Book review: Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall

Monday, June 25, 2018 Permalink

I very much enjoyed Laura Marshall’s debut novel, Friend Request last year – as did many, according to the reviews I read and the stats on my own blog post.

Her latest, Three Little Lies is equally twisty and will certainly appeal to lovers of psychological thrillers.

Book review: Three Little Lies by Laura MarshallUntitled Laura Marshall
by Laura Marshall
Published by Sphere
on June 28th 2018
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 0751568368
Pages: 400

When Sasha North comes into Ellen's life, Ellen falls under her spell. As Ellen is welcomed into Sasha's family, she doesn't see the darkness that lies beneath their bohemian lifestyle. Not until a brutal attack changes all their lives forever.

Ten years later, Ellen and Sasha share a flat in London, still bound together by that night. When Sasha disappears, Ellen fears the worst. The police won't take her seriously, but the events of the past give Ellen good reason to be frightened.

What really happened that night? Who is telling the whole truth? These are the questions Ellen must confront when searching for her friend. But someone knows Ellen is looking. And they don't want the answers coming out . . .

The disappearance of Sasha is interlaced with past secrets. We flick back to 2005 – when Sasha and the family with which she lives (the Monktons) move into an empty house down the road, from our main narrator, Ellen.

We move about in time a little between 2005 and mid 2007 through a series of events that continue to impact on the lives of those involved in the present.

The Monkton family and Sasha are (akin to bright ‘n’ shiny) catnip to 16yr old Ellen and her best friend Karina. The parents – opera singer and earth mother-type Olivia and husband Tony – are the kinds of parents Ellen longs to have… and everything her parents are not.

Ellen is caught up in the allure of the family, but particularly Olivia and Sasha.

And in the now – she and Sasha have been best friends for 12 years. Ellen feels fortunate to have Sasha in her life, but recognises that the events of a decade earlier mean that Sasha ‘needs’ Ellen as well.

This book is about family and friendships but – in some ways – also about power and lust; played out in a suburban street rather than some sort of glamorous backdrop. It’s obviously also about lies and untruths – not always the same thing I would suggest – and their unexpected consequences.

I have been smothered in her lies, like someone buried in the snow for whom death comes not quickly and painfully, but so gradually and peacefully they don’t even know they are dying at all. p 318

I very much enjoyed this novel and as I work out the number of ‘stars’ I allocate, it occurs to me I’m rating it higher than another book I just read and I wonder if that is solely because it’s more of the traditional psychological thriller: a formula I recognise and one that can be relied on… to build tension, offer surprises and then resolution. It makes me regret (a little) my harsh scoring of Lonely Girl and conscious of how my own need for understanding and closure impacts on how I perceive the world around me. (As an aside….)

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall will be published in Australia by Hachette on 28 June 2018.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers for review purposes. 


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