I’m so delighted to be launching the blog tour for Amanda James’ Behind the Lie. I’ve always loved her writing – yes, I enjoyed the time travelling books, and Summer in Tintagel was a great marriage between her quirky style and the thriller writer I’d glimpsed behind my personal favourite (up to now…), Somewhere Beyond the Sea. I was quite worried when I started this one – an out-and-out psychological thriller – her first book for HQ Digital, released today. What if I didn’t like it? But I really didn’t need to worry at all…
Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?
Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.
Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.
Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.
Do you know, I really don’t like reviewing psychological thrillers – but only because I find it so difficult to do. I want to say “what about that bit when…”, and know I just can’t because it would give the entire story away. The story behind this one is quite mind-blowing – cruelty, deception, lies, arrogance – and so magnificently done. But I’m not going to tell you anything more about it. No, nothing.
Instead, I’ll talk about the characters. And, do you know, I’ll admit that Holly left me a bit cold at first. I haven’t come across many beautiful five foot nine ex-models with a resolved drug addiction, married to a millionaire. I far preferred her dippy friend Demi – I even tried to find common ground with her mother. But she won me over. As she grows in strength throughout the book, I like her more and more. By the end, I was ready to cheer and fist-pump on her behalf.
Her husband Simon? I liked getting inside his head, behind the smiling face. Well no, I didn’t like… but you draw your own conclusions. Other characters worked really well for me too – but I can’t tell you about them… but their motivations rang true for me.
OK, so let’s look at the story telling. Do you know, at times this book is actually quite slow? People navel-gazing, reflecting, talking about what’s going on. But it works – it really works. Every time the action starts, you’re glad to have had a bit of a respite – a bit like the flat parts of a fairground ride. The action is explosive, edgy, exciting, non-stop – and, thank goodness, slows down again before the next peak.
Then there’s the writing – and the setting. I’m happy to group those two together. When writing about Cornwall, the happy place, some of the descriptions are quite beautiful – and a far cry from the London scenes that are all spiky and hard-edged. The emotional content is great too – the joy and pain of motherhood, the acute sense of loss and betrayal, the tearing in half between what you want to do and what you must do.
Now, I haven’t told you the story, have I? Let me just check… no, we’re ok! 100% a winner for me – go on, please try it, see if you agree… but just wait until you get that bit when…
My thanks to HQ Digital and netgalley for my advance reading e-copy – and to Mandy for trusting me with launching her blog tour. And you will follow the other stops, won’t you?
About the author
Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.
Amanda has written many short stories and has five novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.
Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and Behind the Lie.
Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.