Book Review: The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain
This book starts with an extremely confronting scene - a police officer jumps to his death from the balcony of his apartment right in front of his wife’s eyes - and it doesn’t get much less shocking from there. Trying to deal with the trauma of Danny’s death, Erin Kennedy wants answers. Why did Danny jump? And why won’t any of his police colleagues even look her in the eye?
Searching for the truth, Erin is lucky enough to find supportive friends: ferociously tough lawyer Karla, black-sheep-of-his-rich-family bar owner Bud, and others she doesn’t realise are really on her side until later. When she meets Cal Hawley, however, is when she starts to discover the truth of what Danny was really up to. Cal’s from a rich family but incredibly troubled by his stepsister Lauren’s tragic death - and he’d asked Danny to look into Lauren’s case.
This is told in several different timelines, with Lauren’s original troubles being documented through the eyes of Ally, who knew her at Harvard a couple of years before any of the events with Danny and Erin occur. Then there’s Danny’s death and the immediate aftermath of it, and the ‘now’ timeline… where Erin is on trial for murdering her husband. This does lead to some momentary confusion - did Danny really die? - but it’s eventually apparent that Erin remarried and it’s this second husband she’s accused of murdering.
I won’t spoil things any further, but the whole story is a sobering look at what happens to regular folks who get caught in the crossfire of sociopaths with enough money to bury anything they want to bury. It’s riveting, if occasionally traumatic - trigger warnings for violent assault, rape, suicide and drug addiction apply. I honestly couldn’t put it down; I was rooting for Erin from the beginning and the ending was definitely satisfying even if it did leave one pressing question unanswered (obviously deliberately, just for the creep factor). Five stars for a fantastic read.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.