Sunday, 3 January 2016

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books
Pub Date May 19, 2015

The first thing that emerges from this book is the atmosphere of a private island, where everyone knows each other, where no one is truly free. This oppressive atmosphere that makes people to always stay within the bounds of what is acceptable in the community, where everyone knows the lives of others, their story, their past, their mistakes...

So naturally when something horrible happens, the community tends first to deny the evidence because otherwise their lives would break into pieces. Then, at some point, it's no longer possible to deny the facts and there, Sharon Bolton reproduced perfectly the suspicion, the looks, the whispers, the gossip that follow the disappearance of children. She writes with love and a lot of insight on these small communities. It's very well done.

The characters are very well written and quickly become members of our own community, we feel included, we know them. The author, in the same way she describes the community is very good to make us feel the emotions of her characters. We understand Catrin's distress and sometimes hatred, Rachel's  guilt, Callum's love. After the disappearance of her children Catrin locked herself in her despair, while her husband, got a new life. And the way those two survived the loss of their children is very realistic, very fair and humane.

As for the story, no complaints. Suspicion falls on different characters, we believe in it every time, reasons abound. The creeping insanity in the population and among the tourists on the island are very realistic (unfortunately I would say). Some scenes reminiscent of those that we have all seen on the news and bring weight to the plot, well played Sharon! The end is really unexpected, I never discovered the identity of the culprit.

The blurb

In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely...

When another child goes missing, and then a third, it's no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation.

And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise.

But three islanders--Catrin, her childhood best friend, Rachel, and her ex-lover Callum--are hiding terrible secrets. And they have two things in common: all three of them are grieving, and none of them trust anyone, not even themselves.

In Little Black Lies, her most shocking and engaging suspense novel to date, Sharon Bolton will keep the reader guessing until the very last page.

In a nutshell

A great novel, as oppressive as small communities, well-written characters, it's a 4/5 for me.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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