Never Tell A Lie – ARC Book Review

Never Tell A Lie by [Gail Schimmel]

No. of pages:- 348 pages

Date published:- will be published on 30th November 2021

Publisher:- Lake Union

Genre:- Psychological Thriller

Rating:- 4/5 stars

From the author of The Aftermath comes the story of a whirlwind friendship—and the dark secrets lurking beneath it.

After a tumultuous marriage, Mary Wilson is happy in her uncomplicated life, focusing on her twelve-year-old son. She’s always been content with her little family—but then she finds an old postcard that throws her whole past into question…

When an invitation arrives for her high school reunion, Mary jumps at the chance of a distraction from the shock discovery, and meeting her old classmate April feels like a gift. Despite barely remembering April, Mary throws herself into the new friendship and finds her previously quiet social life reinvigorated.

But as the bonds between them are forged, Mary finds herself drawn further and further into April’s life and marriage, increasingly fearing that everything is not as perfect as it seems. Is her own painful past clouding her judgement, or is Mary right to suspect that the people she trusts most are the ones with the most to hide?

This is the first time I have read a book in the South African setting and the plot sounded intrigued to me so I was so happy when I got this as the ARC.

Plot:- Mary Wilson has been living happily with her twelve year old son Django after a tumultuous marriage. She gets invited to a twenty year old high school reunion where she reconnects with many including a woman named April. Mary doesn’t have any memories of April but the two become best friends. And soon, she finds that April is living a life of secret and lies.

Writing:- The story is told from the perspectives of Mary. The story talks mainly about the victims of domestic abuse and the consequences it has on the victims. Mary herself was a victim of domestic abuse and so is April so I give five stars to the author for addressing such an issue. The writing was spot on. Initially, the beginning was a bit of a slow burn but gradually it got more intense with some twists along the way. However, I kind of expected the ending so the ending was nothing new. Overall, I was hooked into the story and didn’t realize I finished reading the book until I came to the end!

Characters:- April and Mary are victims of abuse and so I do feel sympathy towards their characters. I do like Mary having a strong father-daughter relationship with her father and also mother son relationship with Django.

Overall:- this was a good thriller that will keep you hooked into the story–worth four stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Gail Schimmel is an admitted attorney in South Africa, with four degrees to her name. She is currently the CEO of the Advertising Regulatory Board – the South African self-regulatory body for the content of advertising. She has published five novels in South Africa, and The Aftermath is her international debut. She lives in Johannesburg with her husband, two children, an ancient cat and two very naughty dogs.

Follow Gail at @GailSchimmel on Twitter, or Gail Schimmel Writer on Facebook.

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