Sunday, September 16, 2018

Three Little Lies

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall
Grand Central Publishing: 9/4/18
eBook review copy; 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9781478948568

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall is a highly recommended mystery told over two time periods.

In 2017 30-year-old journalist Ellen Mackinnon reports to police that her friend and roommate, Sasha North, is missing. Both of the young women had received threatening letters from a man in their past, Daniel Monkton, who was released from prison five years ago. Is he in London? If he is, then both women might have a reason to fear for their safety based on the events that happened twelve years ago on New Year's Eve. Ellen must dig into Sasha's friends and the past to try and uncover what happened to her.

In 2005 the glamorous Monkton's moved into Ellen's neighborhood. Ellen and Karina, her best friend at that time, were both 17 and obsessed with them. The family had two handsome teenage sons, Daniel and Nicholas. The mother, Olivia, was a famous opera singer, while their father, Tony, was a musician, and their goddaughter, Sasha, is a beautiful teen the same age as Ellen and Karina. Ellen and Sasha soon become fast friends, with Karina on the periphery. Ellen loves the family, and especially Olivia who provides her with a life-long love of music. But then the events of New Year's Eve happen when Karina claims Daniel raped her.

The novel opens in July 2007 with Olivia at Daniel's trial for rape, so you know that this is going to transpire. Ellen is the main narrator of the novel, past and present, with additional chapters from the perspective of Olivia and Karina. The story is told through current events and those that started back in 2005. The flashbacks through Ellen's point-of-view help flesh out the characters and make Ellen a sympathetic character. It is a bit difficult to comprehend Ellen's frantic search for Sasha, when it becomes clear that Sasha is not the most reliable character. Ellen is almost too desperate in her search for Sasha. It seems that after years of being her friend she should already have a few clues and more insight into Sasha's personality. You can like a person and still acknowledge that they have flaws and shortcomings.

In the end, Three Little Lies is an immensely readable, well-written novel and you will find yourself desperate to discover what happened years ago and if it has some impact on Sasha's disappearance. Marshall does an excellent job increasing the tension incrementally to keep you on the edge of your seat while reading. Likely you will also be looking for the three lies, although at the final tally, there are more than three.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley.

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