book reviews

A Review: The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

IMG_3356Thank you Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an ARC of this book. The following opinions are my own.

  • My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Release Date: October 9, 2018
  • Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery

Clara has finally moved in with her dream guy; tall, handsome, charismatic Luke Lawson. Things are really coming together for her and her happiness is limitless. Until the night Luke doesn’t come home. At first, she thinks he went out with the guys and crashed at one of their places in a drunken stupor. It becomes clear quite quickly that this isn’t the case when he misses a huge job interview. When an entire day has passed Clara becomes convinced that something is very wrong. After reporting Luke missing at the police department, she starts her own investigation at home, looking through Luke’s files and computer and that’s when she finds the emails. Many, many emails from a woman who has been stalking Luke and, towards the end, threatening his life. Clara is certain that these emails are connected to his disappearance but the police department don’t seem to be making any headway. So, Clara enlists the help of Mac, the couple’s best friend, to help her uncover and investigate the things the police won’t. What they learn paints a much different picture of Luke and his past and Clara wonders if she ever really knew him at all.

This book started out really strong. I was engaged and compelled to keep reading. There are two stories being told here. One in the present where Luke has disappeared, and one in the past, narrated by a woman named Beth who seems, for a long while, to be completely unconnected to Luke in any way. Normally with a story like this you can use your imagination and kind of figure out where the connection will be between the two stories. That was not the case in this book. When it was revealed how the two storylines were relevant to one another I was pleasantly shocked. I never would have guessed it, and in the end, that is what makes a great thriller/mystery. And yet, in spite of this, I still found myself really bored about half way through the book. The plot was drawn out much longer than necessary and the main character, Clara, was so unforgiving of Luke and his transgressions that I became annoyed with her. They seemed so tedious to me in the face of the drama ensuing at this point where many people’s lives are in danger. Who cares if you are pretty enough, and who cares if your boyfriend flirted with this one or smiled at that one. Seriously, the man has been kidnapped, assaulted, and is possibly facing death and all you can think about are these silly details. Without giving any spoilers away I will just say that at one point a person is suffering from PTSD type symptoms and Clara has the ability to help this person, and instead of doing so she walks away because she’s offended by this person’s actions in the past, even though it is very clear that this person cares for her a great deal. I’m sorry, but in an instance like this I feel like the character should have set aside her personal hurts to help this person in need. In the future, once this person is stabilized and safe, you can bring up all of your issues and a cut ties if need be. In the face of the severity of the issues at hand, her problems seem quite small. Normally I’d be all for the “I am woman, hear me roar” type of deal, but here I just found it irritating. 

That being said, this was not a terrible book, the plot was strong, the characters were twisted and sometimes unpredictable. The writing was well done and the author successfully kept me in suspense. Other than the couple of details I stated above, it’s hard to really put my finger on the reason I stopped caring about the outcome or the characters, it just happened. I still think this book is worth a shot for the lover of suspense/thriller novels. 

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