Monday, December 4, 2017

Summary: Lies She Told

Summary: Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same river and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own. -- Crooked Lane

I'm far from an expert when it comes to reading thrillers, but I do read quite a few of them... and I definitely have opinions on them! And that brings me to my latest read, LIES SHE TOLD by Cate Holahan. This novel is definitely entertaining and I appreciated that it had a unique premise!

LIES SHE TOLD ME tells the story of mystery writer Liza Cole. Her first novel was a huge bestseller, but she hasn't exactly found much success ever since. She has thirty days to write her new novel and give it to her publisher; however, Liza is experiencing some personal issues which make it even harder to write. She is struggling with infertility issues and her husband's best friend and business partner is missing. It's no surprise to anyone when his body is found in the East River...

Liza isn't quite certain what story she ultimately wants to write, but she has started a novel about a woman named Beth. Beth is a new mother who discovers that her husband is cheating on her. She decides that she wants to surprise both of them and get her husband back... but her plans go awry and the "other woman" ends up murdered. Strangely enough, her body is found in the exact same river...

LIES SHE TOLD ME goes back and forth between Liza's life and Beth's life which is written as Liza's novel. Both stories are interesting in their own right, but as the book progresses, the lines between the stories begin to blur. At first I had absolutely no issue with the transitions between the chapters and keeping everything straight; however, I admit that there were times later when I confused the storylines. That might sound like a knock on the novel, but I suspect that's exactly what the author had in mind!

LIES SHE TOLD ME is most definitely a page-turner. The murders in the novel are suspenseful, but I think it was the character of Liza that held my interest the most. I wasn't sure whether she was a reliable narrator or not, and as I realized that the lines between the stories were blurring, I really began to wonder what to believe about her. Liza was all out of sorts because she wanted to conceive a baby so badly and was on some experimental hormones. She also felt the pressure of having to write a quality novel, and then there was the unspoken baggage from her past! It's no wonder Liza was having a hard time facing reality and eventually began hearing Beth (the character in her novel) speaking to her.

I am extremely impressed with Ms. Holahan's writing. LIES SHE TOLD is her second novel, and I definitely am interested in reading her first one -- THE WIDOWER'S WIFE. She's definitely clever and knows a thing or two about writing a suspenseful story. I really appreciated how the stories became more and more blurred... and just how much it affected me as a reader. And I also appreciated the surprising twists and turns she threw into the ending -- those really kept me reeling!

Overall, LIES SHE TOLD is a smart and well-written psychological thriller. Highly recommended!

Thanks to McCartin Daniels PR for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

A thriller with a great character like that is always entertaining!

The Book Sage said...

I'm with Kathy. There's nothing much better than a good psychological thriller.