Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

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Don’t. Trust. Anyone.

It was supposed to be a fresh start.

A chance to forget the past and embrace the future.

But can you ever really start again?

Or does the past follow you wherever you go…

When Steph and her husband Mark move to their new house it’s also for a new start.  Pregnant with their second child they are trying to rebuild their marriage after a number of rocky years.  Steph had post-natal depression after the birth of her son, Henry, and Mark responded by having an affair.  Now he promises it is over and things will change.  Only Steph isn’t so sure, especially when Mark up and leaves her for months to work abroad.

Once he is gone, she is left alone with her increasingly negative thoughts and with only her two neighbours, Lila (who reminds her of her best friend living in New York) and Laurence (who she is more than a bit attracted to).  Both seem perfect, friendly, and want to be helpful.  And both seem to be around just when she needs them.

And she needs them a lot because not long after Mark leaves, bouquets of dead flowers start to arrive on her front step, leaving Steph in no doubt her past has caught up with her. The problem is no one else seems to believe her, especially as her behaviour becomes more erratic and she becomes more paranoid.  And that’s because it’s happened before, after Henry was born.

The problem for me was that no one believed her.  Not one person tried to help till the very last pages and when they did she turned them away. And when they didn’t believe her, she didn’t do anything about it but write in her diary.  She didn’t go to the police with her evidence.  Didn’t try to investigate.  Didn’t wonder why her neighbours were there just when she needed them.  And didn’t try to get away.  Half way through this book I wanted to shake Steph and tell her to wake up and see what was happening because to me, as a reader, it was obvious.  By the end I had given up.

I really wanted to like this book.  I’d read some great reviews.  They nearly all included comments about a surprise ending and, I suppose, for this style of book, it was different.  It did leave things open and left you wondering what would happen next.  I can actually see it making a great TV show with a cliff hanger to lead you into season two.  For me, though, it just didn’t do it for me.  I do think it was well written and the characters well drawn but I couldn’t suspend disbelief in the story long enough to really enjoy it.  A shame really but, in the end, whilst I liked this book I can’t say I loved it – sorry!

Emma

 

11 comments
  1. It’s always a shame when a book falls short of your expectations. I thought you wrote a very fair-minded review – thank you for sharing.

    1. It is. I tried to be fair. It was hard as I did really get into it at first and it was well written. Just too obvious a plot and too gullible a charActer in Steph.

      1. Which is frankly a dealbreaker in a murder mystery, I’d say…

        1. Unfortunately 😭

  2. I was hoping for a different path for this story…thanks for sharing, though, and showing us why it didn’t work for you.

    1. Me too. And it wasn’t all bad I just thought it was too obvious. Shame.

  3. That’s too bad this went the way it did. The premise sounds intriguing and compelling but I think the fact that no one believes her and it really doesn’t sound like she tries to help herself would work for me either. I think I’ll pass.

    1. IT is a good idea and I may be in the minority. I had read some really good reviews about this one. I know you have to suspend belief in fiction (and I do – I read books on vampires!) but here I kept finding I was realising I was reading, not lost in the story if that makes sense?

  4. Oh, how annoying that it didn’t ‘quite’ get there for you, but it sounds interesting! (My kind of book!)

    1. It was and i think I’m in the minority from the reviews I’ve read. I do think it could have been better though.

  5. […] Thursday I wasn’t so lucky with the book I reviewed, Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall.  I don’t know if my expectations were too high after reading some really positive reviews […]

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