book review/Books/fiction/crime fiction
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When the truth is not what you knew

Everything is Lies Book Cover Everything is Lies
Helen Callaghan
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
2018-09
400

Sophia's parents have lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she's always believed. Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find her mother hanging from a tree in the garden. Her father lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death. The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn't a killer. To clear her mother's name Sophia needs to delve deep into her family's past - a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .

An architect, Sophia,  goes home only to find that everything that she thought she knew about her parents was untrue. It all comes out when she discovers her parents dead at their small nursery garden – only her father survives the stabbing. the police believe that it had been an attempt at a joint suicide, or that her mother had attempted to kill her father and then hung herself in remorse. neither scenario makes sense.

This follows a series of break-ins at the nursery – which seems odd as it was small and not doing well and thus would have little to offer a would-be burglar. perhaps there was another reason for he crime?

Sophia then meets her estranged grandmother and things begin to change, and the mystery deepens as a lost manuscript that her mother was apparently writing, comes into play.

A good suspense story with Sophia gradually discovering the truth about her parents’ lives and her own family. nicely written with the plot becoming more tense as Sophia finds out more.

 

 

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book review/Books/fiction/crime fiction
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Amy and Katie together

Dear Amy Book Cover Dear Amy
Helen Callaghan
female sleuths, crime, mystery, thriller
Michael Joseph
January 8, 2016
400

FIRST CLASS PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE FROM A MAJOR NEW VOICE IN FICTION Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Enquirer. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received: Dear Amy, I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me. Please help me soon, Bethan Avery Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . . .

 

This story is set in Cambridge UK where we find that as it opens Katie is kidnapped. Katie is an angry teenager who stormed out of the house in the rain, and thus, according to many including the police, may have just run away. But we know better.

Margot, who writes the Dear Amy advice column for teenagers on the local newspaper and who teaches English at a private school, starts to receive letters. Letters written apparently by a child, posted the day before receipt, and yet the signature is of a girl, Bethan,  who disappeared 20 years before.

All this is set against a time in Margot’s life where she is emotionally at sea. Her marriage has crashed and her mental state is fragile. But for some reason she decides to investigate the letters and Bethan’s disappearance.

You feel strongly Margot’s despair and deep need to restablish a stable life after her crashed marriage.

As the story continues a sense of menace grows – well described from Margot’s perspective as a person with anxiety disorders – and thus how much does she imagine? And how much is real?

 

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