The Lie by C. L. Taylor

The Lie

This psychological thriller has stayed with me since I read it three months ago. I was so absorbed by the plot that I completely forgot to make my usual highlights to aid my review. And that’s a first.

So what’s it about?

I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes…

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.

Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves…

The story uses the popular ‘switching timeline’ device. In other novels this has left me confused but here it works seamlessly. Alternating chapters tell the story of the present day and that of five years previously when Emma, Daisy, Leanne and Al arrive at Ekanta Yatra – a yoga/meditation retreat in Nepal. As it suggests in the blurb, events here take on a sinister aspect and end tragically.

Back to the present day, and only Al and Emma (now ‘Jane’) have survived. The two are no longer in contact after Al sold their story to the Press against Emma’s wishes. She has moved away from London, has a new partner and works for an animal sanctuary in Wales. She has done her best to move on with her life and reinvent herself but things start to slip when she receives a series of emails telling her that her old friend Daisy is still alive.

Without giving anything away, the novel explores the dark, disturbing side to friendship and female friendship in particular. How far can you really trust your friends? And what happens when the cracks start to appear? All the characters are well-developed, flawed and damaged in different ways which makes their interaction fascinating.

I was completely absorbed by this story – so much so that as soon as I put it down, I picked up C L Taylor’s other novel – The Accident and devoured that one too. One of my favourite reads of the year so far and a new favourite author to add to the list.

You can get The Lie on kindle at the moment for only £1.99: The Lie

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