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Under Lying

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In this gripping novel of suspense, the disappearance of a couple’s baby daughter leaves everyone a suspect. Susan has everything she ever wanted. A loving husband, an angelic daughter and the cottage of her dreams in County Cork. Her picture-perfect life seems too good to be true. And it is. At a housewarming party with their new neighbours, her daughter Amelia goes missing. As friends become suspects, Susan’s life spirals out of control. And when Amelia’s yellow cardigan is dredged from the lake, every parent’s worst nightmare suddenly seems horribly real. In the aftermath of Amelia’s disappearance Susan and her husband Paul are not themselves. Someone is hiding something. What if Susan and Paul’s entire relationship was built on lies stretching back years? Some secrets may be best left buried in the past, but uncovering the truth could be the only way to find Amelia — before it’s too late.

301 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 1, 2019

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About the author

Janelle Harris

6 books214 followers
Janelle Harris lives in Kildare, Ireland with her husband and young family. Janelle enjoys books that screw with your head and mess with your heart. She hopes her books offer her readers a taste of that world.

Janelle rarely checks Goodreads but she does love to chat, so if you would like to get in touch check out janellebrookeharris.com

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5 stars
1,569 (29%)
4 stars
1,958 (37%)
3 stars
1,259 (23%)
2 stars
374 (7%)
1 star
112 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 377 reviews
13 reviews
October 14, 2019
Very poor. Unbelievable plot, poor characters, plot lines that made no sense (like her mother didn't know who she had married; she was surprised he husband knew herbackground; Jenny being sick at a party; deacon, just everything about the Deacon character made no sense...), I really could go on and on and on...like the dialogue between Susan and Paul, where he continually said "Susan" in every sentence. Nobody speaks like that, or maybe it was just the author clumsily trying to tell the reader who was speaking. Anyway, enough, this book is poor, now I'm convincing myself I've been generous giving it 2 stars!
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,106 reviews134 followers
October 3, 2019
For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/...

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: the disappearance of their child. One that literally sends shivers down your spine and has you reaching for your loved one, just to give them that extra cuddle. How can you continue living when your child disappears? How does life carry on? Susan and Paul are the ones who find out.

For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Leona.
1,025 reviews
November 1, 2019
Did you ever pick up a book to read and you know right from the first page that it’s going to be a cracker of a read ? Well this book did that for me . This is one of the best Psychological Suspense Thrillers that I have read in quite a while. It hooked me right in from the start and kept me gripped up to the last page. I have to be honest and say as I was getting nearer the end I didn’t want it to finish as I was enjoying it so much . This book has a super storyline and fantastic characters who will stay with me a long time . What a read and one I have no hesitation in recommending it you’re a fan of psychological thrillers that have you on the edge of your seat . A huge 5 star read for me .
Profile Image for Charlee.
344 reviews19 followers
October 3, 2019
This was my Amazon First Reads pick for the month of October.

I initially was concerned because here is another First Reads book where I absolutely loath the people in it. With the exception of some back drop characters, there isn't anyone in this story that I could even remotely say I kinda sorta liked. Luckily you don't have to. Engrossing and well written, this story sucks you in and keeps you reading even with such unsavory people. It twists and turns and you find yourself pretty much thinking you've figured it out....and then you're wrong. Well, kind of wrong. Regardless, I had a hard time putting it down. Definitely one of the better First Reads I've had in awhile.
Profile Image for Nemo ☠️ (pagesandprozac).
865 reviews396 followers
March 30, 2021
i guessed every single plot twist except from the stupid as fuck one at the end that didn't make any sense and was only there for Plot Twist Wow Factor

(mostly) predictable, bad characterisation, dire writing.
Profile Image for Cassandra H.
28 reviews
October 15, 2019
I received this book for free on Kindle Reads. It was definitely a page-turner. It held my attention right up until the end as there were plot twists and surprises all along.

I don't read a lot of psychological thrillers. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this one.

I think that it was too far-fetched for me: That Helen becomes so close to Susan in a day. That Susan ends up committing two extra murders in order to keep up her plan to get revenge (especially Jenny). That Paul knew all along who Susan was.

Also, there were some loose ends that kept me wondering. For instance, the suitcase with Susan and Amelia's clothes in the car - what happened to it? Would that not lead the detectives to see that Susan wasn't innocent?

Overall, I did enjoy reading it because I wanted to see how it ended, but I thought it was too unbelievable for me.

I also really didn't like any of the characters. I suppose in the end, the most likeable one for me was Deacon, surprisingly.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mary.
629 reviews
November 4, 2019
This book was crazy. Headed out in one direction, then all of a sudden we're going the other way...I couldn't put it down. My only negative was the highly implausible backstory, and the ending was a little unsatisfying. Still, this was one wild, over the top, twisty thriller.
Profile Image for M.
1,377 reviews
October 2, 2019
Good suspense thriller. Slow start but picks up speed. Excellent twists w surprising end.

This book starts glacially slow from the POV of a self-centered woman living in an expensively renovated and beautifully furnished house with her husband and toddler daughter. The storyline is well-conceived and very carefully plotted, and there are multiple twists which are set up to develop organically. Surprisingly but happily, the characters change in many ways, but no one is truly who he/she appears to be. Even ordinary conversations and events taking place hides secrets.

The story is told from Susan Warner’s POV, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that she was an unreliable narrator. The slow pace isn’t helped by Susan or Paul Warner, who aren’t particularly likable characters—same with the secondary characters. The couple disagree about raising their child, because Paul thinks Susan is overly protective of almost-three-year old Amelia. I do love Amelia, but she’s a toddler—who vanishes during an informal, neighborly party—setting off panic and the angst of the main storyline.

Soon after Amelia vanishes, Paul—a marathoner in training—begins running all day, abandoning Susan with a neighbor, Helen. He blames Susan for Amelia’s disappearance, and he is resentful and hostile to police detectives, who have no clues about the disappearance.

The secondary storyline consists of flashbacks about the death of Susan’s twin brother on their twenty-first birthday. There is crucial information and an absorbing story here, but there are pages of what appears to be filler about Susan’s distant mother; her beloved dead brother; her friends and neighbors; and her dangerous obsession with the man who killed her brother. What kept me—a crime fiction fan—reading was trying to figure out what important facts were hidden in the “padding.” Soon, the twists began and kept coming, and the pace begins racing. The denouement is satisfying, and the author ties off all threads.

Recommended for readers who like domestic suspense thrillers.

Profile Image for RedRedtheycallmeRed.
1,675 reviews34 followers
October 2, 2019

This does start pretty slow, but it's not a long book, and once the story gets rolling it's batshit crazy in a way that kept my attention.

Susan and Paul have recently moved from Dublin to the country. They're the kind of obnoxious parents who snipe at each other about their parenting: You're smothering her! You're not paying enough attention! Susan seems to notice these qualities in other people, but not herself. Susan and Paul aren't particularly likable, and both are less so as the story unfolds.

Amelia goes missing and things start to hit the fan. There are chapters about Susan's life 15 years prior and how it all connects to present day. More and more is revealed and though I did guess some of what was happening, I did not see that ending coming at all! Tangled web doesn't even begin to describe it...
Profile Image for Michael  Dawson .
219 reviews9 followers
May 19, 2022
Found this story quite boring just a group of women talking and that's it
2 reviews1 follower
October 4, 2019

Poli plotted, badly written, literally unbelievable, no character development ....what a complete waste of time... Both the authors and mine
Profile Image for Amy.
241 reviews
October 31, 2019
It kept my interest but honestly, the characters were deplorable and the twists weren’t done in a way that satisfied me. And there were inconsistencies throughout the book that I just couldn’t let go. Not my favorite Kindle First choice.
Profile Image for Darinda.
8,171 reviews144 followers
November 4, 2019
Susan and Paul are hosting a party when their young daughter goes missing. After searching the area and not finding the girl, everyone starts to assume the worst. In the days following the disappearance, Susan and Paul are both acting differently… and they are both keeping secrets.

Told from Susan’s point of view using alternate timelines (now and then). Susan is not exactly who she seems to be, and her story is slowly revealed as the novel progresses. Susan is not a likable character. She is obsessed, vengeful, and deranged. That combination makes for an entertaining read.

An intriguing thriller with some twists and turns along the way. Good for fans of revenge plots. Suspenseful, crazy, and shocking.
81 reviews
October 10, 2019
A good read, but unfortunately too many twists make this a little unbelievable. I could not warm to the character of Susan and as the book unfolds, her development just seems too contrite.

On the surface, this could have been better, however, Susan becomes a one woman serial killer and law breaker - really? Being married to a twin, I know the strength of a bond, but to take such extreme revenge whilst ruining your own life in the process is unrealistic.

It is a good read, but like all these kind of books, too much is revealed in the last 15% of the book, rather than laying the foundations for some of the "revelations" earlier.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Annette.
895 reviews1 follower
July 28, 2019
I have read lots of psychological thrillers and this was up there with the best. It is multi-faceted with lots of intrigue and suspense but nothing could prepare me for the actions of the main character Susan and the motive behind what she does. The ending is absolutely mind-blowing and I certainly didn't see what was coming. It was a 2 am finish for me last night and quite fitting that it ended with fireworks going off in the valley opposite my bedroom.
Profile Image for Sarah.
2,610 reviews171 followers
November 24, 2019
I was hooked as soon as I started this book. Susan and her husband Paul are not long in their new home and what should be a nice housewarming to get to know their neighbours better, ends up being every parents worst nightmare.

My heart went out to Susan as her relationship between herself and her husband starts to deteriorate and she is left to fall on the goodwill of her new neighbour.

It’s hard to know what to say about this book as everything definitely isn’t as it seems. The story flicks between Susan’s past and present which gives us more insight into what life was like before she met Paul, as well as how they are coping with the disappearance of their daughter.

My opinions kept swapping through out the novel about certain characters. As more lies and secrets unravel, I was getting more and more gobsmacked trying to take it all in. Towards the end just sent my head in an absolute spin. It had me racing through the pages as the author really messed with my head as to how this was all going to end. Admittedly I did have to suspend my belief with a couple of things but then it is a work of fiction after all and it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

Under Lying raises the question of how well we really know someone. It had me go through so many emotions as well as had my heart racing with the amount of twists and turns the author threw at me. I loved how the author gently drew me in and could never have guessed the thrill fest that was awaiting me the further in I got. If you like a book that will hook you from the go and doesn’t let you go until you have reached the last word, then this is the one for you.
Profile Image for Kelly.
827 reviews18 followers
November 20, 2019
This is a tough one to rate. In some ways it was a 2 to me, in others it was a 4. And I received this free from Amazon Kindle First Reads.

There was so much about this book that I couldn’t stand. It started out really slow and bland, with dry characters who were annoying and unlikeable. They seemed to spend half the book making or drinking coffee, at all times, all day.

Sue was horrible. Favorite word was ‘smirk.’ She constantly wants to slap people, she’s mean, has ridiculous responses and reactions. Crass, foul language. Rude.

The book alternates between two timeframes identified as ‘Now’ and ‘Then.’ Each ‘Then’ section reveals more and more disturbingly just what a psychotic crazy loon Sue really is. She is a complete psychopath totally out of control.

After the first half or so, things really pick up and the twists start coming fast and furious. I really never see twists coming, and this one was no exception, but I did catch on that there would be several and started to expect them as the book went on.

With all the things I didn’t like about it, it eventually grabbed me, hard, and had me totally intrigued, and I was anxious to get to the end to see where the twists would finally stop. I thoroughly hated Susan and wanted to see what would stop her, and whether she would finally get what she deserved. I was hoping the end would be worse for her than it was, (I REALLY wanted her to go down!) but some might take the position that her ending was what she actually did deserve.
Profile Image for Amy Rennie.
14 reviews8 followers
October 21, 2019
No no no no no

This was absolute nonsense garbage. Skip it and you'll save some precious brain cells, not to mention time. One star is too generous.
Profile Image for Petra.
814 reviews77 followers
February 10, 2020
Maybe 2.5 stars. Kind of entertaining in a weird way because the story was so ludicrous. But ultimately, too many twists, plot holes and seriously unlikable characters. Also, rather depressing when you think about the child that's involved (who was supposedly 2 years old at the start of the book and was portrayed in a completely unrealistic manner regarding language and skill levels).
Profile Image for Nancy Hudson.
343 reviews22 followers
November 19, 2019
This book went from decent to bad at the flip of a switch. It was promising for the first half and then I suddenly thought I was reading a different book! What the heck? The twist in the middle of the book was insane and the characters went from ok, not exactly wonderful to absolutely deplorable. It would have been acceptable had the story not had so many holes and unbelievable moments. The only reason I finished was because I had to know what happened to the child. I would have loved to have seen all the other characters die. They deserved it! Don’t waste your time. I believe this was an Amazon prime free Kindle read. Next time I will stick to their nonfiction picks I think!
Profile Image for Linda Appelbaum.
519 reviews5 followers
October 18, 2019
This book had an intriguing plot and fairly interesting, well developed characters and kept my interest. It was also very hard to believe and without spoiling the story, I won't go into specifics, but those things were big drawbacks for this book and my enjoyment of it. The story is about a young married couple with a 2 year old daughter move to the country and have a party to meet their neighbors. During the party their daughter disappears and is assumed drowned in the nearby lake. A strange nosy neighbor with a stranger husband, a friend and client of the wife is an oddball and distrusted by the husband who is also kinda creepy and it turns out has some bad things from his past. The wife, it turns out, is a twin and her brother was killed supposedly by a driver of a car who was prosecuted but not found guilty. This guy becomes the husband...probably the hardest thing to believe about this book. I mean, revenge is one thing, but seeking out the guy who killed your precious brother, seducing and marrying him, having a child all just to carry out an elaborate revenge plan was just a bit crazy. Also, the ending was just a huge disappointment. Huge.
Profile Image for Josephine.
258 reviews13 followers
November 27, 2019
While it faulted with inconsistencies and jolty writing techniques, the twists upon twists are just something that I will always appreciate above anything else. It is really hard to surprise me, probably because I’ve read so many books, but by the end of this one I honestly had no idea what was going to happen.

Halfway through the book, what I thought was a simple who-done-it turned into a crazy, and disturbing psychological thriller. There is literally no one I trusted by the end of the it. Each character had traits that made my skin crawl, in all the best ways one might hope for when picking up a book of this genre. I also appreciated the sort-of happy, melancholy ending.
Profile Image for Jamie Lindemulder.
547 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2022
This book was truly a suspenseful novel. There were some cringe-worthy parts (when Amelia injures her foot and who does it to her made me so mad!).

The author goes back and forth between now and when Susan was in college and she loses her brother that was hit by a "drunk driver". Later in the book you find out who that drunk driver is, and you also realize what a nut job Susan really is.

I'm thoroughly convinced that there is something really wrong with Susan. I can't say much because it would give away the story, but she really does some bizarre and demented things.

There were quite a few annoying characters - Susan's college friend Jenny was super annoying. Susan's neighbor Helen was an obnoxious busybody - go home Helen! I couldn't figure out why she never went home. They were only friends for 30 minutes before Amelia went missing.

The ending was bizarre. It's really infuriating that Susan isn't held accountable for anything.
Profile Image for MiA.
291 reviews83 followers
December 4, 2019
I was eager to pick up this one as the description promised a thriller that was built around a missing daughter. Well, it did what it promised and somehow it turned out to be a complete farce that I was turned off by the time I reached "the farce".

To begin with, this is one of those books with a catchy first line that is meant to pull you into the story and make you ask questions. Did I play along? Yes, of course. But somehow, book using that exact technique to sell seem not to go beyond the first quarter. It's like they're designed to pull your leg through that free sample into reading the whole thing when, in reality, they cannot deliver. Harris starts with a promising premise and then she didn't know what to do with it; she resorted to the old trick of padding the book with a parallel narrative that is underdone, and almost ludicrous. But it worked for others, so why not here? Because it has been done time and again (most recently in What You Did, swap a rape victim with a missing child, add a parallel of old grievances coming to the surface). I wonder why publishers insist on more of the same?!

What was most ludicrous was the change in the recent narrative where the mother admits to the big twist one third into the story. It was mind-boggling in the worst way possible that it gained none of the characters any sympathy and made the outcome of the book ridiculous and unbelievable.
Profile Image for Donna McCaul Thibodeau.
845 reviews20 followers
May 27, 2020
Susan has the best life. A loving husband, a beautiful daughter and a gorgeous cottage in Ireland. Until it all falls apart the day Amelia disappears. Someone is lying. But who is it? I really enjoyed this book. I thought I knew exactly what was happening, but the plot twist turned everything upside down. The author did a masterful job of hiding what was going on. The book is very well written, and if you like thrillers, I highly recommend it.
465 reviews2 followers
October 23, 2019
I’d probably lean a bit towards a 4.5 for this book but only because I struggled to get to grips with the “then” and “now” chapters at the beginning and would’ve liked a bit more detail at the end of the book. All that being said I was gripped and did not see the twists coming!!!
Profile Image for Kayla (IG: kaylasbookgram) .
161 reviews14 followers
October 29, 2019
I had so many feelings throughout this whole book! One minute you hate Paul and then you feel sorry for him same with Susan! You don’t know who the bad guy is and you never know what’s coming on the next page. A must read! So happy to have chosen this one for my October amazon first reads.
Profile Image for Lindsey Walden.
16 reviews
May 12, 2020
Liked it

I really enjoyed this book. You never fully know what’s going until the end. I just wanted to keep reading to find out how twisted these people are.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 377 reviews

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