I am over the moon to finally bring my review of ‘The Darkest Lies’ and be alongside super blogger Anne at Random Things Through My Letterbox on the Blog Tour.
A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.
Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.
Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.
Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?
As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. Thetruth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…
A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Before I Let You In will be captivated.
About the Author
The people behind the crime, from the perpetrator to the victim and beyond, are what intrigue Barbara Copperthwaite.
She was raised by the sea and in the countryside, where she became a lover of both nature and the written word – the latter leading to a successful career as a journalist. For over twenty years people have kindly and bravely shared with her their real experiences of being victims of crime. Now, through fiction, Barbara continues to explore the emotional repercussions.
So where do I start with this review. I have had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ the author on social media and I was lucky enough to win a competition where *I* was written as a character into her next book. Well this is it, the anticipation, excitement and nerves all culminated in a wonderful book. I had no idea previously if I would be a goodie or a baddie, all I knew was it would be a psychological thriller!
The title gives you an inkling of what is to come .. The Darkest Lies .. nothing good ever comes from telling fibs and this book certainly portrays the disastrous consequences when one lie escalates into another.
Melanie and Jacob are living the perceived perfect life along with young teenage daughter Beth and a fluffy mutt. They are a close family and as Melanie states, bad things don’t happen to people like us.
Yet after a regular night spent with her BFF it soon becomes apparent that Beth is missing. Why would she not tell her parents where she was going? What happens to her?
This is every parents nightmare and the writing sucks you into that black hole of despair. Beth was an animal lover and would spend hours on the bleak Lincolnshire marshes observing wildlife .. is that where she might be? I could sense the desolation, feel the wind biting my skin, the eerie bleakness of the area it was all described so vividly.
Jacob like any father is so protective of his little girl but complies with the police in their search not only for Beth but later her attacker. Mel on the other hand becomes a woman possessed and goes on the rampage in the small community trying to unearth some clues. She rapidly turns folk against her. She drove me mad at times with her insistence on knowing best but then as a mother I, god forbid would probably react the same.
When Mel’s old school chum returns to the village he makes a bee line for her and offers his support where Jacob doesn’t seem able to. The whole story explores what happens when a family unit is torn apart by a tragic event. How any action or remark can cause an avalanche of pain. The thoughts and feelings of the parents when other characters encroach on personal space. It definitely made me think about how I would deal with it, the fine line between giving kids their independence or wrapping in cotton wool, the cloying guilt if something goes terribly wrong.
It keeps you guessing all the way through, when I thought I had it figured out another twist would jump at me. Barbara isn’t afraid to deal with unpleasant circumstances or take the reader on a difficult journey. Once you begin this it soon becomes imperative that the ‘real’ world stops so the book can be read in peace with out interrupting the flow. I found it incredibly hard to put it down and found myself abandoning my family just to finish it!
I loved the saying Mel used for Beth .. ‘love you to bits then whole again’ that gives such an innocent insight into their relationship.
What did I think of my alter ego Alison ? … well she played quite a large part in the story, it was a really weird sensation living vicariously in that situation but without doubt I thoroughly enjoyed her antics and realising I didn’t have to deal with the outcome was a bonus! It was a huge honour and my thanks go again to Barbara for including me and to Netgalley/Bookouture for my copy.