Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

 Source: Free review copy received from publisher

Five words from the blurb: truth, friendship, island, murder, memory

Lie With Me is the best thriller I’ve read in years! It was so compelling and clever that I’ll be pushing it into the hands of every friend who asks me for a book recommendation this year.

The story begins with Paul, a struggling author, meeting an old friend in a bookshop. They arrange to meet at a party and Paul decides to re-integrate himself with this successful friendship group in order to gain enough favours to solve his spiralling financial problems. Paul lies about his success to impress everyone at the party, embellishing details about his life. His plan appears to work when he finds himself being invited on a holiday to a small Greek island, but unfortunately everything goes wrong when the group gets caught up in the investigation of a murder that took place on the island many years ago.

Paul was a fantastic character. He was cruel and manipulative, but it was easy to see why he acted in this way. By the end of the book I even had some sympathy for him – I love books that can make me feel that way about such an evil character.

‘It’s hard, isn’t it, living with privilege? She gestured to the flat, the art work, the items of mid-century furniture, the shelves of books. ‘Do you ever feel guilty at how easy it all is, how much people like us have been given on a plate by our parents?’
I felt another tight spasm in my chest, a need to tell her how it wasn’t, what a struggle it had been not to lead the life of my parents, how I had always hated the smallness of their ambition, their willingness to settle with meekness and mediocrity.

The plot was very well structured. It was a bit slow in the beginning, but I was impressed by the layers of detail and way everything escalated. By the last third I was so engrossed I couldn’t put it down, finishing it in one late night sitting.

This book isn’t perfect, but the clever plotting and beautifully flawed characters make up for any deficiencies. I’ll be thinking about the issues raised in this book for a long time.

If you’re after a gripping thriller to read on holiday this year, I highly recommend Lie With Me.

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8 Comments

  1. Diane says:

    I just ordered this book from Amazon after reading your review and Mystica’s as well. It must be a UK release as none of our libraries in system own a copy.

    Hope you are doing well and enjoying your new home.

    1. Jackie says:

      Diane, Yes, I imagine it has been released in the UK first as Sabine Durrant is a British author. I’m pretty sure this will quickly go around the world though – it is so good! Enjoy!

      Yes, I’m doing well, thanks. Loving the new home!

  2. Ooh, fun! I have been in the mood for something thrillery, and I have several choices lined up — the latest Ruth Ware book, more Jennifer McMahon, and now this. Thanks for reviewing! :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, I haven’t read any Jennifer McMahon, but I found this way better than Ruth Ware. Just to warn you that a rape is mentioned in this book, but not described at all. Hope you decide to give it a go and enjoy the cleverness of the plot :-)

  3. Care says:

    This sounds really good. You’ve sold me.

    1. Jackie says:

      Care, Yay! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  4. Ifi says:

    Helloooooooo:)
    Nice to see you back regularly Jackie. Hope the move to your home went smoothly.

    After having read five mediocre and meh books in a row, I got excited to see you rave about this one and so picked up . Although only 25% of the way in, I’m really enjoying the sense of forboding I felt right from the second chapter.

    1. Jackie says:

      Ifi, I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying this one. I think it gets better as it progresses, so hopefully you’ll love it by the end. Please come back and let me know what you think once you’ve finished. Enjoy!

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