Friday, September 8, 2017

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan – Book Review

Book: Lies She Told
Author: Cate Holahan
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books 
Date of Publication: 12 September 2017
Number of pages: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312956

Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same river and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion of Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

Intense! Is the first word that comes to mind while and after reading Lies She Told by Cate Holahan. The novel kept me on edge from start to finish.

Lies She Told is about Liza, a suspense writer, whose first novel becomes a bestseller, but her subsequent books barely make anything worth mentioning in her career. Now, she asks her editor for one-month extension to write a book, without an outline.

Added to that, Liza's husband's best friend and law partner, Nick, has disappeared, straining Liza's relationship with her husband at a time she is looking to conceive. Things go from bad to worse when Nick's body is discovered bludgeoned to death and Liza's husband is arrested for his murder.

There are two parallel worlds in Lies She Told, the first is Liza's, while the second is that of the main character in her work-in-progress, Beth, who recently had her daughter Victoria and suspects her husband is cheating on her.

Liza says that she bases her stories on real people, while changing their names and making a few additions. As the book progresses, the reader can't help but notice how true that is. Some events are repeated, even some quotes taken out of Liza's friends' mouths.

"I don't invent my characters. I steal them from my surroundings. To be a writer is to be a life thief. Every day, I rob myself blind."

I enjoyed the parallelism between the two worlds. Liza makes up for what she doesn't have through Beth. When the novel begins, we learn that Liza is taking experimental drugs to conceive; in the story, Beth has done the same but was able to have Victoria. Similarly, Liza's mother passed away, but Beth's is alive and well.

I liked the development of Beth's character, which, in a way, is reminiscent of Nora in Henrik Ibsen's The Doll House.

Bit by bit, Beth begins invading Liza's world, making comments in her mind, or rather Liza thinks what Beth would say in certain situations. Sometimes, Liza attempts to shut her character out of her head, and other times, Beth reprimands her author for her decisions. I liked this a lot, as well as the arguments between Liza and her character.

"I've created a character that would be far more adept in this situation than I am. I need to think like her."

I couldn't tell if the pace in Lies She Told was fast or slow because of the constant suspense. I also liked the use of quotes at the beginning of the book, and at other parts in the book.

There are many memorable and beautiful quotes, images, and phrases throughout the book. The dialogue is nicely included in both narratives. I liked Liza's notes on writing, which can act as writing tips to readers and writers in general.

"My emotions don't vacillate between happy and sad like a pianist alternating between major and minor scales. They're stuck in a discordant chord."

One of the things I disliked, however, was that I felt that Jake, Beth's unfaithful husband, did not get what he deserved at the end of the book. I also wanted to know if Beth's story would be Liza's newest bestseller.

Every time I put Lies She Told down, I kept trying to remind myself that both Liza and Beth were just characters, that this was all fiction. They were just too real.

Half-way through the book I knew this was a five-star read. Finishing it, I confirmed my expectations. Lies She Told gave me palpitations while and after reading. No book has ever done that to me!

Overall, Cate Holahan's Lies She Told is a must-read psychological thriller, but it's not for the faint of heart, with its constant suspense, and will give you a hard time separating fiction from reality.

"Blurring fact and fantasy is my trade. I am a con artist. A prevaricator. I make up stories. So why does he think this one is real?"

Note: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of Lies She Told by Cate Holahan via Lori Great Escapes Book Tours in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.

About The Author
Cate Holahan, author of the acclaimed psychological suspense novel The Widower's Wife, is an award-winning journalist and a former television producer. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Connect with Cate Holahan via her Webpage, Facebook, and Twitter.

Purchase Lies She Told by Cate Holahan via Amazon and B&N

Keep up with the rest of the Lies She Told Tour for more Book reviews, Interviews, spotlights and Guest posts here.

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