Foreword Reviews

Starred Review:

Lies She Told

The line between a novelist and her creations blurs in this swift psychological thriller.

Lies She Told blurs the line between fact and fiction to plumb the depths of a woman on the brink of collapse.

Liza is a thriller writer who hasn’t had a bestseller since her first novel, Drowned Silence. As she struggles to find her voice again, she must also deal with the frustrations and side effects of fertility treatments, and with her husband, Nick, who hasn’t been the same since his law partner disappeared.

Liza finds herself writing about a woman who is experiencing similar struggles. Beth, her heroine, has just had a baby, and her husband, Jake, is cheating on her. The similarities between the writer and character begin to add up as Liza finds out more about her husband, her past, and her own fragile hold on reality.

The novel alternates between chapters about Liza and chapters from her novel. The back-and-forth keeps the tension high, revealing nuggets of information slowly, along with Liza’s spiral into delusion. Pages turn quickly as new details are revealed.

Writing is straightforward and never impedes the crackling pace. Dialogue is believable and leaves the action where it should be—in the showing, not the telling. Conversations between characters establish moods and relationships, and are never overly wordy. Liza’s inner dialogue makes up the majority of the exposition; this self-talk gets ever hazier as her grip on reality slips.

Exploring the main character’s personality both through a first-person perspective and through her alter ego, Beth, is an intriguing and multilayered approach. Supporting characters are not fully fleshed out; they function to move the book forward and do not steal the limelight from Liza’s inner battle.

Though its resolution is a bit abrupt, the book’s final reveal is satisfying and tracks well with the foundation set throughout. Lies She Told is a swift and intriguing psychological thriller heavy with surprises.

Reviewed by Angela McQuay

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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