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Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant - Review

Sunday, October 27, 2019

I'm going to put this book into the crime fiction and thriller categories even though it doesn't really fit into either. But it's my blog and I want to, because I think it has a lot of hallmarks of both genres, so it's staying.

This book is the November choice for my book club and was chosen by Lynn, who has already read it and said that although it was a "bit soapy", she liked it and was keen for us to read it. I got it from the library - we're really lucky to have a librarian in our group who always makes sure that the readers groups items are available when they should be. Our book club started as a library readers group but even though we're no longer run by the library we're definitely still supported by them!

I haven't read anything by Sabine Durrant before, although I've read that she has written for both adults and teenagers. I would definitely read something else by her now.

Okay, so the protagonist of this book is Paul Morris. He is in his early forties and is basically a con man. He enjoyed some success as an author in his early twenties, but hasn't written anything very good since then. And he is a liar. He spends his time chancing his luck, borrowing and cadging money from friends, housesitting in a fancy Bloomsbury flat for an ex university friend, Alex. He also has a predilection for young women. On day he goes into a bookshop to try to chat up the shop girl there, and ends up bumping into someone else he knew from university, Andrew.

At university, Paul had a brief relationship with Andrew's sister Florrie. Andrew invites Paul to come over for a "kitchen supper" and Paul, aware of the free food and drink, agrees. While at Andrew and Tina's house, he meets Alice. Alice is a single mother after the death of her husband, and has three children. Paul starts up a relationship with Alice.

Alice and Andrew and Tina and all the kids have been going to the island of Pyros, in Greece, where Alice owns a house. By coincidence, Paul was there ten years ago and met up briefly with Andrew and co. It was the same night that a thirteen year old girl, Jasmine, went missing, and was never found. Alice, a lawyer, has taken on the case to try to find her, and everyone is feeling the pressure of it being the tenth anniversary. Paul doesn't remember too much about that night.

Alice invites Paul to go with the families to Greece and, unable to afford the direct flight, he heads out there via Munich and meets up at Alice's house. There, things just start to unravel and the whole of a twenty year history comes undone.

I found the book really interesting. It raises quite a lot of questions about blame and fault, which I think will come up in the book club discussion. There's quite a lot about free will and destiny and that kind of stuff. Paul is an utterly dislikeable person and makes a ton of mistakes, but I did feel sorry for him. I have a strong sense of justice and was outraged by the ending - I really wonder what anyone else thought of it and if you've read it please let me know!

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