Monday, 12 June 2017

The Weight of Lies

Author: Emily Carpenter
Genre: Suspense
Type: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
First Published: June 6, 2017
First Line: "Kitten -- that was what everyone called her."

Book Description from GoodReadsIn this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty­-year­-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.

Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.

Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother.

Soon Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

My Review: The Weight of Lies is a complex and layered psychological thriller that is sprinkled with twists, numerous culprits, an eerie setting and a mystery that is slowly revealed to the reader. And don't forget the cool cover picture. 

Ohhhh ya, this is a great read.

The story is told via alternating chapters which is a common enough story-telling method but instead of two characters telling the story, half of the chapters are excerpts from Kitten, the cult classic novel that launched the career of Frances Ashley 40 years ago, and the other half are from the perspective of Meg, Frances' daughter. With their tempestuous relationship, there is no love lost between mother and daughter so Meg decides to dig into her mother's past to write a tell-all book and uncover the truth behind Kitten. Are the rumours that the book was based on a real-life murder true? If so, how/why was her mother involved?

In many suspense reads you'll have several culprits with two or three that have any real possibility of being the 'baddie'. But The Weight of Lies had so many twists and potential villains that I kept changing my mind about who was taunting Meg and what really happened on Bonny Island all those years ago. The characters, generally speaking, weren't an overly likable bunch (especially Meg and Frances) and had baggage (with a capital B). But my lack of warmth towards them, surprisingly, didn't bother me and only added to that eerie feel. 

The story is set on Bonny Island, a small island off the coast of Georgia, which is as beautiful as it is creepy. Sure, it's a pretty setting filled with beaches, forest and wild horses. But there's another side to Bonny Island - it's got a creepy, insular, lonely, Southern Gothic feel to it which is a great backdrop for the twist-filled ride filled with family secrets, lies, omissions, tumultuous parent-child relationships and even a wee bit of romance.

This book is an excellent summer pick and checks off a lot of the 'great read' boxes. It's an atmospheric, chilling read that will keep readers on their toes and have them changing their theories about who is lying and who is telling the truth.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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