Book Review – The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

I first came across this one in a lovely bookstore in Chester, during a recent visit to see some relatives. I liked everything about it that I could gauge from its cover and a short flick through, so it went straight on my TBR list.

Whenever I go to a bookstore now, I am opening my Goodreads app on my mobile phone and adding any books that catch my eye to my imaginary shelves. It saves me from having to remember all the books I see, and regretting the ones I have forgotten!

So did I enjoy reading this book? Yes and no. There are some very good aspects to it, and it carries a strong message, but on the other hand it has its fair share of flaws.

Synopsis (Goodreads)

The truth hurts…

Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.

Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin—and her past. Erin knows if the secret of what she gave up got out, the consequences could be devastating.

When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?

Review

The book starts off very well. The opening is tense, and really draws you into the story right from the first moment, setting up what looks certain to be an edge-of-the-seat read. It establishes that Erin clearly has something to hide, and hints that there are going to be a lot of twists on the way to finding out what that secret is.

Something else that shines through from the beginning and continues to the end, is the writing style. Fortin writes with the utmost simplicity, almost guiding you through the book, so there is no need to try to read between the lines.

While this is a strength, the writing style is not perfect. Some sections are just too long-winded, and would be better served with just a little less unnecessary details. It is a character driven story, and although I like the fact they are very well developed, I didn’t feel the need to know all the inner workings of their minds.

At first it seems like Erin is going to be the sole narrator, but it is also written from the perspectives of Kerry and Roisin. This was fine, and it certainly helped to form a wider perspective on these characters, although I didn’t like it when more than one of these perspectives was used without a chapter break. It caused a bit of confusion at times!

Most of these characters were well-drawn, but I didn’t find Roisin very believable. The main reason for this was the poor dialogue, which for me was the biggest problem with The Girl Who Lied. Much of the dialogue is melodramatic and full of cliches, which perhaps prevented me from connecting with some of the characters as I would have done otherwise.

As I say, the message of the book is very strong: The importance and closeness of family, and how far they would go to protect each other. This ultimately goes some way to ensuring what is an extremely happy ending.

Overall, I would call it more of a psychological drama than a psychological thriller. It is too slow paced for that, and too much of it plays out like a soap opera. A decent enough read, but not spectacular.

Verdict

A reasonable book, and one that I would recommend if you like a slow-burning, small scale psychological novel. I am going to give it a rating of three stars.
Happy Reading 🙂

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