This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf
Park Row Books: 5/12/20
eBook review copy; 336 pages
This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf is a highly recommended thriller/murder mystery set in a small Iowa town.
years ago, the body of sixteen-year-old Eve Knox was found in the caves
near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa - discovered by her best
Maggie, and her sister, Nola. There were a handful of suspects,
including her boyfriend, Nick, but without sufficient evidence the case
ultimately went cold." Now a new piece of evidence has been found and
the cold case is being reopened. Maggie is a police detective in Grotto
and is handling the investigation despite her connection to the old case
and the fact that she is seven months pregnant. Maggie's father, who
handled the original case obsessed over the file for years. Now Maggie,
who has been haunted by the case for years, is reviewing the case files
and evidence, and notifying the Knox family, in preparation to send the old evidence and the new discovery to the state lab for testing.
This is a well written novel full of suspense and tension. There are
several suspects still living in this small Iowa town who are connected
to the case in same way and most of them are odd or guilty of other
crimes. As Maggie looks into the case, secrets begin to emerge, but
small towns can keep things hidden even when gossip is swirling around.
And someone clearly has deadly intentions, although pinpointing the
guilty party is complicated. The novel moves along at a good pace and
will hold your attention throughout.
The narrative alternates between characters and flips from 1995 and
2020. This means that Eve is among the well-developed characters and we
know her secrets too. Maggie is a great character. You can tell that
she's guarded and keeps herself in check. She has a whole lot of other
things going on along with the investigation. Eve's sister Nola is a
complicated character and an obvious suspect right from the start - but
soon there are some other characters that quickly join that list.
While I enjoyed the novel quite a bit, I had a few reservations. I
felt that some of the small town secrets would have and should have been
outed sooner, the ability to test certain evidence is questionable, and
the ending went a wee-bit-over-the-top for me. But, if you just want to
read a well-written mystery/thriller with strong female characters, This Is How I Lied will certainly fit the bill.
My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.