Review – The Lie by C.L. Taylor

By | March 23, 2015

I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes…

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…

Last year I was completely blown away by The Accident – here’s a link to my review – so I was thrilled to get my hands on an advance reading e-copy of C.L. Taylor’s new book, The Lie, due for publication on 23 April by Avon (in paperback, and for kindle). 

One of the strengths of The Accident was its structure, alternating seamlessly between the past and present day, and this book does that every bit as well – the Jane who is now a mainstay of the Welsh animal sanctuary is a very different person from her younger self. Only five years previously, she travelled with three friends – and I use that term very loosely – to a retreat in Nepal. But it was a community that turned out to be something other than what it initially seemed, the holiday turned into a nightmare while their friendships unravelled, and two of the friends did not return. The author paints a fascinating picture of the friendships – four very different women wonderfully described, none particularly easy to warm to, some with issues, some with secrets, and a friendship so fragile that it shatters dramatically when faced with the circumstances they encounter. The account of what happens in Nepal is pretty horrific, frightening, graphically and realistically described, replete with images and smells and tastes that will stay with me a long time. 

The past returns to threaten Jane’s new life in a thoroughly convincing and terrifying way, and the book is really gripping reading as the story unfurls. This is a book that will have everyone feverishly turning the pages into the early hours… the way it disentangles doesn’t disappoint in any way, and the pacing is quite perfect. 

I loved it – every bit as good as The Accident, so well written, and highly recommended to anyone who enjoys an edge-of-the-seat psychological thriller. 

My thanks to netgalley and publishers Avon for my advance reading e-copy.

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines. Cally works in Higher Education and has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale. 
Her international bestselling romantic comedies (written as Cally Taylor), Heaven Can Wait and Home For Christmas were both published by Orion in the UK, and have been translated into 14 different languages.