LYING TO YOU - by Amanda Reynolds

LYING TO YOU - Amanda Reynolds
Published: July 2018 - Wildfire.
Genres: Adult / thriller / contemporary
Pages: 355.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual innuendos / strong language
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
You'd know if you were lying to yourself, wouldn't you? When Jess Tidy was Mark Winter's student, she made an accusation that ultimately saw him sentenced to three years in prison. A jury found him guilty, but he always maintained his innocence. Now, Jess's mother's death has brought her back to the village where she grew up, and where Mark still lives with his wife. And the truth about that night ten years ago which nearly destroyed them both is finally going to come out.

Unfortunately, this is one of those books that I knew from the first chapter wouldn’t be getting 5 stars. I didn’t love the writing; it’s very boring and too impersonal. The dialogue is also extremely weak. 

The characters have no depth. Karen is the most compelling, but even she is easily forgettable and half-fleshed out. Because I wasn’t excited by the characters, I couldn’t care about their story. The relationships also feel too cliche and contrived.

You'd know if you were lying to yourself, wouldn't you? 

The plot is unstructured and poorly paced. Apart from being bored, I also tossed and turned on the indecisive themes the author couldn’t seem to nail down. I think she was trying to make a few points, but by the end I honestly had no idea what the point of the story was. The plot’s too clumsy to make an impression.
I also found a few incidents implausible. For example, there’s the document Karen discovers on Mark’s computer. We’re apparently supposed to believe that ten years after his case etc etc, he suddenly decides to start writing about his encounters with Jess leading up to The Incident? It’s too convenient for the story, too random; too convenient for Karen to then stumble upon and read chapter by chapter until she gets to “The Twist.” It’s lazy, because that is drawn out for no reason. It’s not clever - nor is it tense.

Lying To You isn’t half as gripping and tantalizing as it claims to be. The sloppy plot and cliche characters do it no favours. 

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