Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Night She Lied

The Night She Lied by Lucy Dawson
11/16/23; 371 pages

The Night She Lied by Lucy Dawson is a highly recommended psychological thriller.

Jude has recently lost her partner and switched to working nights shifts as an A&E nurse in a hospital. When her mother, Margaret, calls and tells her something terrible has happened, Jude is concerned for several reasons. Perhaps she shouldn't have shared any of this information with Rik, the new man she just met, but he seemed understanding. When Margaret won't answer her return call, she sends the police for a wellness check. This in turn sets off her mother, and causes a stir in the whole family which soon culminates in Margaret being charge with crimes committed twenty years ago.

Margaret gives off strong Mommy Dearest vibes at the start which continue throughout. This character flaw always makes it a bit difficult to believe that a grown adult daughter would keep putting up with the manipulative behavior but it also makes for a compelling narrative because you can't predict what a character who is this flawed will do next. While Margaret is truly an unlikable character, Jude isn't entirely sympathetic because something seems off about her at the start. They are both unreliable characters. This is a good time to note that if characters are eliciting this much speculation and analysis, they are probably well-written with this result in mind.

The narrative is told through multiple points-of-view and in multiple timelines, providing background information to the current action and further developing the plot. There are plenty of twists and new information divulged along the way, making the story additionally complicated and unpredictable.  In turn, I enjoyed the novel while also shaking my head in disbelief, however, I read it to the end and was engaged in the story. 3.5 rounded up.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Bookouture via NetGalley.

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