Monday, 25 June 2018

Book Review: Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall

Three Little Lies is the second novel by Laura Marshall. Her debut, Friend Request, was a great read and I eagerly put my hand up to review her newest offering. Staying firmly in the thriller/crime thriller genre, this novel leaves you guessing.

Ellen and Sasha flat together in London, still friends since high school ended 10 years ago, and bonded by a traumatic event that lead to their friend Karina being raped and them testifying against the rapist - Sasha's god-brother Daniel. 10 years later Sasha goes missing and Ellen fears the worst, Daniel is out of prison, is he after them?
Ellen re-opens old relationships to try and figure out what has happened to Sasha and not everyone is as they seem. Ellen quickly realizes that she doesn't know Sasha as well as she thought. As the story is told, the past is revealed and there are three little lies that have shaped the story and now put Ellen in danger.

I found the introduction of this novel quite confusing. It flicks between timelines and character's viewpoints regularly and I felt that I spent the first few chapters trying to figure out who was who and what was going on. This sorted itself out by about 5 or 6 chapters in. The main viewpoints are from Ellen and Olivia, and Karina has a few chapters too.
The format of the novel I have a sort of love/hate relationship with. It is done often, especially in crime writing, where it is set in the present but flicks between 2 other time periods from events in the past, each of which are written by both Olivia and Ellen. It means you need to pay particular attention to the dates at the beginning of each chapter. I do like the reveal factor of this format though, it means that the story is very much given piece-by-piece.

As far as characters go, Ellen, Sasha and Karina all have quite annoying traits. None of them are particularly endearing and I wasn't particularly invested in any of them. But the hook was what got me, what happened to Sasha? Clearly the title suggests that there has been three little lies told and therein lies the mystery. Despite my misgivings, I ended up engrossed and couldn't put the book down. I was not disappointed by the twists, and I liked that the story had evolved into something much bigger than just a girl disappearing. Especially a girl that is frankly, a bit annoying. But waiting to find out what the three little lies are keeps the intrigue going and the read worthwhile.

So overall, yes I do recommend this book, stick with it and you will be glad you did. 

Thanks to Hachette New Zealand for the review copy of this book.

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