review by Maryom
Catrin and Rachel had been friends for most of their lives till a moment of carelessness on Rachel's part led to the death of Catrin's two sons; since then, as best possible in a small island community, they've ignored each other. Three years on, Catrin feels she has nothing left to live for - apart from revenge. Her plans are disrupted though when a young boy goes missing. Although he's believed to have just wandered away from a family picnic, this isn't an isolated incident - two other boys have disappeared in the last couple of years leading some people to fear there's a killer at large on the island. The thought that one of their own number could be abducting children seems beyond belief, but what other explanation could there be?
Spanning a few days in November 1994 Little Black Lies is a gripping stand-alone psychological thriller from Sharon Bolton, author of the Lacey Flint series It's set on the remote Falkland Islands - a ready-made 'closed room' location of a tight-knit community where visitors are rare, mainly confined to the cruise ships that pass through in Summer. The story is told from three points of view, starting with Catrin, who while seemingly going about her day to day life is constantly thinking about death - that of her sons, her own, and the possibility of causing someone else's. Her version of events is followed by that of her ex-lover Callum; one of the British paratroopers involved in the Falklands War, he's suffered post
traumatic shock ever since, and has found that the only place he's at
peace is oddly back on the Falkland islands, but he's still subject to periods of black-out during which he can be aggressive and violent. Lastly, we hear Rachel's point of view - for three years she has lived a life full of guilt and remorse, but maybe now there's a way she can make amends. As each version unfolds, we realise that what we first accepted as solid fact is open to interpretation, and that maybe events aren't as clear cut as we'd believed. I certainly found my sympathies shifting from one character to another as their back stories emerged. It's very cleverly done, and leads the reader first one way, then another, saving the final twist to the last page.
Definitely the sort of book that once started, you won't want to put down till it's finished!
Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Bantam Press
Genre - adult, crime, psychological thriller