Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

When you read as many books as I do, you’re bound to come across one every now and then that just isn’t for you.  Maybe it’s a dud, and maybe it’s not, but for some reason you just don’t like it.  When that happens to me, I usually struggle along for a while and hope that it will eventually get better.  Sometimes it does, and I’m glad I kept going.  More often than not, though, I just give it up entirely.  When I read a “dud” I get into a reading rut and it can be hard to get out of it.  This happened to me last week, and I finally gave up a dud, and started something else, hoping to pull out of this rut.  That’s when I came across Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton.  This book was recommended to me in a list of “can’t-miss summer thrillers” and I found the story idea intriguing.  I was hooked from the first page, and barely able to put it down. 

The story is set in the Falkland Islands in 1994.  This is a territory that I am wholly unfamiliar with, and it took some getting used to before I could grasp the culture.  I think the author assumes this may be the case with many readers, so she does a good job of explaining things.  It is told from the point of view of three people, one at a time.  We follow each person’s activities over the course of a three-day period and see different events in different lights.   Just when you reach a critical point in the story, the viewpoint switches, so that you are left dangling on the cliff and wondering what just happened.  Not just once, but multiple times.

Children are disappearing on the island.  A little boy disappeared two years ago, another last year and no traces have been found.  The island is small, with only about two thousand inhabitants, and no one wants to believe that someone they know is truly capable of taking children.  Catrin Quinn has lived in shadows since her two sons died three years ago.  She has decided that the only way to set things right again is to exact revenge on her ex-best friend Rachel, who is responsible for her son’s deaths.  She plans to do it on the anniversary of the accident, but before she has a chance, another boy disappears.  Catrin, and her friend Callum, are among those working on the search.  The events that occur will nearly push Catrin over the edge, until she has an opportunity for revenge that she may not be able to pass up.  When Rachel’s son, Peter, also disappears, all fingers point at Catrin as his abductor and that of the other boys as well.  But while Catrin has a secret, Callum and Rachel are both hiding things of their own.   It’s a race against time to find Peter, but first the police must discover who really took him and why.  It may already be too late

There are so many twists and turns in this story you’ll never be able to guess who’s guilty.  And whenever you think you know, something else will happen to make you realize you were wrong all along.  Ms. Bolton is a masterful storyteller.  As we move from Catrin’s narrative, to Callum’s, to Rachel’s, we move both forward in time, and back.  Each one of them gives us a bit more of the backstory until the puzzle is complete.  I’ve never read a story quite like this one.  It kept me guessing until literally the last page.  It’s one of those books that leaves you saying, “What?!” 

This is an excellent read.  I definitely agree that it is a can’t-miss thriller for summer.  Perfect for adding some interest to your beachside or poolside view!
Happy Reading!
I was given an advance copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.  Look for Little Black Lies on or around May 19!

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