TRUTH OR DARE
One day Evie was there, and then she was gone
One day Becca was there, and now she is gone too.
Will Nadine be able to save her daughter before it’s too late?
– They All Lied
[ About the Book ]
When Nadine Fitzmaurice, a manager in an insurance company, gets a distressed phone call from her eighteen-year- old daughter, Becca, telling her she’s killed someone, Nadine’s life is turned upside down.
Now Becca is being held against her will and, determined to save her daughter, Nadine finds herself dragged into the underworld of organised crime – and under the scrutiny of Detective Sergeant Wren Moore.
But the more Nadine gets sucked in by those holding Becca, elements of her past, and a ‘TRUTH or DARE’ game that went terribly wrong years before, come to the surface.
Eighteen years earlier, teenager, Evie Nolan went missing. She never came home
[ My Review ]
They All Lied by Louise Phillips was published by Hachette Ireland March 3rd and is described by Brian McGilloway as a novel that is both ‘compelling and clever’. With a very shocking opening, They All Lied is a book that grabs the attention from the outset. Nadine’s life changes the moment she receives a panicked call from her daughter, Becca, claiming she has killed someone. Nadine’s initial reaction is shock. Unable to process what Becca is saying she quickly moves from disbelief to the realisation that this is actually happening
“I stare out the window. I see the leaves rise off the ground, carried by a soft autumn breeze. I’ve an almighty pain in my chest. This is my worst fear, every parent’s nightmare”
Becca and Nadine have had a fraught relationship over the years, with Nadine’s over-protective nature pushing Becca further away. Becca had finally drifted with a bad crowd and Nadine had not heard much from her in weeks. Now Becca is in trouble and needs Nadine to listen carefully to instructions. Becca’s safety, her life, is under threat. Captive in an unknown location and clearly traumatised, she tells Nadine where to go and what to do next if she ever wants to see Becca alive again. Nadine’s obvious gut-reaction is to inform the police. Her brother, Gavin, had been an ex member of the force and had a special relationship with Becca but Nadine was fearful that even telling Gavin would put Becca in trouble. Pulling on all her resources she follows Becca’s instructions but a familiar face from her past throws her world into disarray.
Nadine has experience of mental health issues and is on permanent medication, while also attending regular visits with her therapist. She has good days and bad days but now, with her past coming crashing in on her, she begins to withdraw. Becca needs her but Nadine is unsure if she can keep it together. The further Nadine finds herself being pulled into her past, the more fearful she becomes for Becca’s safety, and as she discovers, also her own. A teenage game. A missing person. A long-held secret. Can Nadine save Becca before it’s too late?
Detective Sergeant Wren Moore is a great character who senses from the beginning that something is off when she first accidently crosses paths with Nadine. DS Moore is a steadfast individual, who takes her work very seriously. Currently involved in an investigation following the discovery of a discarded body part, DS Moore knows all about the criminal underworld in Dublin and the gangs who inhabit the streets there. She tentatively explores Nadine’s past, after a gut-feeling leads her in a specific direction. DS Moore’s own background is slowly revealed and as the stories become intertwined, it’s soon clear that Nadine Fitzmaurice is way in over her head.
They All Lied is a fast-paced, action-packed read. The opening chapter immediately captured my attention. I thought that DS Moore was an excellent addition to the story and I really enjoyed Louise Phillips writing style, but, unfortunately, I just did not find the plot altogether believable. My imagination was being stretched to its limits and I found myself questioning too many scenes. An exciting story in so many ways, with a clock ticking the whole time, They All Lied has all the ingredients for a really compelling tale but, as the number of coincidences increased, I became quite sceptical and sadly lost some of the initial buzz that I had experienced.
They All Lied is packed full of twists and there are many tense moments throughout the novel. A book receiving many 5 star reviews, with Patricia Gibney describing it as ‘the best book from Louise Phillips’ , this might be a case of just not the right book for me right now, so do please check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts.
[ Bio ]
LOUISE PHILLIPS is the author of five bestselling psychological crime thrillers. Her debut novel RED RIBBONS, and her subsequent novels, THE DOLL’S HOUSE, LAST KISS and THE GAME CHANGER, were each nominated for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She won the award in 2013.
Louise’s work has formed part of many literary anthologies, and she has won both the Jonathan Swift Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, along with being shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and many others.
In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency at Cill Rialaig Artist retreat and she was also a judge on the Irish panel for the EU Literary Award. In 2016, she was longlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her first two novels, RED RIBBONS and THE DOLL’S HOUSE, were published in the US. Her fifth novel, THE HIDING GAME, received an Arts Bursary for Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland.
They All Lied is her sixth novel.
Twitter – @LouiseMPhillips
Great review Mairéad. I don’t mind suspending belief, but too many coincidences might bother me.