Published by Avon September 2018 / 384 pages
Opening sentence: “It took approximately eight hours for Sean Taylor to die.”
One Little Lie is a pacy thriller told by three women: Alice, Deborah and Connie. Alice’s son, Kyle, murdered Deborah’s son, Sean, and now Alice thinks reaching out and befriending Deborah is a good idea. The plot is an exploration in grief, forgiveness and how far a mother will go for her child, “A mother should protect her children no matter what, shouldn’t they?” Connie is a psychologist who finds herself unintentionally drawn into this drama. As a premise – I loved this. I also really liked the fact that the author, Sam Carrington, has a degree in psychology and has worked within the prison service, so she really brings an air of authority to the events that play out in the book.
I’d have to say this goes down as one of the twistiest plot lines I’ve read in a while – to the point where I sometimes had to pause and think back, to make sure I had the plot threads for each character right. In fact, in the first half, I kept getting the Deborah / Alice stories mixed up as they’re – in essence – quite similar characters and there’s not a lot of definition in their individual narrative tones. Don’t get me wrong – complex is always good: You need to be drip-fed information and be kept guessing for a thriller to hit the mark and these elements are certainly all present and correct here. BUT for me, there were just too many layers in the plot. Connie’s back story for example, which could have been a novel in itself, was only touched upon and I didn’t really see why it needed to be there at all (unless it was a set up for another book about her past.) It didn’t add anything to her character.
Overall though, there are some brilliant Gone Girl vibes and a tantalising plot that is unraveled slowly, so it keeps you hooked and while reading I felt like I NEEDED to find out the ending ASAP – always a good sign.