Little Black Lies – Sharon Bolton

Published on 2nd July 2015 by Random House UK


What’s the worst thing your best friend could do to you?
Admittedly, it wasn’t murder. A moment’s carelessness, a tragic accident – and two children are dead. Yours.
Living in a small island community, you can’t escape the woman who destroyed your life. Each chance encounter is an agonizing reminder of what you’ve lost – your family, your future, your sanity.
How long before revenge becomes irresistible?
With no reason to go on living, why shouldn’t you turn your darkest thoughts into deeds?
So now, what’s the worst thing you can do to your best friend?

My thoughts

Sharon Bolton takes a break from her Lacey Flint series and brings us a fantastic standalone novel set in the Falkland Islands.

Bolton takes us on a dark journey of friendships lost, of pain and despair, grief and anger and missing children. Narrated by three lonely and lost characters, Catrin, Rachel and Callum, we slowly get to know them and how they see the world. Two children were accidentally killed, leaving behind them a mother, Catrin, buried in her pain and her best friend Rachel, guilty of not paying attention for a second. The love between the two close friends has broken down forever and Catrin’s ex-husband has moved on to start a new family elsewhere. Added to this is Callum, a man connected to Catrin who fought in the Falklands and is still having flashbacks. This is essentially a study in grief and in broken down friendships. Life for these two women has become about existing, both stuck in the moment. A missing boy brings the whole of the Falklands out looking for him. It forces Catrin and Rachel to start to unravel their pain.

I felt so captivated by the book from the first page, I was looking up photos of the Falkland Islands on the internet. I cannot imagine living in a remote idyllic looking place, with such a history. Everybody is aware of the Falklands conflict back in the 1980s and Bolton uses this cleverly as a backdrop. The place seems just appropriate for a closed off community, full of secrets and grief.

I cannot imagine anyone reading this story and not reflecting afterwards. I found myself wondering whether I would be as lost and bitter, like Catrin or would I have been able to forgive my best friend for accidentally killing my children? I felt sorry for Rachel, living with the guilt and the loss of her friend.

This is exactly what you would expect from a Sharon Bolton novel. Plenty to think about, sophisticated and emotional story-telling that grabs hold of you from the first page and three wonderful if sad characters to show you the way. For anyone who has not read Sharon Bolton before, this would be a perfect introduction.

Many thanks to Alison Barrow 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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9 Responses to Little Black Lies – Sharon Bolton

  1. This sounds brilliant! Definitely going on my TBR!

  2. suzigun says:

    Sounds good – I enjoyed the early standalone and the series, so really need to get my hands on this!

  3. Kay says:

    I am very ready for this book. Only a little while longer. Guess I should get the last Lacey book read – somehow I have not done that. LOL

  4. crimeworm says:

    Kay I did enjoy the last Lacey book but on reflection it was far fetched – but I was so caught up in it I couldn’t care! Christine – you just couldn’t wait, could you?! I owe you a big hug for, amongst other things, making sure I got an ARC of this – SO grateful to have such a great “bloggy” mate! Actually, are there any bloggers who aren’t lovely? I’ve only had one slightly snarky one, and tons of lovely ones, of which you stand out! I was talking to a chap who’s book came out last week – a debut crime novel – and I was telling him what I was (slowly) working on (a murder on my home island of Mull) and he said his agent told him that’s what is in vogue the now – islands and murders or other nefarious doings. Mind you, at the speed I’m working at it’ll have gone out of fashion and be back in again – I hope! I haven’t read either book, but this sounds vaguely like What Kind Of Mother Are You by Paula Daly. I’m sure it’ll be brilliant – thanks Christine, for whetting my appetite for this, as well as all your other many kindnesses!

    • Christine says:

      No problem. You had to get an ARC of Little Black Lies. I knew it would be a brilliant read!
      I think murders in small communities will always be popular. So you will be onto a winner with that one, Linda.

  5. jenclair says:

    Loved it! The best work (by far) that Bolton has done!

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