In need of a real gripper to trial my new kindle with, C.L.Taylor’s The Lie was a strong contender. I read the Accident a few years back and remember really enjoying it and The Lie had positive reviews so I decided to take the plunge. And, boy, did it not disappoint!
Flicking between past and present, the reader follows Emma/Jane from her previous life to the new one she has fabricated. Five years ago, Emma went on an ‘adventure of a lifetime’ with three friends. The hippy of the pack planned a retreat to Ekanta Yatra in the Nepalese mountains. Fooled by the paradisiacal description, their friendships and lives are slowly strained and wrecked before us. Five years on tells the tale of animal-lover ‘Jane’ and how she has pieced back a life for herself. But someone is starting to rip in apart again. The less you know the better…
I felt both aggravated and attached to the characters. The hatred I felt towards Leanne was softened by her mental difficulties and bumpy upbringing; the same for my irritation towards whiny Daisy. Emma was relatable and Al was loveable. The characters felt real and I unpicked their layers as the novel progressed; they were far more complex than first apparent.
Other reviewers have criticised the unrealistic storyline. I second that, although the excitement and unpredictability would be non-existent if it were set in a generic city with simplistic characters. The unfamiliarity of a cult and its ritualistic nature is necessary to take the reader beyond their depth. My only drawback would be the slightly rushed ending. Nothing was left open, so whilst satisfying, Taylor seemed to face quite a challenge hastily tying up loose ends in the space of a few pages.
Poignant and purposefully written, The Lie had me eagerly awaiting bedtime reading. I would recommend this book to suspense-hungry readers because the cliffhangers in this book will keep you reading far too late in the night!