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Everything Is Lies by Helen Callaghan - Review

Thursday, April 25, 2019

I got this book from Michael Joseph, part of Penguin UK, so thank you so much to them for granting it to me. I wanted to read it because I liked Helen's previous book Dear Amy. I also really liked the premise of this when I read the blurb.

I will trigger warn for suicide and murder, some graphic violence and sexual assault.

Sophia gets a phone call from her mum one Friday night. Her mum is desperate for her to come home; she's usually needy but this sounds quite different. Sophia can't leave London but promises she'll come down the next day.

After a disastrous run in with a married colleague, Sophia heads back to her family home in Suffolk. There she finds the unthinkable - her mother hanged from a tree in the back garden with her dad close to death near by. He has been stabbed, and when he gets to hospital they're not sure he'll survive.

The police treat it as a murder-suicide. They think Nina stabbed Jared and then hung herself. Only Sophia thinks that this is just way out of character for her mum, and is determined to find out the truth. She finds some notebooks of her mother's, and begins to uncover Nina's past.

I will say that I saw a few of the twists coming, but I quite liked seeing if I was right and seeing how and when - while massively traumatised - Sophia didn't pick up on them. This is a gripping novel and will be a firm favourite for fans of this genre. I did stretch my believability grounds a couple of times, but I let it go. I will say that I didn't understand why the subplot of Sophia's work life was even a thing - I didn't think it fitted in and I thought they treated her really badly. Would you really expect a recently bereaved colleague to be in the office? I would have liked this to be better, or not there at all, but I'm giving this a solid seven out of ten.

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