Review: Lies She Told, by Cate Holahan

Lies She told, by Cate Holahan

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan
Published by Crooked Lane Books on September 12, 2017 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 288
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

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.


I can’t believe I haven’t heard of Cate Holahan before this! Her third book, Lies She Told, is a psychological thriller and mystery where the lines between truth and fiction are blurred. And it worked for me.

There are two main characters in this story: Liza, a writer who’s next book is due soon; and Beth, the heroine in Liza’s novel. It is structured in alternating perspectives so that we get one chapter from Liza’s point of view followed by a chapter from Beth’s point of view. While this started out fairly easy to follow, it got more confusing as the story progressed and the lines between the two narrators blurred. There were several occasions that I had to re-read the beginning of chapters to orient myself, but in hindsight, it almost seems like this was an intentional method of dragging the reader into Liza’s mindset.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot, as I think the blurb tells you just enough without giving the whole thing away. I will say that I appreciated the multiple layers and parallels within the plot and the story within a story structure (of which I’m always a fan). This also wouldn’t be a psychological thriller without the obligatory plot twists, which I wound up guessing pretty early on. That being said, I enjoyed Holahan’s writing and storytelling so much that it didn’t matter to me, and I sat back and savored the wild ride she took me on.

A thoroughly engaging and entertaining read, I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good mystery thriller. I look forward to reading Holahan’s previous books and seeing what she comes out with next!

*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4-b&w

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