Thursday, April 23, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Lie by C.L. Taylor

This is a book review for The Lie by C.L. Taylor. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She's happier than she's ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist. Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women. Jane has tried to put her past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won't stop until they've destroyed Jane and everything she loves.

The book starts on a day when Jane receives an anonymous note from someone who says they know who Jane really is. The reader learns that Jane's real name is Emma and she is hiding from reporters after an incident in Nepal five years earlier. The narration goes back and forth between the present and the past. The chapters that take place five years prior slowly build suspense and lets the reader know, bit by bit, how a normal vacation with three other friends turned into a nightmare. I was way more interested in what happened with Emma and her friends than I was in Jane's life at the present. Jane in the here and now was kind of boring and she was with a boring guy. Her and Will had no chemistry. It is revealed they have been dating for a couple of months. Maybe it was because they didn't seem very serious or the fact that the book started after they started their relationship, but I wasn't very invested in it. 

The story of the vacation was far more intriguing, The girls go on a trip to parts of Nepal and they wind up at a commune on top of a mountain that is not what it seems. It is revealed that of the four women, only two came back down the mountain. I kept turning the pages because I was dying to know what happened at the top of that mountain. In that respect, it was extremely suspenseful . It is at the commune that the girls' friendships unravel. Being in a place with no way to contact the outside world at all brought a lot of resentments and jealousies to the surface. It did appear as if the people at the commune were taking advantage of that to turn the girls against each other. I am not giving away any spoilers here because this plot point is revealed within the first chapter or two: the commune in Nepal is actually a cult. I am so intrigued by cults and what it takes for people to fall for the cult leader. In this case, the leader isolated everyone and made them feel so good that they never wanted to leave. They researched the people coming so they could know all of their secrets and all of their weaknesses. It was creepy. People even burned their passports, although it is not clear whether some people actually want to do that or not. My issue with the cult though is that it was never fully explained how the cult began or how it turned into what it was. Throughout the girls' time there, you can see the violence that lurks beneath all the calm and peace. One of the members did indicate that it didn't start out like that. So I was curious how it started and how it evolved. 

In the present, Jane is trying to figure out who knows who she really is but she doesn't try very hard. She even dismisses most of it as no big deal. Because she doesn't care very much, it was hard for me to. Once a few more details about the experience in Nepal were revealed, I had a good feeling about who was stalking Jane and I was right. The ending though, was a bit anticlimactic for me. There was all this suspense in the last couple of chapters when the stalking did intensify. But there was no real confrontation with the guilty party and then it was just over. This is a psychological thriller that does have its suspenseful moments, but no big finish. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Borrow.

6 comments :

  1. THIS BOOK SEEMS SO INTERESTING :D And Jane seems like an awesome character! I love how you described the story because truthfully, I'm really interested into reading this one :) Thanks for sharing the review, and I'll definitely give this one a try if I have the chance :D

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

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    1. Thanks Jillian! I hope you enjoy it. :)

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  2. I get the anticlimactic thing at the end... After what happened in Nepal, you would expect the story to climax in something huge and cathartic. Too bad, really, because it's got a lot of promise (and cults do it for me too :) Great review. thanks.

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    1. Thanks Ramona! Yeah, the ending just made it an average read for me. But it was still pretty entertaining.

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  3. Ohh, this sounds chilling. You had me at extremely "suspenseful". XD Although sad about the ending. Bad endings are such dampners on flailing moods, right? Meh. :(

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    1. Thanks Cait! That is so true. If not for the ending, it would have gotten a higher rating. But it was still entertaining.

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