Review of Little Black Lies

Little Black Lies Book Cover Little Black Lies
Sharon Bolton
Random House

"Catrin and Rachel had been best friends since childhood, growing up in a close knit community on the remote Falkland Islands. But their friendship ended horrifically, when Catrin's sons were killed whilst in Rachel's care. Three years on, Catrin still struggles to rid herself of the bitter hatred that poisons her every waking hour - hatred for her own existence, and hatred for Rachel's. So when a child goes missing and the islanders unite in the search, the two women are forced to confront their past. And Catrin's torment turns even more towards thoughts of revenge . . ."

A review of Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

This is a tense and quite bleak thriller et in the Falkland Islands.  Within the first few chapters this book puts down powerful markers; it comes over as eerie, evocative, dark, powerful and quite bleak.  It certainly had me hooked early on.  The characters inhabiting the pages are rich and, like the book, multi layered.  The book is written in three voices consecutively and I found Catrin’s voice and story exceptionally powerful.  If I were honest I found Callum’s voice less convincing initially however that changed and proved that Sharon Bolton can write guys well too.  By the time of the third voice, Rachel’s, I wouldn’t have put the book down under any circumstances anyway.  The other “character” that really is extremely well used in this is the Falkland Islands themselves.  The geography, geology, flora & fauna as well as the history are part of this tale and leaves a feeling of having been extremely well researched.  The descriptive quality of the writing about the islands makes the landscape feel very real.  This author’s first book (I am fairly sure), Sacrifice, was set on The Shetlands and again she used the location effectively.  However since then her work has evolved and matured substantially.

Other than being unputdownable (food and drink only intruded at the end!) I found this a deeply and movingly introspective book at times.  Stepping back from having finished it you realise that it really is multi layered and touches on the military issues from the Falklands recently history, the social sense of living on isolated islands, deep personal relationships and their joy and grief in addition to the simple story the book appears to be.  This is what, for me, makes this one of those stand out books and elevates it far above many of the “OK” ones I now read and review.  Little Black Lies is an outstanding story from a thriller writer at the peak of her ability. I spent much of the time feeling that “I just couldn’t believe it … or could I?”, read it and see what you can believe.

Disclosure – I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.