The Lie – C.L. Taylor

Published by Avon on 23rd April 2014


I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes . . .

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.

Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves . . .
Haunting, compelling, this psychological thriller will have you hooked. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Daughter.

My thoughts

Last year C.L. Taylor wrote the engaging ‘The Accident’, a psychological tale about family relationships. This time, Taylor focuses on friendships, with a story about a group of female friends and a nightmare holiday abroad.

We meet ‘Jane’, a woman living incognito. She hasn’t even told her boyfriend who she was. Five years ago, Jane went on holiday with a group of close female friends. They went to Nepal and ended up staying at a retreat. The retreat was not what it seemed. Not all of Jane’s friends came back alive. Five years on and Jane is being pursued and the truth is about to come out. What happened to Jane to make her want to distance herself from the past?

What I enjoyed about this read was its bleakness, strangely enough. It seemed to have a great deal to say on the fragility of friendships and the sadness of toxic relationships. Weak friendships under pressure breakdown. Jane is left alone, having been once part of a happy group of long term friends. It didn’t take much for the friends to turn on one another and to act jealously and possessively. I found this all very easy to relate to.

I was also intrigued by the cult (or what seemed to me to be a very new age type cult) and the way they tried to control the behaviour of the women. It was very well done and I could believe it.

Overall this was a highly readable and rather sad story, about how friendships can go very wrong. It will make you think twice about going to a retreat in Nepal.

Thanks to Netgalley and Avon for my review copy!




About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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10 Responses to The Lie – C.L. Taylor

  1. crimeworm says:

    Cripes Christine you’re reading at some speed! I’m looking forward to this one. Interesting what you say about cults – they can take many forms. My friend’s stepbrother, a lot younger than her, went into a “rehab” that gave those going through drug withdrawal no medication – they just had to lie and suffer. This boy was really ill, and a day after he arrived in the rehab, which is about 70 miles from here, they ran him back up, sickness and diarrhoea all the way, head bursting, took him to the housing, made him sign away his Association flat (it’s a three year waiting list here, for a single guy like him) and sign all his property – and he WAS very houseproud – white carpets, white leather sofas, huge telly from when he worked – apparently gorgeous – to this rehab charity mob he was staying with. His head (nor body) was in the right place. The girl who runs the drug agency up here, she’s a friend of mine, we used to ride together, told me she tried to get his house back for him, as he wasn’t psychologically fit to make such a big decision, but they wouldn’t listen. Meanwhile the Social Work were paying a couple of grand a week for him to be there. He’s out now, and his stepsister says he’s doing well, but he still denounces that place as a cult who essentially stole everything he had! Meanwhile councillors etc praise them…Anyway, great review. I must get to this!

    • Christine says:

      That’s interesting. Poor bloke must have been very vulnerable to sign everything away… And thanks! You will like it, when you get to it. 🙂

      • crimeworm says:

        I get the impression he was such a mess he’d have done anything they told him – he was certainly in no place to make life altering decisions like that…I bet you’ll have another book read and reviewed today – I can’t seem to read for long lengths of time like I used to. Need to get my concentration levels up!

      • Christine says:

        Poor guy. Being exploited like that.. I’ve got to write a review for ‘The Informant’. So might post that later on… You’ve been poorly. It will come back!!!

      • crimeworm says:

        Can’t think of The Informant – who’s that by??

      • Christine says:

        Susan Wilkins – I think it’s her first novel.

      • crimeworm says:

        New one on me – it’s good; means you’ve no expectations!

  2. I’ve heard great things about this book. I should try and get my hands on a copy!

  3. I have a copy of this to read, I’m even keener now I’ve read your review…

    • crimeworm says:

      Christine’s always on the ball, I know what to rush to and what to leave til last (and that’s somewhere beyond infinity, with my pile, real and Kindle!)

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