The Lie by C.L Taylor is a tense, compelling and dark novel that will leave you with no idea what will happen next. With unexpected events on almost every page, shadowy characters with secret motives, and an exploration of the manipulation involved in certain female friendships, it’s almost guaranteed to keep you up late reading it.

Jane Hughes has tried to put her past behind her. Now volunteering in an animal sanctuary, she’s moved on from the events that happened five years ago that she’s tried to keep hidden. Now relatively happy with her life, her new world threatens to turn upside down as she finds a note addressed to her, with a simple message: “I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes.

Five years ago, Emma Woolfe and her friends Daisy, Leanne and Al set off on the adventure of a lifetime to Nepal. The story switches easily between telling the story of Emma Woolfe’s holiday-turned-nightmare in Ekantra Yatra in Nepal, and telling how five years later Emma, who has now changed her name to Jane, has to deal with what happened five years later.

What happens at Ekantra Yatra a seemingly innocent retreat is dark and disturbing. Forbidden to do anything that’s against the strange rules of the retreat and forced to obey the word of the founder, Isaac, Emma and Al quickly try to escape. When Al’s broken ankle and a storm forces them to return, things get worse as Isaac gets more and more controlling and Emma learns more about the retreat and Leanne’s strange relationship with Isaac. Emma’s desperation to escape and inability to trust people adds tension to an already suspenseful plot, as we slowly begin to realise what happened five years ago.

Five years later, in Wales, Jane Hughes is being forced to deal with the events that happened in Nepal. Receiving messages from Daisy, who she believed dead, that claim she’s very much alive, dealing with questions from an inquisitive volunteer at the sanctuary, being the victim in a hit and run and fearing for the safety of her boyfriend and his daughter, Jane still has no idea who she can trust. A conversation with Al only leaves her more confused and her relationships with everyone, from her boyfriend to her boss, become rocky as she struggles to understand what’s happening and why everything that happened in Ekantra Yatra is being revealed.

The Lie is full of questions that leaves you wanting answers, characters that develop and change and have you wondering what will happen to them next, and plot twists that leave you guessing what will happen at the end. It’s probably not the best book you’ll read this year, but still worth picking up if you like a good compelling, tense, and dark read.

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A reader, writer and tea drinker. Some of my favourite things include books, superhero movies, dogs, and music. Currently studying New Media and English at UL.