I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Star rating: ★★★✰✰
One Little Lie asks the question ‘does a mother ever really know their child?’ It follows the journey of two mothers who have lost their sons, one to murder, and one to prison.
Alice is the mother of a killer. Her son is in prison for murder and she bears the guilt of someone who blames herself. Her support group for parents with troubled children can only help so much. She knows only the forgiveness of one woman will alleviate her guilt.
Deborah is the mother of the murdered boy. She wants nothing more than to get her son back, to the detriment of her marriage. When she loses her job she realises that she can’t forgive anyone for what happened to her son.
Alice is obsessed with getting Deborah’s forgiveness, but when she starts seeing Connie, a therapist, she soon learns how one little lie can send everything out of control.
I enjoyed the premise of this book, it was definitely interesting. It’s a character-driven story, with Alice and Deborah trying to work through their guilt and sadness.
Connie adds the intrigue as she gets tangled up in their situation. When doing some consulting work she realises she is dealing with Alice’s son, and against her better judgement, uses that fact to get him to talk to her.
Not the Sharpest Tool in the Box
This was where I started to wane a bit with this book. I found it a bit unbelievable that she would compromise her entire job by telling Kyle that his mother was seeing her. It seemed completely unprofessional to me.
I was also dumbfounded when Connie didn’t tell Lindsey, her roommate and member of the police, that Kyle had dropped a phone in her letterbox. How stupid can you be? You live with a policewoman, why wouldn’t you tell her about the strange messages you’re getting from the murderer in prison???
There was a lot about Connie that I didn’t really get to be honest. She clearly had a backstory that was alluded to every now and again but never really explained.
I found out after I read the book that this is Sam Carrington’s second book involving Connie (the first is Bad Sister). I haven’t read the first book, so I can’t be sure, but I assume that all of this backstory is what happens in that, so I do think it should be said somewhere that this books should be read first. You don’t necessarily need to for the story of this book, but I think it might make Connie a bit more readable.
The ending of the book is actually quite satisfying. We find out what happened the night Kyle murdered Deborah’s son, how it all came about, and what happened to the missing girl, Isabella Bond, who is spoken about a lot during the book.
The only thing I didn’t like was Deborah’s ending. I found it a bit forced in the context of everything else. It was if the author felt she had to fit Deborah and her husband into the mystery of Alice. I can’t say too much without giving anything away, but it just left me feeling a bit ‘meh’.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. It’s an interesting premise, the pacing isn’t too slow, and the ending (mostly) lives up to the rest of the story.
If you like a bit of a psychological mystery that isn’t too taxing to get through then you’ll probably like One Little Lie.