Monday, December 16, 2019

Good Girls Lie

Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison
MIRA Books: 12/30/19
eBook review copy; 464 pages
ISBN-13: 9780778330776 

Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison is a highly recommended psychological thriller.

The Goode School is a prestigious girls prep school located in the small town of Marchburg, Virginia. It accepts only the best and the brightest students and is considered the premiere prep school for daughters of the wealthy and influential. Graduating from Goode means admission to an Ivy League college. When new sophomore student Ash Carlisle arrives from the U.K. she, with full knowledge of the Dean, is trying to keep her identity and the recent tragedy in her past quiet, a seemingly impossible task in a school full of over achieving girls. Ash wasn't prepared for mean girls, cliques, secret clubs, and hazing. When there is a death in the school, numerous secrets, lies, and rumors begin to surface.

Good Girls Lie has all the standard components of a great Gothic novel. We have secrets swirling about the school. There are plenty of stories of murders and hauntings in the school and on the grounds. We have groups of students with insufferable attitudes, secrets, cruel rules, and bad behavior. And the whole shebang is set on old grounds and in a building with secret passageways and deadly stairways. If a Gothic novel set at a girls school full of secrets sounds intriguing, you will likely enjoy Good Girls Lie.

With the exception of Ash, the characters are in many ways, standard caricatures. In this case, that isn't bad because it works in this novel. Ash is a sympathetic character, at first, and then she does begin to grate on the nerves, and then things change again. And there are so many secrets from so many people. The narrative is told through multiple points-of-view, some of which are flashbacks to the past. The alternating points-of-view increases the suspense and allow insights into the character's motivations and secrets.

The writing is very good. The plot is complex and full of twists; some of the twists will surprise you, some will keep you guessing, and some can be predicted. The novel does begin to go on just a bit too long, but in the end, Good Girls Lie is a satisfying, entertaining read that ends in a surprising, but fitting, denouement.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of MIRA Books.

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