... a heart-pounding portrait of a sociopath committed to maintaining control of a friendship. What makes the novel remarkable is not that Jane is a sociopath—it’s how badly you want to like her anyway ... Kay uses the gentle cadence of her main character’s voice to pull readers down the slippery slope of rooting for the bad guy ... Full of uneasy suspense, Seven Lies may leave you wishing that just this once, the villain could get away with it. Be ready to wince, shudder and—above all else—exist for several hours at the edge of whatever seat you happen to be occupying.
... immersive ... from page 10 of Seven Lies onwards, you know where this is going, yet author Elizabeth Kay effectively strings you along as the box Jane has constructed for herself becomes smaller and smaller ... The close-in perspective never gets boring, as Jane has the capacity to surprise, to insinuate, and while you may peg her right away as an unreliable narrator, nothing she does seems out of character or discordant with her world view. She sees things through a particular, distorted lens, and, as Jane herself would say, ‘you understand’.
ane is a creepy, unreliable narrator who speaks directly to the reader in this chilling, hypnotic book. An alibi, a journalist in hot pursuit of the truth, and two women being torn apart as they attempt to differentiate their friendship from the romantic love of their husbands: these are all pieces that haunt those looking for the truth. This novel turns female friendship on its head as its obsessive narrator builds her story one lie at a time.
In Jane’s jealous hatred of Charles, Seven Lies is at its most convincing. But with him gone, and with two twentysomething widows on its hands, the plot must look for fresh distractions. The anorexia of Jane’s sister Emma is shunted to the fore. The mother with dementia, during a visit from Jane, has a scary moment of Cassandra-like lucidity. A true-crime blogger posts sensationalist theories about Charles’s death which trample somewhat upon the libel laws. Frustratingly, these tangential melodramas are left to dangle flabbily rather than serve the plot's wider scheme, which is to supply Jane with a new rival ... The oddest mystery in this domestic noir is that the two bosom friends seem to have nothing fundamental in common. Jane doesn’t invite Marnie to her wedding, and withholds news of a personal trauma which, like an impotent ace of trumps, is played too late. Indeed Marnie barely exists except as an object of Jane’s toxic neediness ... [an] unedited pulse of triple-decker tautologies. It becomes a narcotising drumbeat, a monotonous rumble of hattricks, a Chinese water torture. Other readers may well feel better pleasured by the climactic twist. After all, and in the end, can 14 thriller writers and a million quid advance be wrong?
The story begins with this plot spoiler and counts down to the moment when it happened. It’s as if Jane is begging the reader to get through the first few chapters. Fortunately, there’s more drama to follow ... Jane isn’t an especially likable character. The value she places on her friendship is relatable right up to the point when it leaves her morally bankrupt. It's no surprise when Jane’s frantic efforts to keep her friend close after Charles’ death pushes her away instead. The real tension lies in learning the truth about Jane's intentions—and the person who hears her confession ... Frustrating, fascinating, and wicked entertainment.