Today it is my great pleasure to share my thoughts on The Friend Who Lied, the brand new psychological thriller from Rachel Amphlett. A big thank you to Sarah Hardy of Book On The Brightside Publicity for inviting me to join the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
What she doesn’t know might kill her…Available From: Amazon | Kobo | Playstore | Apple Books
Lisa Ashton receives a last-minute reprieve from death two weeks before her birthday. Regaining consciousness, she is horrified to learn one of her friends has been killed – and saved her life.
As she recovers, she uncovers a trail of carefully guarded reputations, disturbing rumours, and lies. Soon, Lisa begins to wonder if one of her friends is hiding a terrible secret.
Because five of them entered the escape room that day, and only four got out alive.
And someone is determined to cover their tracks before she can find out the truth.
Can Lisa find the killer before someone else dies?
The Friend Who Lied is Rachel Amphlett’s first foray into the world of the psychological thriller, and I have to say that if this is the first, I can’t wait to see if there will be a repeat performance.
From the start of the book we are introduced to Lisa, a young woman who wakes to find her whole life has changed, to the better for her, but with devastating consequences for her friends. She receives a life saving transplant but at a great personal cost, but what she doesn’t know, and what her friends are not telling her, is what happened on the last night that they were together, something that Lisa is determined to uncover.
The story is told in first person narrative from a multi character point of view, a very brave move for any writer to be honest, but one which works really well for the story here. A large proportion of the story comes from Lisa’s point of view, she is the person who has large gaps in her memory, the person who is the most hungry to find out what happened that night. You can really feel the urgency and the hurt which Lisa is going through, as well as the physical pain of her healing process. Alongside her you have Hayley, Bec and David, her three best friends. Each of them is quite unique, each selfish and secretive in their own way and experiencing the story from their point of view leaves you with a myriad of questions, wondering what it is that you still aren’t quite realising. I didn’t particularly like or trust any of them, but did feel a kind of sympathy for Lisa and the difficulty of her situation and she was the most likeable of them all for me.
The story is full of tension and suspense, blended with a whole heap of mystery. Just how did five friends walk into an escape room attraction, but only four of them leave alive? Was the death of their friend, Simon, a tragic accident borne of circumstance, or something more? With the police always hovering, asking awkward questions and challenging the group of friends, you know there is a strong likelihood that this was no accident, but who stood to benefit from Simon’s death? To be honest, at any given point you are given reason to suspect each of the friends in turn, and I loved the way in which the author slowly drip fed clues, giving us more information about the group’s past and the tangled relationships which informed their lives. And seeing the friendships fracture as a result of the shared burden of truth really felt authentic and well portrayed.
This may not be as fast paced as Rachel Amphlett’s Kay Hunter or Dan Taylor series, but it doesn’t need to be. The pacing works perfectly and whilst I often find the whole ‘thinking cryptically about something when I know full well what happened’ aspect of a psychological thriller, especially in first person narrative, a little irritating, this wasn’t the case in this book. If Lisa knew anything, her recovery from her operation and the blacking out before Simon died actually leaves as many holes in her understanding as that of the reader, so it worked really well.
A tense, suspenseful, story full of secrets and lies that I really enjoyed and definitely recommend for fans of psychological thrillers.
About the Author
Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor and English Spy Mysteries espionage novels and theDetective Kay Hunter British police procedural series.
She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.