Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the first psychological thriller from author Sue Watson, Our Little Lies. My thanks go to publishers Bookouture for providing an advance copy for review and to Kim Nash for inviting me to join the tour. Here is what it’s all about:
About the Book
Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.
Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother, growing up in foster care. But her husband Simon is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France – nothing is too good for his family.
Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.
In the old days, she’d have distracted herself at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career behind when she got married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.
It’s almost by accident that Marianne begins to learn more about Caroline. But once she starts, she can’t stop. Because what she finds makes her wonder whether the question she should be asking is not ‘should she be jealous’, but… ‘should she be scared’?
Fans of The Girl on the Train and I Let You Go looking for a dark, gripping psychological thriller, with a final twist that will put their jaw on the floor, will love Our Little Lies.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I picked up this book. Sue Watson is a name that is synonymous with the romantic comedy and to move from that to a psychological thriller seems a strange, but not unwelcome, step. Sue Watson is an excellent writer though so for anyone wondering if she can pull this off, then wonder no more as yes. She can.
With Our Little Lies you can draw parallels to the rom-coms that you may have been expecting. This is very much a story of a family relationship and how the lives of the three central characters intertwine, leading to a tense and ultimately dark ending. It’s kind of like what happens after the romance has died or, in this case, if it was never really there to begin with.
The story is told through the eyes of Marianne. She and her husband Simon should have the perfect life. He is a handsome and successful surgeon on the cusp of a truly great career. She is the stay at home mother, three beautiful children and an idyllic home. But like all things, what lies beneath the glossy veneer is not all it appears to be, and the smiles and cheer hide a multitude of tears. Marianne has long suspected Simon of being unfaithful but has always had it dismissed as her paranoia. That is until she meets his colleague Caroline and she just knows there is more between them than the occasional patient.
This is a very slow paced thriller, a long time spent in setting up the background of the central characters and the events in Marianne and Simon’s past which has led them to where they are today. Much of it is told through Marianne’s memories, something which you grow suspicious of the more you read. Marianne is a difficult character to like initially, very needy and indecisive, and very much an unreliable narrator for reasons that will become appear as you read on. That said, the more you read of her and her past, the more you watch her relationships at home, the more you come to feel empathy for her, if not absolute trust in what she is telling you. No matter how you feel about her is in an impossible position, caught between needing to leave a toxic relationship and wanting to stay to protect her children.
As for Simon – gah. Vile character. You can tell he is bad news from the off and there was nothing about him which could change your mind in that. Even his approach to parenting and his attitude towards his kids was questionable. It was only at the very end that you perhaps got a glimpse of the person he could have been. Reasons for his behaviour are perhaps slightly explained but it is still questionable as to whether this is nature or nurture at work.
If you are looking for a big action, high tension thriller, this isn’t going to be your thing. This is a slow building domestic noir rather and the big surprise element doesn’t happen until perhaps seventy or eighty percent of the way through the book. From then, the book quickly draws to a conclusion, perhaps a little quicker than I would have expected given the gravity of the situation. You are given the reasons in the very last chapter, but given the build up this was perhaps the only thing I’d like to have seen taking a little longer. Then again, by this stage you already knew all of Marianne’s little quirks and perhaps this part didn’t need too much of a recap.
If you are looking for a great domestic noir, riddled with manipulation and mind games, and exploring the darker side of married life, then this will be the book for you.
If you would like a copy of Our Little Lies then it is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Sue Watson was a journalist then TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.
She’s now written thirteen novels – many involving cake – and her books have been translated into Italian, German and Portuguese. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent procrastinating while eating cake (for research purposes), and watching ‘My 600lb Life,’ on the sofa.
Sue explored the darker side of life for her latest book ‘Our Little Lies,’ a dark, psychological thriller completely devoid of cake. She’s hoping this change in direction will be reflected on the weighing scales.
For more info visit Sue’s website: http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/
Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks
Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter
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