Sunday, January 19, 2020

Behind Every Lie

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald
Gallery Books: 2/4/20
eBook review copy; 336 pages
ISBN-13: 9781501184031 

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald is a highly recommended domestic thriller.

Eva Hansen is engaged to Liam Sullivan and seems to be getting her life back on track after an earlier unnamed traumatic occurrence (that will be revealed later). When she wakes up in the hospital and discovers that she was struck by lightning, she learns that she was found down the street from her mother's home and that her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Apparently Eva is a suspect and the police are eager to question her. Eva can't remember what happened, but knows that she couldn't have murdered her mom, could she? Then she finds a letter addressed to her in her mother's things that sends her traveling from Seattle to London. Kat lived in London before moving to the USA with Eva, so Eva hopes that the answers to what happened will be found there.

The action moves along quickly in Behind Every Lie, setting a break-neck pace as more and more details and secrets are revealed from both Eva and Kat's past. The narrative is told through Kat and Eva's point of view in alternating chapters, so you follow what Kat was going through back in England up to the present day while at the same time learning about Eva's discoveries and her past trauma. As more of the diverse stories are told, you will begin to make sense of what happened in the past and question what actually happened to Kat. 

I liked the alternating points-of-view between mother and daughter, and the suspicion that every character is under as the plot unfolds. All the characters seem untrustworthy at some point and the final denouement may take many readers by surprise, although others may have been suspicious about what was going on. Even though believably is frequently stretched, I was hooked into frantically reading to discover what happened next and if my suspicions and guesses about plot points were correct.

While very entertaining and engaging, McDonald seemed to throw a whole lot into this plot that would have benefited from being a bit more focused and not so wildly full of so many diverse secrets, coincidences, and implausible circumstances. I didn't quite believe some of the secrets would have been kept or not recalled much sooner. Character development suffered under the weight of so many different secrets and new developments. McDonald does regain points for sheer entertainment value.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

No comments: