Saturday, 4 February 2017

Book Review: Lie with Me

Lie With MeLie With Me by Sabine Durrant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Based on one of my favourite subjects, the lies we tell, this novel is a treatise on deception and manipulation, with the flavour of one of my long-standing favourite characters, 'The Talented Mr Ripley'.

I was struck first by the beautiful writing style; flowing, immediate, detailed, absorbing. The pace is steady (don't expect sudden dramatic events), instead there's a gradual slow-burn as characters are revealed, mainly aspects of the unscrupulous lead, Paul Morris, a 'has-been' author, who has scrounged and sponged most of his life and who charms his way into opportunist situations, as slickly as he charms his way out of tricky ones.

Paul runs into an old acquaintance, Andrew, whose sister he barely remembers dating years ago and is invited to dinner, where he meets the recently widowed Alice. From the start, Paul's intentions are entirely dishonourable. He lies about his finances and success, claiming the luxury apartment where he lives is his own when, in fact, he's flat-sitting. In Alice he sees an opportunity to gate-crash well-to-do society and he scores an early victory by bagging an invitation from her to join a group taking a holiday in a Greek villa. Paul has dim recollections of visiting the small island before, ten years ago. It was at this time that the 13-year-old daughter of a friend of Alice went missing there, a mystery that was never solved.

As he whiles away the summer by the pool, Paul finds himself genuinely falling for Alice, who is on her annual pilgrimage to the island to raise awareness of the unsolved murder. Jealous of Alice's closeness with Andrew and in order to impress and ingratiate himself with her, his lies and slights of hand multiply. But events on the island turn sour and when the police come to the villa with questions about fresh crimes and the discovery of a grave, Paul's intricate web of deceit starts to backfire.

From this point on there is a subtle shift in dynamics. The reader is fully aware of the hole Paul is digging for himself - but wrapped up in his selfish and narcissistic existence, he is not.
Needless to say, I thoroughly recommend it!

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   Inside the Whispers is the latest Psychological Thriller from AJ Waines 
(and FIRST in the new Dr Samantha Willerby Series)

(The first four novels can be read in any order)

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