Book Review: Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks
This domestic noir starts off as something of a family drama, with Daisy and Simon struggling to hold their marriage together in the face of failure to conceive a second child and Simon’s drinking causing increasing problems between them. It steadily gets messier and darker, with lies by all the major parties slowly being exposed and twisting a tangled web ever tighter.
There are some significant trigger warnings required here, including rape, sexual violence, serious injury to a child, mental abuse, coercion, alcoholism, infertility, animal abuse and more. The story is told in alternating point of view between Simon and Daisy, and although we start off with Simon as a child and see that from the very beginning he really had no chance in winning a battle against alcohol, it’s utterly impossible to like or feel sympathy for him as he put Daisy through absolute hell because of his alcoholism.
It’s also obvious from early on that Daisy is hiding something fairly serious - I guessed it correctly, but the reveal was still shocking, and there was a twist at the end which I didn’t see coming and which answered my question of why didn’t she do anything at the time? I won’t give it away; she did something wrong in a fairly small way, but there would have been extremely serious consequences for innocent parties if she’d done what was right for her, so she kept her mouth shut… and paid the price.
This is also a story of friendships and how they endure and change over the years, and how some friends turn out to be better than you ever imagined when the crunch comes. Daisy was a pretty terrible friend, judgy and resentful when she and Simon were judged in turn, but she had some seriously awesome friends who stuck by her through it all.
Was the final resolution satisfying? Yes… though I’m not sure it was entirely fair, especially not to Millie, Simon and Daisy’s daughter who was the one who ended up paying a high price for both of their poor decisions. Millie’s the real victim here, the one for whom I had the greatest sympathy.
If you like domestic noir stories, you’ll enjoy this, but I’m not sure it could really be called a thriller of any sort; it’s a bit too slow for that even though it does eventually build to some pretty shocking revelations and events. There’s a lot of stuff especially in the first third which felt tedious and mundane, I suppose to try and create contrast with what happened later, but I think it dragged on too long. Overall an enjoyable read though, and I’ll give it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.