Sadie Roper returns to London to rebuild her shattered life, but as she navigates the politics at her daughter's exclusive school and resumes her criminal barrister career with a high-profile case, she attracts the attention of unknown enemies.
Fans of Harriet Tyce’s debut thriller Blood Orange have been eagerly anticipating her follow-up, and they will certainly not be disappointed with The Lies You Told. Tyce continues to demonstrate her gift for writing twists that fit organically into her stories, but still shock and excite the reader ... The scandalous nature of the case, caring for her daughter on her own, and balancing all of her responsibilities while carving out this new life for herself and her daughter all create an incredibly stressful situation that Tyce masterfully conveys. So masterfully, in fact, that there were times that I had to set the book down for a few minutes because it was making me, personally, feel too stressed ... There are passages that are not for the faint of heart, but this complex tale has been woven together with expert hands. She writes characters we can love, and she is especially adept with characters we can love to hate. Her ability to craft a story is incredible. Harriet Tyce will have you addicted to her writing in no time.
With its multiple strands, its constant twists and turns and its excellent characterisations, I found this a compelling, disturbing and, for the most part, convincing story. I admired the way in which the author controlled the drip-feed of information and, with constant twists and turns, gradually revealed the web of secrets and lies which underpinned the tight plotting of the story. From the start it was clear that no one was quite what they seemed and that nothing could be taken for granted. This meant that an ever-increasing tension was created, adding a disturbing and relentless quality to the story-telling. It would be comfortable to think that her portrayals of the over-privileged school-gate mothers were caricatures but I found them all too easily recognisable! She convincingly captured the toxic nature of the ultra-competitiveness of some of these mothers and their willingness to use their daughters as pawns to be manipulated in the pursuit of personal aspirations. There were many moments when I found myself feeling angry and indignant about the power they were able to exert to exclude and undermine anyone who didn’t fit the ‘norms’ of their clique. Fortunately, there were also moments of delicious, almost farce-like humour, when the author lampooned her characters’ behaviour! ... a chilling, quite brilliant final twist.
In her second mystery, Harriet Tyce has established what runners might call a comfortable pace. She has written a thriller somewhat similar to her first novel, Blood Orange, but different enough to establish for readers that she is not a one-trick pony following formalistic formats to produce cookie-cutter similarity in her writing ... weaves three storylines into one seamless tale. The hectic pace of Sadie’s new life in London is aptly portrayed as she struggles to balance her work and her child’s life. The courtroom scenes are skillfully written and realistic. Early on in the novel, readers are warned that one final danger will face Sadie and Robin. But how, why and where the menace will strike lacks just enough detail to keep you guessing. Be prepared, as the final pages finish off a well-structured and thrilling story ... The greatest compliment a reader can pay to a mystery writer is one that I gladly offer Harriet Tyce: Please keep writing. I cannot wait for your next thriller.