Book review: The Lie by C.L. Taylor...
The Lie is a dark thriller about Jane Hughes, who has a loving partner, works in an animal sanctuary and lives in a small cottage in rural Wales. She's happier than she's ever been. Except Jane Hughes doesn't exist. Five years earlier Jane and her three best friends went on a holiday to Nepal. It should have been the trip of a lifetime, but rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.
Jane has to try and put the past behind her, but someone knows the truth about what happened and they won't stop until they've destroyed Jane and everything she loves.
The story alternates between present day and five years earlier as we slowly find out what happened on Jane's holiday. As we are first introduced to the four friends I must admit I rolled my eyes at the clichés (there was the snooty one, the "slut", the butch lesbian, and the outsider) there just didn't seem to be any depth to the characters and I found myself wondering why Jane was friends with them anyway.
As we learn more about the nightmarish trip it does get quite engrossing, there's a lot of suspense but It did seem a little unbelievable how these four women could so easily be suckered into a cult without even really noticing or trying to do anything. Pretty much on the first day things started getting weird and that would have been my cue to go! I know Taylor wanted to play on the 'who can you really trust' theme, but the women had been close friends for years and turned on each other literally overnight to extreme levels. With friends like that who needs enemies...
I suppose the protagonist Jane is likeable (although a little annoying and naive at times), and Al is ok, but other than that none of the others had any redeeming qualities and I was pretty much hoping something bad would happen to them! I also found the present day story quite weak and slow, and found myself racing through it to get back to the trip.
The ending was anti-climatic, and obvious but I still gave The Lie three stars. Despite the story being unbelieveable I did find myself drawn into the chapters about the holiday. The writing was suspenseful enough to keep me reading, but overall the book suffered with the weak present day story.
For more book reviews go here!
Find me on Goodreads.