Title: Lie To Me
Author: J. T. Ellison
About the book: I received an uncorrected proof of this standalone novel from a GoodReads giveaway.
First impressions: After reading the back cover, I immediately thought Lie to Me sounded a lot like Gone Girl. Although I enjoyed the latter, I’m glad Ellison put a unique spin on the woman goes missing narrative. I went in with high hopes because I tend to love suspenseful thrillers. The beginning didn’t disappoint. It sets up the rest of the story well in my opinion.
Summary: A woman goes missing. The husband is suspect number one in the eyes of family, friends, the media, and the police. An investigation begins, but as lies begin to come to light, the truth becomes more clear.
Characters: The author created flawed characters with problematic pasts. I liked Ethan despite his shortcomings. His wife, Sutton, disappears and leaves a note saying not to look for her. Near the end of the book, readers get more of her backstory, which is interesting to say the least. She became more likeable the more I learned about her. Ellison did a nice job with all the characters, good and bad.
“We are afraid to die, and so we are afraid to live.”
Conflict: The characters want to get to the bottom of Sutton’s disappearance. Somehow, I figured out who was behind it all relatively early on. I had a hunch after a certain incident, and the book reaffirmed my hypothesis all the way. That being said, I wasn’t sure of this character’s motive until the very end. Wanting to learn how Ellison would resolve the loose ends made me keep turning the pages.
Writing: For the most part, the story is told in third person. The book contains different perspectives as well as a then and now glimpse into the events of the past, which offer more insight into the present. It gave me a better understanding of the main characters and what motivates them.
I’m aware it’s an uncorrected proof, but there were more errors than I anticipated. I could still make sense of everything, but the mistakes took me out of the reading experience ever so slightly. I hope the finished copy is much more polished.
The sentences are short. The chapters aren’t long. Some clock in at a couple of pages. This kept the suspense going, which I’m all for.
Final thoughts: The ending reveals a ton of information in a short amount of time, so it answers the questions posed in the beginning nicely.
I enjoyed this one. I think fans of suspenseful reads such as A Girl on the Train should consider checking out Ellison’s novel. I was worried Lie to Me would read very much like Gone Girl, but I’m glad it didn’t. Though I could predict some twists, the book had a few different turns that took me by surprise.
I’d recommend the novel to lovers of thrillers. Even if you don’t normally reach for crime or mystery on a daily basis, I think you won’t regret reaching for Lie to Me, especially when you just want to be entertained.
Lie to Me will be released on September 5, 2017. You can preorder the book here. Or if you’re patient, you can wait.
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