Book Review: Here We Lie by Sophie McKenzie
I’ve been in a real reading rut. Along with the last few books I’ve read being very disappointing, I’ve been busy in real life with a new job and school holidays and Christmas etc etc etc, until I just felt like I’d lost my book mojo completely.
Anyway, I’ve passed the time writing some things, and catching up on some things I have been meaning to do for ages until, for the New Year, I decided to again take the plunge and get back in the saddle, so to speak.
Firing up the ereader, I clicked on Here We Lie, a book I’d received via Net-galley. In the back of my mind I wasn’t confident it would spark a resurgence in my recent blah attitude. But now I can happily report, it did!
Yay! I loved this book! Yay!
The book opens with Emily, a thirty-something year old school teacher, enjoying a relaxing holiday in Corsica. She’s joined by Jed, her quite-a-bit-older fiance, and his two children. Also joining them in France is Emily’s sister, Emily’s brother and his boyfriend, and Jed’s brother and his girlfriend.
Soon, their idyllic vacation comes to an abrupt halt when Jed’s daughter, Dee Dee, is found dead.
Back home, everyone is obviously having difficulty with coming to terms with the loss and blame is thrown around, including quite a bit from Jed’s bitter ex-wife.
Enter Dan, Emily’s ex-boyfriend. Dan is a journalist chasing a story on well-known lawyer, Jed. Along the way he comes to believe that Dee Dee’s death might not be what everyone thought, and that perhaps Dee Dee wasn’t even the intended victim.
From then on, the book jumps from cliffhanger to cliffhanger. There’re quite a few likely suspects from those on the trip, as well as those back home, and it’s not easy for the reader to completely guess who Emily should trust.
I found all the plot quite believable, and the use of modern technology clever instead of corny (as some books using it tend to be).
Interspersed between chapters of Emily’s first person point of view are chapters of the family tragedy Emily endured as a child and diary entries of Dee Dee’s.
Other than one particular surprising moment towards the end, I was able to guess most of the revelations of the book and its characters. I’m not whining about this, however, because it wasn’t due to the obviousness of the reveals, but the way McKenzie had actually taken the time to set them up using the three narratives. I love a good bait-and-switch as much as any reader, but I’m not fond of sudden silly endings that have no foundation. In this case, other than that one shock, I thought the lead up provided enough clues for me to easily believe the book’s ending.
I didn’t know anything about Sophie McKenzie before starting the book. After finishing it, however, I looked her up to discover she’s written quite a lot of YA titles, and I must say that that is obvious when reading the Dee Dee sections. They seem quite real and not as cutesy as some supposed teenage narration can be.
I’ll definitely be looking for more McKenzie titles, and I’d highly recommend this (what I’d call gentle) psychological thriller.
4.5 stars out of 5