Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald
Published by Gallery Books on February 4, 2020 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 336
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From the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell—an “emotionally charged mystery” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author)—comes a thrilling new suspense novel about the insidious nature of family secrets…and their deadly potential.
If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it?
Eva Hansen wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and discovers her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street. She can’t remember what happened but the police are highly suspicious of her.
Determined to clear her name, Eva heads from Seattle to London—Kat’s former home—for answers. But as she unravels her mother’s carefully held secrets, Eva soon realizes that someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. And with violent memories beginning to emerge, Eva doesn’t know who to trust. Least of all herself.
Told in alternating perspectives from Eva’s search for answers and Kat’s mysterious past, Christina McDonald has crafted another “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) domestic thriller. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell’s I Found You and Karin Slaughter’s Pieces of Her, Behind Every Lie explores the complicated nature of mother-daughter relationships, family trauma, and the danger behind long-held secrets.
Many psychological thrillers utilize certain tropes, including an unreliable narrator who doesn’t remember a significant set of events, but not all of them execute it well. Behind Every Lie is one of those books that uses this plot device successfully and to great effect.
“We can be strong and brave and broken and whole all at the same time.”
Opening with a prologue that sets a scene of heart pounding intrigue, Behind Every Lie pulls the reader in immediately. It then backs up, following Eva during the day leading up to, and then following, the night her mother Kat was mothered. Unfortunately, Eva was struck by lightning that night and cannot remember what happened and whether she is guilty or not. This timeline alternates with that of Kat’s from years ago, ultimately crashing together to reveal the remarkable truth. The different perspectives and timelines are woven together nicely and build off each other to create wonderful tension and keep the reader absorbed.
In addition to clever plotting and fast pacing, Behind Every Lie contains an interesting cast of characters, each developing nicely throughout the story. This character development allows the mother-daughter relationship to be explored in its many facets in an utterly realistic way, adding depth to an already entertaining thriller.
Ultimately, Behind Every Lie is a solid psychological thriller I would readily recommend. This is the first book I’ve read by Christina McDonald, but I’m sure it won’t be the last!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.