Having just returned from Crete when I picked up this book I was absolutely delighted to be transported to the Greek setting of Sabine Durrant’s latest psychological thriller.
Although domestic thrillers have burst onto the scene in a big way in the last couple of years, this one definitely rang some changes for me, not least because our narrator is a man. Paul Morris by his own admission, although quite how much self-awareness accompanies this is doubtful, is a man who lives his life off the back of other’s fortune. Having had literary success in his early twenties, he has devoted the next twenty odd years to repeating this early acclaim. While living in a friend’s apartment he meets a woman called Alice who he has distant connections with through a friend from university. Alice has been widowed and is mother to two teenage children. She has a lease on a house in Greece and her and friends decamp for a trip to Pyros.
Alongside our narration in the present with the chauvinistic Paul, he really has a vile way of viewing females, we learn about a young girl named Jasmine who disappeared in Pyros some ten years before. Alice has assiduously been carrying out an awareness campaign for the whole time, having been there at the time Jasmine was first reported missing. But as the land that the house Alice leases is being developed, the ten-year anniversary is to be the last big push. Jasmine’s parents are on the island, an interesting couple who don’t quite fit with the rich and privileged group. Will this be the year that they find Jasmine?
So to the title, the whole story hinges on lies. Paul Morris tells plenty; Alice is unaware that he doesn’t own the smart London apartment, that he was in Pyros at the time of Jasmine’s disappearance or that his arrival this year, isn’t quite how it’s been presented. But is it possible that other members of the group have presented falsehoods as truths?
An interesting premise which delivers a cracking good read. Yes, there are a few coincidences to drive the storyline forward but I was, by the time these emerged, so intent on finding out what happened to Paul, there are some early excerpts from a time after the holiday, which are intriguing to say the least! I also was keen to understand what everyone knew about Jasmine. For instance the police are still advising that the case is being investigated, we even meet the local policeman who liaise with the family, and Alice and co. but there have been no firm sightings in the intervening ten years.
So the characters are for the most part either suffocatingly good which covers Alice and her friend Tina or arrogant and boorish which covers Andrew and Paul, or brattish which covers the four children who make up the party, so this probably isn’t the book to read if you want to feel affinity for the characters. If however you enjoy a good mystery and are prone to wondering about just how tangled a web you can weave with lies, this will absolutely be the book you want to take on your holiday, especially if you’re off to Greece.
Lie With Me was published by Mulholland Books on 5 July 2016 and they were kind enough to send me a copy which I accepted in return for this honest review.
Other Fabulous Books by Sabine Durrant