Title: Lie To Me
Author: Jess Ryder
We’re going to tell our story and then it will all stop and Mummy will be safe. You want Mummy to be safe, don’t you?
Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother she’s never known.
Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera?
The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?
To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…
I really enjoyed this fun, fast-paced mystery. Lie To Me is different to how I’d expected it to be – it’s not really about the crime itself, as such (even though that is the basis of the book), but more about the ripple effect that this incident has had across those involved and their family and children, and how it affects their lives.
Though Meredith’s ex-boyfriend is investigating the cold case, that’s the only real police work included. There is the odd interview with other detectives, but we mainly see the story from two ‘civilians’: from Meredith’s point of view as she tries to work out what happened, and from Cara’s as the events leading up to her death unfold. The characters themselves are quite simple and though I didn’t feel like I hugely cared a lot about them, I was still very intrigued as to who played what part in Cara’s death.
Some parts are slower than others, and there wasn’t really a huge tension or drama with Cara’s murder like I thought there would be. It just didn’t feel very menacing or threatening – maybe because it happened years ago, but as the reader you’re still seeing what happens to Cara, so I expected to feel a bit more threat. However I liked that the book presented everything from a non-police angle; it made a change from the many police procedurals and detective novels I’ve read recently and was a breath of fresh air in that sense!
I really liked how the story focused on the characters who were involved and slowly reveals more about what their lives were like before and after the crime. I was interested to find out what actually happened to Meredith’s mother, and how she linked in with the story. Some parts I could sort of guess but there were still some surprises along the way and it kept me reading on – I finished it very quickly!
Overall I feel that this is an entertaining novel that’s well worth a read, and I would definitely try future novels by Jess Ryder – Lie To Me is fun, easy to read which kept me interested.