Today it is my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Lies Between Us, the debut novel from Ronnie Turner. A big thank you to Ronnie for including me on the tour and to HQ Digital for providing the advance copy for review. This is a mammoth tour with virtually every blogger I know wanting to be a part of it, but in case you’ve missed those earlier posts, here is what the book is all about.
About the Book
Will they ever learn the truth?
Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .
John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.
Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.
Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.
They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .
A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.
Lies Between Us is a complex novel, multi layered and full of twists and convincingly drawn characters, so much so that it is hard to believe this is actually a debut novel. Written in a three timeline narrative, past, recent past and present day, the story is told from the points of view of father John, ICU Nurse Maisie and Miller, a young child who takes the reader through his early years. The main elements of the story really belong to Miller and John, their stories contrasting but equally harrowing to read.
John’s story is quite emotional, and it is in these scene’s that Ronnie Turner’s talent and passion for writing clearly shines. She has a beautiful narrative style, her descriptions of the action and emotion really evoking strong feelings in the reader. John is a husband and father and in the early scenes the love for his family shines through. It is only after his young daughter is abducted, that his life takes a turn for the worst and the emotions which were once happy, now turn dark and maudlin. Turner captures the despair in John’s heart perfectly and it is hard to read some of the passages without being moved. There is a truly dark side to these narrative sections also as the truth about what may be happening to his daughter is revealed. Not in any gratuitous way, but just skirting over the events enough to paint a clear and disturbing image of what is happening.
Miller’s story is much darker and yet in terms of the telling it is chillingly lacking in any real sense of the heart thumping tension that John’s chapters reveal. Miller is a truly twisted character and Turner has managed to worm her way into the dark recesses of his mind as his story is told back to the reader in his own voice. Miller is a sociopath, no doubt about it, and the casual and calm way in which he recounts the past is far more disturbing than you can imagine. When you take into account his age, the clinical detachment of his actions and the way in which he so simply manipulates the people around him, it will make your skin crawl.
Now, as I said earlier, this is a complex novel, and for that reason I think there is a good chance the story, the ending in particular, will divide readers. The threads of the story, woven very carefully thus far to deny the reader an early glimpse of the final picture, are drawn together, but for some I think the final reveal may leave them confused and possibly a touch unsatisfied. I had an inkling of what was happening early on in the novel, and the final reveal did confirm my suspicions but not in the way I was expecting. It is very difficult to say why without giving too much away, but I think that perhaps the ending could have been a little clearer. I have seen similar ideas or twists played out in other books, including a big hitter from last year, and audience reviews were heavily polarised as a result. I am still unsure how I feel about it myself but I do think it was potentially a little too confusing.
This brings me to Maisie’s chapters. There is a clear link back to the main story of John and Miller, but you will have to wait a long time to see it. Again, I kind of guessed how the stories merged very early on, but certain elements of it added to the confusion of the ending, and Maisie’s own personal story seemed a little superfluous, taking the focus away from the main drama. It did serve to emphasise the bond between an ICU nurse and their patients, and the way Maisie watched and commentated on the different moods and actions of family and friends of her patient, Tim, were very well observed by the author. I think I know what certain elements of this part of the story were meant to suggest, but it wasn’t necessarily explained by the author and Maisie’s own life story, as sad and emotional as it was, seemed to slow the action. It was very well written and I felt the emotional pain of Maisie seep from the page, but I just don’t know that it was necessary.
All that in mind, this was a very strong debut from Ronnie Turner and she has amazing talent for creating emotion within her books, chilling the reader and developing both setting and character, with extremely keen observations of human nature, both good and bad. She has a beautiful way with prose, creating both stark and evocative imagery throughout, so much so that I am a little bit concerned about just how dark her mind is. She takes her readers right to the edge, tackling some very hard and occasionally taboo subjects without fear of glorification and does it well. One thing I know is that I am definitely intrigued and excited to see where she takes us next.
If you would like to read Lies Between Us then it is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.
Ronnie’s debut novel, Lies Between Us, will be published by HQ Digital in October 2018.
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