, and these scenes are quite unnerving, as the killer is not of this world.

As ‘Murder’ leaps right into events and characters that appeared in the first book, to have a better understanding of the continuing story it would make more sense for you to read ‘Mayhem’ first.

Rating: Absolutely a 5/5 without a doubt.  Very happy to recommend.

You can follow the author on Twitter: @SarahPinborough