04 May No Good Lie by Claire Stibbe
Can one secret destroy you?
I do like a good psychological thriller– they’re usually engrossing, often chilling, and it’s always fun to try to second guess what is coming.
So I picked up Claire Stibbe’s new book with a real sense of anticipation, drawn in by the blurb and the cover.
So what is it about?
Freya Thorne’s life has already been rocked by the death of her teenage daughter Katie in a drowning accident. Now, out running, she has found the body of a young woman, Elisabeth Sanders, on the beach. Her death has strange parallels with Katie’s.
Right, I thought, we are straight into a double murder-mystery with an amateur investigative heroine who has a vested interest in finding out the truth. This will be good.
Well, I was wrong about the first part, for the story quickly develops to become so much more than its introductory plot. But I was right about the second, It’s good. Very good.
Freya is a woman with a secret which she cannot confess to anyone, for fear of destroying her marriage, already rocked by the loss of Katie.
But one man knows her secret – a man who calls himself Edward. A man who is so obsessed with Freya that he stalks her incessantly, mocks her fear and threatens not just her marriage but her life.
Is Edward also responsible for the death of Elisabeth Sanders? Of Katie? Of other women who have disappeared? And will Freya be his next victim?
Not if she can help it! As she cannot tell the police nor husband Jack the whole truth about her stalker, Freya sets out to track him down herself and put an end to his blackmailing sinister ways.
Freya is made of stern stuff!
Ever heard yourself shouting at the screen “Don’t go there!” as the heroine puts herself into mortal danger? Well that’s what I was like every page of this thrilling book.
With a menacing man slipping in and out of my life, into my very home, leaving overt and covert threats all over, I’d have been confessing my secret to anyone who would listen, just to get some help.
How is it that Freya is made of such stern stuff? I swithered about whether or not her actions were convincing, but as I read further, I decided that yes, maybe I would act the same in her place.
For the truth is, the worst has already happened to Freya – her daughter is dead. All she has to cling on to is her marriage, and she will protect it at all costs. She’s not so much afraid of Edward’s physical threats as the fact he can destroy her remaining happiness. She acts on instinct, not reasoning, maybe subconsciously believing that she deserves all that has happened, and all that might happen.
Besides, I had already been drawn in by the power of the writing. From the opening page, there’s an immediate feeling of menace to the story, and the narrative pulls you along in its wake.
Though it concentrates on the stalker aspect, the initial introductory elements of Katie’s death and Elisabeth’s murder continue to subtly underpin the plot, adding mystery and intrigue to the menace that is always there.
The story is largely told from Freya’s viewpoint, but Edward, too, is given a voice, which adds to the chilling atmosphere as he watches and waits for opportunities to torment and terrify Freya.
Fast-paced, well-plotted and deeply menacing, this story has everything you need to keep you turning the pages.
About the Author
Claire Stibbe is the winner of the 2021 Page Turner Award for Fiction and a prolific novelist. Today, she writes domestic suspense novels that draw on her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse. Her aim is not just to tell gripping stories but to inspire other survivors to find freedom and independence. Her books owe much to her years as a member of the Albuquerque Police Citizen’s Academy where her main focus was the impact of violence towards women and their families.
Claire now lives in Utah with her husband and son, and her cat, Edward, who sleeps on her desk while she writes. She is addicted to reading and sharing the crime fiction love.
Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blogtour and to publishers Bookpreneur for the copy of the book.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster
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