The Lie by C.L. Taylor

I unfold the piece of paper in my hands and read it again. There’s a single sentence, written in the centre of the page in blue biro:

I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes.


Jane leads a happy life, with a caring partner and a job she loves. But all of it is built on a lie. Five years ago, Jane and her friends ventured off on what should have been the holiday of a lifetime, but things soon took a very dark turn, and Jane was lucky to return from the nightmare. Not everyone made it back.

Now, someone who knows what happened in Nepal is determined to bring Jane’s new life crashing down around her. Unsure who to trust, can Jane find out who is behind this before everything she loves is destroyed?

The crickets continue to chirp, the river continues to roar and the women at the waterfall continue to laugh, and something inside me dies.

The Lie is a delightfully dark and intense read. A true page-turner, the writing is fast-paced and incredibly tense. Whilst I sometimes find the technique of alternating between chapters set at different times a distraction, or even an annoyance, with The Lie, I enjoyed flipping back and forth between the past and the present, and found this built the tension with great effect, as the reader is fighting to find out both what happened in Jane’s past and what she will face next.

The author does a wonderful job of portraying the intricacies and nuances of (particularly) female friendships, and I think most women reading The Lie will be able to relate to the power-plays that threaten to upset the balance of the friends’ relationship. An evocative and at times chilling narrative makes this a thrilling read. I really enjoyed this book, and will be sure to pick up more from this author.

Your past doesn’t have to define your future. Not if you won’t let it.

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