Review: Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Monday 29 June 2015
Title: Little Black Lies
Author: Sharon Bolton
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Format: eBook
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780593069202
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
What's the worst thing your best friend could do to you?

Admittedly, it wasn't murder. A moment's carelessness, a tragic accident - and two children are dead. Yours.

Living in a small island community, you can't escape the woman who destroyed your life. Each chance encounter is an agonizing reminder of what you've lost - your family, your future, your sanity.

How long before revenge becomes irresistible?

With no reason to go on living, why shouldn't you turn your darkest thoughts into deeds?

So now, what's the worst thing you can do to your best friend?

When Little Black Lies was first revealed on Twitter I embarrassingly assumed it was going to be another Lacey Flint story, well it appears Sharon Bolton had an ace up her sleeve because Little Black Lies is another standalone, and probably one of Sharon's best books to date. Some authors astound me the way each book they release is better than what came before. Sharon Bolton is one of those authors.

It is so difficult to discuss the story in Little Black Lies but in the beginning we meet Catrin who is planning revenge on her best friend Rachel for killing her two sons (or rather, being responsible for their deaths as we later learn). Catrin and Rachel were as close as two people could be without being conjoined until one day Rachel turned away from Catrin's children for a few seconds, the next, they were dead. Catrin's life was of course destroyed, and I could feel her pain as I read, some moments definitely making me feel a little emotional. We learn she has some quite sinister and deadly plans which she plans to play out during a solar eclipse, something that adds real atmosphere to the story. Catrin is such a thought-provoking character in how she herself thinks, and the plans that she wants to carry out. As a reader you want her to find some sort of closure to the hurt she experiences, but at the same time there's a weird kind of adrenaline rush - on my part at least - about what will happen as the book moves on. Only seeing Catrin's point of view at first made the whole thing very one-sided, so I was thrown a little when we left her and moved on to the character of Callum and then Rachel and that's when things became really interesting.

Catrin, Callum and Rachel are three damaged characters and this story is a real study of how the effect of war, the actions of people and the death of children can have on a community and the people involved. Alongside all of this is the mystery of missing children, and how the community deals with this. It's a quite chilling read in places, the reader never really knowing where the danger is going to come from, nor which characters can actually be trusted. Rachel herself is another fascinating character, the reader being given a real insight into how the tragedy also affected her. The accident itself being something that could have happened to anybody, and you can at times sympathise with Rachel for how she feels. Little Black Lies is completely compelling from start to finish thanks to these three characters, all of whom are so believable and conveyed in such a realistic way that you can't help but become completely consumed by what you are reading.

I am a big fan of settings, especially settings which become a part of the story, which are the story in the sense that you couldn't imagine the scenes that play out taking place anywhere else. The Falklands is a setting I have read about in fiction only once before, in Craig Robertson's The Last Refuge, a book which had me Googling the Falklands even as I read the book because I was so fascinated about the island and its people and their nuances. Sharon Bolton completely brings the setting to life, so much so that at times it is almost like you are a part of the story yourself, witnessing everything unfolding from afar and I have to say that was more than a little unnerving at times. When I wasn't reading this book, I couldn't help picturing the scenes, and I was itching to get back to the story. There's so many twists and turns in this story that I wouldn't even waste time thinking about how it will end, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Just when I thought things had been wrapped up I turned the page, read a couple of lines and I was stunned. Sharon leaves the most amazing, didn't-see-coming twist until the very end and it was brilliant. One of those that makes you want to reread the book and see whether the clues were always there.

Little Black Lies is a must-read novel and probably one of the best I will read this year. I therefore have no hesitation in recommending this, or indeed any of Sharon's books especially her brilliant Lacey Flint series.


1 comment:

  1. What a review, I can't wait for the paperback, have loved all of Sharon's books and sounds like this will not disappoint, thanks for sharing


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