“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 the 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…”
Ever since I was little I’ve loved reading books. I think it’s because I grew up in a very book-friendly environment; both of my parents are avid readers and they read me a bedtime story every single night when I was little. I do have to say that in the last few months, or even years, I haven’t put as much time aside for reading as I would’ve liked to. So that is definitely going to change in 2017. And to challenge myself even more I’ll be doing a quick book review over on my YouTube channel every last Wednesday of the month, and a more in-depth discussion of the book here on my blog the Sunday after. The video for this month has already been posted and you can check it out here.
The first book I’ll be reviewing is The Lie by C.L. Taylor. This is also the first book I’ve read by this author, so I really had no expectations at all – apart from what I could read on the back cover, of course.
When I saw this book at a book fair last November, I was immediately intrigued by the title and the subtitle: “She trusted her friends with her life”. The tag line on the back cover drew me in even further: “I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes”. That immediately sets the tone and you just want to find out what it’s all about, in my opinion. It also makes it pretty obvious that the lie the title references to probably has something to do with a new or fake identity – someone is not who they claim to be. And more than that: someone else found out.
This book was a real page-turner. Whenever I finished a chapter, I couldn’t wait to continue on with the next one. I seriously could not put this book down. I think a lot of that has to do with the way this book was written. You start off with a few chapters that are set in the present and then it switches to a couple of chapters that are set in the past – more specifically, five years ago when ‘Jane’ and her friends went on holiday together. So what that does is lift a tiny tip of the veil with every chapter, leaving you hungry for more.
The holiday is where shit gets real. Everything starts to slowly unravel and become more clear; it’s not just your average best friend getaway, that’s for sure! You start to feel for ‘Jane’ and everything she’s been through – which is a lot. As you continue on with the story, it becomes more dark and more gripping. Almost claustrophobic. The same goes for her present, really. Because someone found out that she’s a fraud and seemingly wants to expose her to the rest of her environment, everyone ‘Jane’ knows becomes suspicious to the point where you feel like no one can be trusted. It’s like the walls are closing in on her and you definitely get that vibe as a reader, too.
The only element that pulled me out of the story a little bit was the fact that something rather traumatic happens to one of the characters and then later on in the same chapter (or maybe the following chapter) they do something that seems unrealistic to me, given what just occurred. Obviously I don’t want to give too much away, but that is the one part that might take you out of the narrative for just a second.
Overall I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, whether they enjoy thrillery scary novels or not – I’m not usually a fan of the genre, but I really enjoyed reading this book. It does leave you with a bit of an uneasy feeling at times because it does get very creepy, but the thrill you get from reading the story totally makes up for that.
Since this was my first attempt at a book review, I’d love to get your feedback! I’m also curious to see if any of you have read this book already and what your thoughts on it are, or whether maybe this review has inspired you to go out and give this book a read. If it has, be sure to let me know your thoughts after you’ve finished it!