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A Lovely Lie by Jaime Lynn Hendricks

Jaime Lynn Hendricks is the definitive queen of the twisty novel! One surprise leads to another and the shock waves keep you turning the pages through to the satisfying conclusion. A Lovely Lie is an expertly executed thriller slowly unravelling secrets dating back a couple of decades.

It all starts with a young woman who wants to know who her father is. When Pepper Wilson refuses to tell her daughter the truth, Zoey visits her mother’s hometown hoping to find clues as to his identity, going against her mom’s wishes to forget the past. Her desire to know her roots opens up a can of worms that exposes lies and destroys the lives of those who were closest to Pepper. As Zoey looks into her mom’s past, she learns of a tragic accident at the end of Pepper’s senior high school year, instigating a re-opening of the investigation into the deaths of Pepper’s classmates.

Told from several points of view, the suspense builds as each character reveals what they were doing the night of the accident. Their memory of events is muddled by alcohol and not one of them knows the entire truth. Hendrick’s use of a first-person limited narrative and dual timeline allows the reader to piece together the truth as the characters themselves solve the puzzle of what really happened that fateful night. Interspersed with transcripts of police interviews from back then, the story intertwines the past and the present.

This is the second book I have read by this author and it won’t be the last. Hendricks has a knack for building a story by providing tidbits about her characters along the way and then blowing them out of the water with a final revelation no one sees coming.

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