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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf

Twenty-five years ago, the body of a teenage girl was found in the caves close to a small Iowa town. Today, with the discovery of a new piece of evidence, the case is re-opened and old sins are brought to light.

Told in two timelines and from the point of view of three characters, this is a twisty, fascinating psychological thriller. All the pieces are put there from the beginning for the reader to figure out who the killer is, but the way the story is told, it’s obvious there are actually a lot of different characters with motives, from the victim’s frankly disturbed sister Nola to her abusive boyfriend, her angry mother, a sexual-predator neighbour and more.

About two-thirds of the way through the book, an absolute bomb is dropped when a very unexpected character reveals their guilt, but the story is by no means over at that point and I kept reading right to the end, riveted, because I just couldn’t quite believe what I was told. And indeed, there’s a certain amount of unreliable narration here, just enough to keep you guessing right up to the final, shocking climax.

Genuinely a fascinating read, and I’d say a satisfying one too, because everyone gets their just desserts at the end. Five stars, and I’ll definitely be looking for more works by this author.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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