There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

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There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1619634406

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Shortlisted for the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal

Shelby is seventeen. She dreams of going to college but her mother would never allow it. Shaylene is more than over-protective. She homeschools Shelby and rarely lets her daughter out on her own. She is obsessed with the danger that men present. Shelby loves her mother but can't help the odd twinge of resentment at the level of control she exerts and more than the odd twinge of embarrassment when she looks at they overweight, unfit, pyjama jeans-wearing Shaylene.

And then Shelby is knocked down by a car. And everything unravels. Shaylene turns up at the hospital with bags packed. She's running from something, but what is it? And why can't she see the coyote that is watching Shelby, talking to her, warning her of lies and asking her to save a Child from a Crone?

I think I have already established in my reviews of Hostage Three and In Darkness that I think Nick Lake is a fabulous writer. So I was really looking forward to reading There Will Be Lies. And I wasn't disappointed. It's one of those books so full of twists, red herrings and reveals, that it's tricky to review without giving spoilers - because the spoilers start right at the beginning.

So, goshdarnit, what to say?! The book basically hangs on a dual narrative. There's the thriller which is happening in the real world and that deals with Shelby's strange, overprotective mother and the truth behind their closeted, secretive life. And there's the fable, which takes place in the alternative world of Shelby's dreams. There's some overlap and what happens in the dreamworld give signs and pointers for what's going on in the real world. The theme is the agency of chaos: that sometimes, things need to be broken before they can be rebuilt for the better.

The correlations and reveals come thick and fast. Some are obvious but don't be disappointed by them - they act, really, as meta-level red herrings for those that aren't obvious at all. There is a special thing about Shelby and it takes Lake a few chapters before he tells you what it is. I loved this, because suddenly the whole book began to make a certain sense. And then I loved it again because led me to a set of assumptions that in turn were dismantled and built back up again.

And you know what? That's all I'm going to say. There Will Be Lies is a clever book. Don't read it on the surface or you won't enjoy it enough. But do read it!

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman also mixes a little bit of magic realism in a real world story. And you shouldn't miss Lake's triumph of In Darkness.

Buy There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake at

Buy There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake at


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