TITLE: The Perfect Lie
AUTHOR: Jo Spain
PUBLISHED: 13th May 2021
MY RATING: 4/5
I received an eARC copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. My thanks goes to NetGalley and the publisher Quercus Books for the opportunity to review this book. An additional thanks to Milly @QuercusBooks for the invitation to participate in this blog blast.
*Synopsis taken from Goodreads*
He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder.
Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning, it’s the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death.
Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect.
But it was all built on the perfect lie.
This is the second book by Jo Spain that I have read, with Dirty Little Secrets being the first – a crime thriller that I really enjoyed and rated 4/5. With that in mind, I had high hopes for The Perfect Lie and I’m pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint!
Similarly to Dirty Little Secrets it more than earns its place in the crime thriller/mystery category, and is a book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to fans of this genre. Equally, whilst intelligent, it is not at all overwhelming so those looking to dip their toe into the thriller genre would fare well starting with this one.
The main mystery (although there are many overall), is how Erin could possibly be on trial for her husband’s murder when it was quite clearly suicide. He jumped to his death in front of multiple witnesses, and yet eighteen months later Erin is in the dock desperately trying to defend herself. I was so intrigued by this concept and I couldn’t work out how Spain was going to make it all work out in the end, but she did, and wow was it a clever and well-written process!
The Perfect Lie jumps back and forth in time which is useful for laying out all the many strands of information that will prove necessary to tie everything together. There is a lot going on, but I didn’t find it difficult to follow or keep up with. Spain has a writing style that is accessible and engaging, and as a result it’s impossible to not get swept away chapter after chapter. The book throws you in at the deep end and holds you there right up until the final page. There is no let up in the action, and every time that I had to put the book down, I was impatient for an opportunity to pick it back up again. This feeling is one that I always hope for when reading a thriller, and so when it happens it makes the experience all the more exciting and fulfilling.
The main storyline is of course Erin and her quest to discover the truth about her husband and successfully defend her murder charge, but there are multiple other storylines taking place at the same time. We as readers are aware that they all link up, and are all paramount to figuring out exactly why Erin’s husband is dead, and yet everything is doused in mystery meaning that nothing quite adds up. I think this is why the book is so engaging, that desperation to make sense of something that is beyond confusing. Spain has constructed an extremely clever plot, and expert character development, and both really shine throughout. There is no unnecessary filler, no characters that haven’t earned their spot, everything is simply as it should be.
I do have one criticism unfortunately, which is the reason that I rated four stars rather than five, and it is the speed with which the book came to an end. It was more than a little abrupt which was a real shame. I was so invested in the story, and Erin’s plight particularly, but then it all just ended with no warning. I would’ve appreciated more of a build up to the close. The suspense present throughout the novel was fantastic, but it did lack in the finishing pages, which I personally found disappointing.
Overall, The Perfect Lie is a fabulously constructed thriller/mystery, and one that I loved reading. I really hope you pick a copy up because it is a wonderful read. I look forward to seeing what Spain comes up with next!
About the author
Jo Spain is a full-time writer and screenwriter. Her first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and her first psychological thriller, The Confession, was a number one bestseller in Ireland. Jo co-wrote the ground-breaking television series Taken Down, which first broadcast in Ireland in 2018. She’s now working on multiple European television projects. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.
*Don’t forget to check out the other reviews from this blog blast – the reviewers handles are all in the image above*
Now it’s your turn, what do you think about this one? Does it sound like something you would enjoy? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!