Published by Bookouture
ebook: 19 April 2017
Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother who abandoned her.
Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera?
The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?
To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…
A dark, compulsive psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Louise Jensen.
The accidental discovery of a videotape forms the basis of this story and, as befitting the title, there are plenty of lies and so much deceit in this debut thriller by Jess Ryder.
Meredith Banks hasn’t seen her mother Rebecca for many years, having been bought up by her father. Her father makes it clear that he doesn’t want to discuss her mother but after watching the video which specifically refers to two people, Cara Travers being one of them, Meredith is both shocked and intrigued and wants to find out more, especially if it will give any clues as to what happened to her mother. She shows the video to her ex-partner Eliot, a policeman, who then finds himself involved in a cold case investigation reviewing a 30 year old murder. Against advice, Meredith herself starts digging for information however the old saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ could come back to haunt her as revelations slowly come to light as to what really happened over 30 years earlier.
The story is told by three voices – Meredith, Jay and Cara (in a mixture of first and third person), flipping between 1984 and the present time. Although the historic part of the novel is essential to the plot as it slowly reveals the lead up to Cara’s death, I did think that this had a slower pace and have to admit that I found the present day investigations more intriguing than Cara’s story. As a peripheral character, I didn’t find Cara that interesting and I found myself wanting to hurry back to Meredith’s narrative; I was more interested in finding out what had happened to Rebecca and how she fitted into the story.
This was an enjoyable thriller, which I read fairly quickly as it is one of those addictive books that you want to keep going back to. There were twists that I didn’t anticipate leading to a fast paced and dramatic conclusion. I thought that I had guessed part of the ‘whodunit’ early on but I wasn’t completely right and the conclusion, when it came, made me realise that I should have been paying more attention – that’ll teach me! Jess Ryder writes very well with both the plot and the characters being strong enough to move the story along for me. With its underlying theme of obsession and hatred clearly coming through the pages, this is definitely one to be considered for your reading pile. At the time of writing this post, Lie to Me can be downloaded from Amazon UK for just 99p
My thanks to Kim Nash for including me on the blog tour and to the publisher for the Netgalley ARC.
About the author:
Jess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer. After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime. Writing, that is. So she’s very excited about the publication of her debut thriller Lie to Me. Her other big love is making pots.