Zoe Walker is an “everyone”, as in the same as everyone else. She gets up, goes to a job that isn’t particularly fulfilling but pays the bills, takes care of her kids (now teens / young adults) and tries to find time to cook tea after long days commuting back and forth on the tube to work.
It’s whilst she’s commuting that she picks up a copy of the Gazette and, flicking to the classifieds, sees a photo of herself with nothing more than a phone number and a web address. To say it unnerves her is an understatement.
Even though, in the grand scheme of things, The Lying Game hasn’t been out that long (six months?), it is one of those books that I felt like I had waited way too long to read when I picked it up. I really enjoyed Ware’s other books and I really wanted to read this one, which, from the blurb and the opening pages, promised to be another winner.
It’s early morning when Isabel gets a text from a childhood friend saying “I need you”. She knows straight away she will go, taking her young daughter with her, as will the other friends who have received the text, because they and the sender share a secret that might just be coming back to haunt them all.
When Callie gets invited to her sister Tilda’s flat to watch a movie, it turns out it’s also to meet Tilda’s new boyfriend – Felix. He is handsome, charming, successful, and a little bit odd.
For Felix, control, order and structure are everything it seems – so much so he redecorates Tilda’s apartment so that it is all white walls and clean lines.
Suddenly, Callie’s chaotic, brightly coloured and oh so much alive sister, seems to be disappearing. And Callie is worried, especially when she sees bruises on Tilda’s arms and can’t get her sister to talk to her.
Convinced Felix is bad for Tilda, Callie starts digging, into his past and his personality and alienating the couple as a result. Thankfully, Callie has her online friends to help her though. That is if they are friends and if none of what she is seeing doesn’t have a perfectly reasonable explanation.
Once again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.
Over the last fee weeks, I have been working really hard to catch up on my reviews of ARCs, which I have finally done. I have nothing overdue (yay!). Which meant I felt perfectly justified in requested more books from Netgalley this week…
The Birthday Girl is one of those books that is hard to review because, once you get past the initial idea, there are too many secrets and too many twists and turns – making the risk of spoilers just too great.
So, what can I tell you about it? It starts with an invite, three friends (Carys, Zoe, and Andrea) being invited by a fourth (Joanne) to go away from the weekend to celebrate Joanne’s 40th birthday; as it’s Carys’ too, they can celebrate that as well.
What could sound better? Well, for Carys, pretty much anything as she and Joanne aren’t on the best of terms – though it isn’t clear why at first – and neither, it turns out are Joanne and Andrea. In fact, Zoe, is the only one who seems to be getting along with everyone and excited for the weekend.
When Ethan Montclair wakes up one morning to find a note from his wife Sutton saying that she is leaving and for him not to look for her, he swings from disbelief to anger to fear – for her (she has been suffering from depression) and for him (what will people think?).
He calls round her friends then a lawyer before finally calling the police, who immediately start to question Ethan’s version of his supposedly perfect life – especially when Sutton’s friends suggest that things were not quite as good as they might have seemed.
As the questions start to mount up the lies start to unravelling. The friends were right and Ethan slowly begins to reveal the truth – or at least his version of it. And that is what makes this book so good. Nothing is as it seems – no one is who them seem. For a woman (me) who likes an unreliable narrator, this book is a perfect fit.