Friday, July 30, 2021

Where the Truth Lies

Where the Truth Lies by Anna Bailey
8/3/21; 384 pages
Atria Books

Where the Truth Lies by Anna Bailey is a recommended murder mystery set in an insular small Colorado town.

Emma's best friend Abigail is missing after a party held in the woods outside the small Colorado town of Whistling Ridge. The last time she saw her friend, Abi was going to meet a boy in the woods... and then she disappeared. She does not believe Abi ran away without telling her first, but when evidence is discovered that something happened to her friend, Emma sets out to uncover the truth. The trouble is that this is a town full of secrets and prejudices that everyone is hiding and violence always seems just behind every turn.

The plot moves along at a swift pace and the tension keeps you reading. The story is told through present day activities and flashback to the past. While this is a dynamic, intense narrative with many characters and pieces composing the overall structure of the mystery, it is also a novel of stereotypical characters composed of shopworn descriptions and dialogue. No spoilers, but these small town stereotypes are just that, typecasts of a kind of person, but the thing is that all these people with their secrets and prejudices in this town is just too much and highly unlikely to occur. The key to appreciate this novel is to focus on the quality of the writing, which is good and descriptive for a debut novelist, and set aside all your disbelief that this is a little too soap opera-ish and melodramatic. 

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Atria Books.

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