|The Lie Of You: I Will Have What Is Mine by Jane Lythell|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: A dark psychological thriller that is more psyche than thrills as the woman with nothing stalks the woman with it all. It has a climax to write home about but till then it's a bit predictable... or is that just me?|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: January 2014|
|Publisher: Head of Zeus|
Kathy thinks she has everything: the job; the baby; and him. But she doesn't have my will. She has no hidden places. Thus speaks Heja, Kathy's colleague on the architecture magazine. Kathy is coming to terms with a new husband, a new baby and the inevitable return to her demanding career as an editor. Heja doesn't mind though; she's patient and will use Kathy's preoccupation for her own devious purposes. Whether Kathy realises it or not, Heja is upset and unsettled with a vengeance.
Writer Jane Lythell has been a TV producer, deputy director of the British Film Institute and Chief Executive of BAFTA. In fact I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jane's mind was creating the prospective movie in her mind as she wrote this novel as it feels very photogenic.
The title, by the way, is a conjugation of two comments, one from each of the leading ladies that sum up its major themes: what happens when honesty leaves a relationship and the crazed lengths to which jealousy can drive someone. It's not a heavy book though; Jane manages to plumb the psychological depths of both Heja and Kathy while writing deceptively simply. The layers of the two main characters are gradually peeled back as we listen to their alternating chapters set in both the present and flashback.
To be honest I didn't like either of the women which I felt put me at a bit of a disadvantage. Nothing can excuse the actions of Heja and I'm afraid the moments that seem designed to award her our sympathy failed for me as a result. Whereas Kathy, the goody, comes across as a hypocritical, limp lettuce. The men in the story are more likeable but all, from the boss, to the husband, to Heja's unsuspecting psycho-analyst(!) boyfriend, appear to lack 'backbone'.
The twists are, on the whole, predictable but fear not - the women's back-stories and psychological problems add a layer of interest.
It's not wholly without excitement though. For me the tour de force are the events of a particularly stormy (in many, many ways) night. At this point Jane manipulates us cleverly, demonstrating that seeing a metaphorical train crash coming needn't make it less exciting when it arrives. This is the bit where the tension is cranked up considerably, the edge of the seat is suddenly a lot closer and Ms Lythell shows her undoubted calling as a fiction-crime writer.
The reviews for The Lie Of You are generally glowing so I'm prepared to believe that my prejudice against the cast and my ability to predetermine 99% of the surprises are purely isolated and a 'just me' thing. My suggestion would be to take a look and decide for yourself. Having said that, if this does become a TV drama or movie, I'd cancel all previous engagements to stay in and watch it. I'm betting the author will have a hand in making it something to remember. (I can be a contrary whatsit sometimes!)
We'd like to thank Head of Zeus for providing us with a copy for review.
Further Reading: If you're a fan of a good thriller, we would politely, but firmly push you in the direction of Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson or, if you don't mind a bit of a paranormal edge The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Lie Of You: I Will Have What Is Mine by Jane Lythell at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Lie Of You: I Will Have What Is Mine by Jane Lythell at Amazon.com.
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