Yvonne (Fiction Books)'s Reviews > The Lies You Told

The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce
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really liked it

"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"

Oh! my word! What can I say? I have only just released that final breath I have been holding since reading the last couple of pages of this amazing story - and I still can't take in and believe what has actually happened!

Whilst I may not always get every detail of a story correct, I like to think I am generally a good judge of characters, in deducing which are the innocent and guilty parties. That all went out of the window with this mind bender of a plot, which took normal, sane rationale and turned it on its head! What a gruesomely vivid imagination and eye for detail, author Harriet Tyce has been gifted with!

This one got off to an intriguing opening chapter or two, which set the scene really well. So far, so good. From now onwards though, I never really knew up from down, in from out, nor just about anything else in between!

The slow-burner storyline, which had been fluidly crafted into one which was equally plot and character driven, was broken down into reasonably short chapters, which was just as well, as there was so much ground covered, with so many new twists thrown into the mix, that to have either rushed it further, or slowed down the pace any more, would have broken the spell completely. The courtroom scenes in particular, were very well defined and executed, by an author who was writing with total authority and confidence, in an arena she is completely familiar with.

The ending was something else entirely. From being led, by suggestion only, into believing one thing (Oh! how easily we are deceived), only to have that version of events disintegrate into a 'What!' moment; to the final two pages of the epilogue, when virtually everything which had gone before was thrown into disarray by one short, silent 'confession', which had me wondering what on earth was going to happen next, when I had closed that final page and the characters were left to their own devices once again!

This is a story told purely from the perspective of Sadie, except for that final, jaw dropping epilogue, and you can see quite clearly how this intense, multi-layered, multi-aspect storyline, plays with her mind, as she desperately tries to maintain some kind of firm hold on reality, whilst attempting to unravel the many complex strands of the new and very extreme normality her life seems to have disintegrated into, almost overnight. The air is menacing, permanently crackling with tension, most of the time you could cut the atmosphere with a knife and the very anticipation of what might happen next, grips your stomach and ties it up in knots.

The writing is expertly executed with skill and style, has a desperate intensity, is visually very descriptive, and at times emotionally draining. The plot is suspenseful and brooding, almost to the point of being  'dark', as we discover the lengths to which some parents, particularly mothers, will go, to ensure their children succeed, regardless of the eventual cost to their physical and emotional well-being, or that of anyone else who stands in their way. There are so many small sub-storylines which threaten to turn the tide of events and are in their own rights relevant and well developed, as a series of cameos, highlighting some of the most shocking of human traits and the brutal and thoughtless ways in which we so often treat one another. They are however, by and large, all red herrings and false twists in the tale, expertly designed to make you take your eye off the ball about what is really going on here.

There is quite a cast of totally twisted, unforgettable characters, forever branded in the memory banks, who you definitely wouldn't ever want to meet again, and who you would probably go out of your way to avoid at all costs, given their reprehensible behaviour. That they all have complex and disturbed personalities, with emotional baggage to spare, is only the tip of the iceberg. To say that almost all of them are duplicitous, scheming, self-centred and yes! - downright bullies, would be much closer to the truth. Harriet has built the characters in such a three dimensional way that I could clearly picture them all and almost hear them talking, both to me and about me behind my back, when they thought I couldn't hear them! In fact these are people I probably wouldn't have turned by back on in the first place, lest they got their daggers out!

I guess you can tell how totally immersed and invested I became in this absorbing and disturbing story. This is one of the most twisted thrillers I have read in some time and I highly recommend it.
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Quotes Yvonne (Fiction Books) Liked

Harriet Tyce
“Thoughts creep in of time earlier than that, a darker night some months before, the old barrister who thought that young female pupils were his for the taking, his for the groping. I had to struggle hard, kick him harder still before I was able to break free. I stop at the place where it happened, to the left of the stairs, wiping my hands down my skirt. Nearly two decades ago but still fresh in my mind.”
Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told

Harriet Tyce
“Nothing should be unforgivable," he says. We should always strive to see both sides of the story.”
Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told

Harriet Tyce
“All this stuff we tell them, by your best, not be the best. I'm not sure that Julia has got that memo yet.”
Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told

Harriet Tyce
“I go upstairs into Robin's room, lying down on the small bed. I want proximity to the daughter I love, not the mother who hated me. But until my daughter is home, I will never have the proximity I want.”
Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told

Harriet Tyce
“I clutch my hands together as the reading begins: 'Jesus, suffer the little children...' It's the wrong way round. The little children suffer. How they suffer. Forced to sing and dance on command, live out their parents' hopes, dreams. Fix all their failures.”
Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told

Reading Progress

August 12, 2020 – Shelved
August 12, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
August 13, 2020 – Started Reading
August 13, 2020 –
August 15, 2020 –
August 17, 2020 – Finished Reading
October 24, 2020 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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Yvonne (Fiction Books) Quote from the book ...

"Thoughts creep in of time earlier than that, a darker night some months before, the old barrister who thought that young female pupils were his for the taking, his for the groping. I had to struggle hard, kick him harder still before I was able to break free. I stop at the place where it happened, to the left of the stairs, wiping my hands down my skirt. Nearly two decades ago but still fresh in my mind."

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Natalia!
This was one of the most twisted and devious storylines I have read for ages. Author Harriet Tyce certainly knows how to keep a reader guessing right until the last minute. I had so many suspects and I still didn't get it right!!

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Elinor,
The ratings for this one are really good, and now I can see exactly why! Harriet tells a gruesome story of jealousy at its worst - but this is so much more. You really need to read it for yourself! :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Tracy,
Thanks for stopping by. If you like a good, twisted thriller, you'll love this one I'm sure! :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Freda,
I see from your current reading, that you do enjoy a good thriller from time to time. This one is highly recommended, with more than enough thrills for the average person! :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Farrah,
I see that you just enjoyed 'Invisible Girl' by Lisa Jewel. Well, if you liked that one, then 'The Lies You Told' will be right up your street. Character driven, but with a really mind bending plot! :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) For all you 'First Page Browsers' out there, this post shares the opening lines of this amazing book...

Yvonne (Fiction Books) For all you 'Page Surfers' out there, here is a short teaser extract from the book..

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Alayne,
I have never read the author's previous book 'Blood Orange', although I do seem to be in the minority. 'The Lies You Told' was an excellent book though, so if you enjoyed 'Blood Orange' then it might be worth your while adding this one to your list - you won't regret it! :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Wendy,
I haven't read a book for sometime, where virtually all the characters in the story were so twisted, malicious and virtually unlikeable. Having said that, I wouldn't have had it any other way, as it kept the tension levels high throughout and I was permanently on my guard. I recommend! :)

message 11: by Ceecee (new) - added it

Ceecee I’ve just got to read this now after your fantastic review. I really like this author and loved Blood Orange. Great review Yvonne 😊

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Batul,
Thanks for taking the time to check this one out :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Ceecee wrote: "I’ve just got to read this now after your fantastic review. I really like this author and loved Blood Orange. Great review Yvonne 😊"

I really do need to go and read 'Blood Orange' now, as it sounds as twisted a thriller as this one was!
I hope that now I have stuck my neck out and recommended 'The Lies You Told' so highly, you enjoy it as much as I did :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Thanks for stopping by Shruti.
This is a psychological thriller Par excellence! :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Wulfwyn,
As you are currently reading what sounds like an intense psychological thriller, I really think you might enjoy this one. No-one is innocent and everyone is quite unlikeable to varying degrees :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Christine,
I see from your page that you recently read an Alex Dahl book, so if you enjoyed that, then I feel certain this one would be right up your street :)

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Thanks for taking the time to check out my review, Ronda.
I see from your page that this one is way outside your usual fantasy reading, but if you ever fancy a change, then it is well worth the read!

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Thanks for visiting Carole,
This one definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, although all I really wanted to do was slap the faces of all the mums at the school gates and give Sadie's husband a good kick up the butt!

Yvonne (Fiction Books) Hi Amy,
This twisted psychological thriller gets right inside your head! :)

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