An interesting thriller but full of complex characters

May 25, 2018

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 




After reading several Young adult fantasy novels in a row I really needed to have a break and some light relief with a book I could just fly through and get engrossed in quickly and for occasions like that I often find that thrillers are just what the doctor ordered. Not having read any novels by Sabine Durrant before I wasn't quite sure what to expect but this seemed to have okay reviews and happened to be on my library shelves so I picked it up. 

This is the story of Paul, an ageing and unsuccessful author who finds himself homeless, his latest novels being rejected and his relationships always seeming to be flitting and meaningless. To be very honest he is an awful lead character. He is the quintessential Lothario who has spent his life flitting from relationship to relationship avoiding settling down and now he's realising his time is running out and he is beginning to panic. He is self obsessed and his way of living seems to be to lie to those around him about everything in his life to give the impression he is more successful, more wealthy and generally more happy than he really is. 

When he runs into an old college friend, Andrew, and begins dating one of Andrew's close friends he quickly finds himself covering up the real extent of his failures and instead he begins to move himself into the life of Alice and her 3 children, aiming to take up residence in her home with her to avoid having to move back home with his mother. Alice is planning a trip to Greece to have one final holiday in the villa she owns there and has done for the last 10 years. Paul is desperate to be invited and to bag himself a holiday on the island that he last visited 10 years previously. The island however has a decade long mystery of a missing teen who disappeared a the same time Paul was last on the island and Alice is determined to help her family to find out what happened to her. 

I liked this book, the story was interesting and I liked the fact that it built slowly towards the ending and it did have some twists and turns that perhaps you may not anticipate. Personally for me though I couldn't rate this any higher than a 3 star book because of the odious characters within it. I didn't really emotionally invest in any of them. They are all quite dis-likable. Right from the outset there is something quite pretentious about the circle in which they move and whilst we know Paul doesn't fit the mold his clamoring to be "one of the gang" is quite irritating as a reader. He seems to lack any real emotional backbone and hence it's difficult at the end of the book to bear any sympathy with the situation when it is laid bare to us as a reader. 

I did read this book really quickly, taking just 24 hours to fly through it and the chapters do keep you engrossed but I don't think this one will stand out to me months down the line, I don't think it is one of the stand out thrillers of the past few years. 

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