My review of The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite
Despite the fact that I enjoyed The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperhwaite, this is a difficult review to write. Let me start out by saying I loved the story… It kept me engaged throughout the entire book. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Although I had guessed the who the “bad guy” was at 51%, imagine my surprise when I realized I tied that “bad guy” to the wrong “bad thing”.
The first line of the book description is pretty accurate. “A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.”
Thirteen year old Beth disappears on a Friday night after her mother Melanie delivers her to the doorstep of her best friend’s house for a sleepover. Only to be found barely alive at the local marsh the next day. Feeling as though the police aren’t putting enough effort into finding Beth’s attacker, Melanie takes matters into her own hands and launches an amateur investigation of her own.
Despite the engaging story, there were quite a few things that I found annoying:
I just didn’t really like any of the characters. As a mother, myself, I couldn’t relate to Melanie at all. Although Melanie was in pain because her daughter was near death and in a coma, I still found her annoying. I kinda felt bad about it.
There was one major inconsistency that bothered me. Melanie kept willing Beth to wake up from her coma, however, her coma was medically induced after surgery in an effort to control bleeding and swelling in the brain. I cringed every time she silently begged her to wake up.
I wasn’t a fan of Melanie’s narrative. There were some parts where she was addressing Beth. Then there were others that just weren’t things you would say to your thirteen year old daughter. So it seemed to bounce between talking to her daughter and telling a story to us, the readers. Either one would have been fine, but drifting in and out of either/or without a clear line was frustrating to me.
Mind reading. “Glenn’s eyes stayed on me all the way out of the door, silently wishing me luck.” How does she know that’s what he’s thinking? It’s one thing if the author is the narrator telling the story from a universal point of view, but when the narrative is coming directly from a character – mind reading is annoying to me.
All in all, I still give this a 3.5 stars out of 5. The story engaged me the entire time. I did see that the Barbara Copperthwaite has 2 other books out and will give them a try. She is obviously very good at creating engaging stories.
Thank you to Barbara Copperthwaite, Bookouture, and Netgalley for providing an advanced copy of this book.