Three Little Lies

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

2.5 Stars

Hmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. There is definitely suspense in Three Little Lies, but I don't think I do well with novels centered around female friendships that turn dysfunctional or deceitful. Still, it was well written and I own Marshall's other book, Friend Request, which I will be diving into soon.
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Besties and Brujas – Maggie & Shannon talk the Domestic Thriller
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Last year’s trend amongst suspense and mystery novels seemed to be the domestic thriller. Books like Lisa Jewel’s Then She Was Gone  or the outstanding Our House by Louise Candlish, focused on families in the middle of a dark crisis. Towards the end of the year, the focus seemed to be leaning more towards friends and the dangers inherent in trusting the wrong people with our secrets. That fad has continued into 2019, offering up some truly memorable, chilling books that expose the dark underside of the term ‘besties’.

Maggie: Most suspense tales have a mix of both family and friends but a friends or frenemies thriller has the action derive from the friendship. Would you agree?  What draws you to a best friend drama?

Shannon: I would definitely agree with this assessment. It’s hard to have a thriller that’s completely centered around either family or friends since both play pivotal roles in our lives. We can’t choose our families, but we do choose our friends, and this choice sometimes backfires. I love it when authors examine what happens when someone chooses the wrong friends, or when a solid friendship suddenly goes sideways.

Maggie: I felt the year got off to a really strong start with Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks, to which you gave an A in your review. It’s the story of Charlotte, who takes her friend Harriet’s daughter to the fair along with her own three kids. While the three older children play on an inflatable obstacle course, Charlotte deals with her youngest, glancing at Facebook posts on her phone while she waits. When Harriet’s little girl goes missing, all hell breaks loose and the community turns on the popular Charlotte with a vengeance.  One thing I felt the author showcased very well was the give and take of women’s friendships. How we become embroiled in each other’s lives through our simple kindnesses to each other. I’ll add that I felt one of the two characters was someone I would most definitely not want in my life. What did you think?

Shannon: Her One Mistake is definitely one of the high points of my 2019 reading. It was a book I hated to put down, one that compelled me to keep reading, even when I had other things that needed to be done. That doesn’t happen to me with all thrillers, so it’s a real treat when an author can manage to hook me in so completely.

Maggie: My other missing child book this year was She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge. This is more of a police procedural which revolves around a group of seven friends who go into the woods – and emerge as a group of six. It wasn’t quite as intense as Her One Mistake but it is a deeply riveting story nonetheless. Do you have any other novels you’d recommend with that theme from the past six months?

Shannon: She Lies In Wait is one I haven’t read, but I’ve heard a ton of great things about it. I’m hoping to get to it soon. I haven’t read any other missing child books that involve friends over the past few months, but I’m always on the lookout for more.

Maggie: I Invited Her In by Adele Parks which came out in February explores the theme of friends who reunite with disastrous results. One of the things I thought the author did really, really well in this book is create a believable friendship between the two protagonists. With many stories I find myself wondering how the two women became friends to begin with but with these ladies I understood their dynamic almost instantly. Which made it far more chilling to me when everything started to unravel. What did you think of the dynamic between Mel and Abi?

Shannon: It’s frustrating when the friendship that is supposed to drive the plot forward doesn’t feel convincing. Fortunately, that wasn’t at all my experience with I Invited Her In. Mel and Abi had a very authentic relationship. I understood the highs and lows they experienced over the years, and when things did start to go south, I kept hoping they could find a safe, healthy way to sort things out. There was something so compelling about the way they used to relate to each other, and I really wanted them to be able to reclaim that feeling.

Maggie: I agree, although I don’t know that it would ever have been possible after some of what happened. My other friend-visit-turned-nightmare novel is You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks. It’s a far darker, more disturbing story but fans of grim, twisty tales about sinister characters will love it.  Do you have any other recent recommendations along this line?

Shannon: Girls Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke kind of fits into this category. It’s the story of three best friends who go on vacation in the hopes of patching up their differences, but one of them ends up disappearing while on the trip. The reader is left wondering if her friends had something to do with her disappearance. It’s one of those books where the reader has absolutely no idea who to trust.

Maggie: Girls Night Out is on my TBR list.  Changing pace, lest we have anyone thinking the best thing to do would be to purge the contact list on their phone, let’s talk about the dangers of not having friends. In An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen bad circumstances have forced Jessica Farris into a lifestyle of isolation, aside from her one bestie. She doesn’t mind this solitary existence but it does lend itself to a situation which leaves her vulnerable to a powerful protagonist. I found Jessica a very interesting person, a mix of strong and susceptible, generous and desperate. What did you think of her?

Shannon: Pekkanen and Hendricks really hit the ball out of the park with An Anonymous Girl. I had no clue what to expect going in, and I was completely entranced by the story. Jessica is a heroine we could so easily encounter in our daily lives, and those are honestly some of my favorite types of protagonists. It’s nice to read about someone who doesn’t have mad skills that set them apart from the rest of the world.

Maggie: I agree. Another book I felt highlighted that a lack of friends can be every bit as dangerous as having the wrong one was The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets. In this novel, Marian works with rescue dogs in remote locations. She has many acquaintances but the people who work the job tend not to be gregarious or close, preferring nature to nurture. Which leaves the lovely Marian to become prey to the worst kind of predator. Do you have any other recommendations for this trope?

Shannon: This isn’t a really recent release, but Cass Green’s In a Cottage in a Wood features an isolated heroine who has hit rock bottom. She inherits a run-down cottage in a remote part of the English countryside, and she decides to spend some time there to lick her proverbial wounds. Of course, things don’t turn out to be as peaceful and serene as she’s hoping for, and her isolation plays a huge role in what happens next. It’s an incredibly creepy and atmospheric story that I’m more than happy to recommend.

Maggie: I’m adding that to my list! Let’s end on a positive note and talk about friends who help. A popular theme is the tale of the investigative friend.  In Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall a roommate launches an investigation to find her missing friend – and find out why she’s disappeared.  I thought Ellen, the main protagonist of the tale, was also very representative of the clingy friend. She seemed to always need someone’s coat-tail to hang on. What did you think of Ellen and her style of friendship?

Shannon: I’m fortunate not to have had someone like Ellen in my life. She definitely took way more than she ever gave in return, and I found myself frustrated by her selfishness. Of course, people like this do exist in the world, and I found Marshall’s representation of this type of friendship to be pretty spot-on.

Maggie:  Another story that revolves around a friend who investigates and discovers a lot more than she bargained for is Camryn King’s Triple Threat about Mallory Knight, a young lady that won’t accept her best friend committed suicide. She launches an investigation to discover just what happened, uncovering some surprising secrets along the way. Do you have any other recommendations with this trope?

Shannon: Again, I’m reaching back a few years for this one, but K.A. Tucker’s He Will Be My Ruin is a must read if you enjoy this trope. It sounds pretty similar to Triple Threat in that our heroine learns her best friend has committed suicide, something she has a hard time accepting. She starts digging into her friend’s life and uncovers all kinds of unexpected things. Tucker’s writing is super compelling, and I loved every second of this story.

Maggie: I’ll have to check into that one, too! Thanks for talking mysteries with me. It’s been a lot of fun!

Shannon: You’re very welcome. Mysteries are some of my very favorite things, so I’m always happy to rhapsodize about the ones I’ve loved.
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Sasha and Ellen are long time friends. In fact, as adults, they now share the same flat. They also share quite a twisted past that they don't talk about anymore. Until...
Sasha disappears. According to the people in Sasha's life, she's done this before without warning so it doesn't raise a huge red flag until Ellen suspects something is terribly wrong and involves the police. 
After Ellen's search for Sasha commences, their past comes hurling to the forefront of their lives and lie upon lie begin to surface. Sasha has many secrets. Secrets even Ellen didn't know about. 
The story begins the day Sasha moves in with her godparents Tony and Olivia and their two sons Daniel and Nikki. They move into a house across the street from Karina. Friends, Karina and Ellen gawk at the new family. They notice Sasha has a scar on her face. The reason? The first lie. 
The remaining lies create a tangle of webs that will have you at the edge of your seat. Someone was thrown in jail, someone lied, someone covered that lie, and the accused has been set free after a decade. Who is he looking for? Was he truly guilty? If not, who is the real guilty party and how close is Ellen to figuring it all out before it's too late? 
We are huge fans of Laura Marshall. After reading and reviewing "Friend Request", we knew we would love "Three Little Lies"! The only thing you may struggle with is what the three lies actually are because the lies seem to keep on coming!
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This was the novel that I needed to get me back on my reading game. Three Little Lies was a quick read. I started at around 9:45 AM and was finished by the time I went to bed in the evening after working a shift at the bar. This was the first novel that I’ve read by Laura Marshall. I enjoyed the pace of the story and how she developed her characters, especially the storyline of Ellen. I was impressed by the way Ellen’s perspective changed throughout the novel — a once loyal best friend learns that maybe her best friend isn’t exactly as she always seemed. You can see how friendships and family’s shift in times of grief and tragedy.

Three Little Lies touches on a tough topic, but it was handled well. Seeing the perspective of a mother in the courthouse watching her child sitting on the stand was stressful for me as a reader. Reading Olivia’s thoughts as she hears all of the terrible things her son, Daniel, is accused of, really brings to light the struggle of family trust. Do you always believe your child? Or do you believe the law? How do we know if the criminal justice system is flawed?

I will say that the reason I wasn’t completely blown away by this book is because the ending fell flat to me. As a reader, I was trying to guess how it was going to end, and Laura Marshall was able to pull off a huge twist — but then there were more pages to the novel and it didn’t end as strong.

Overall, I liked this book. I’m going to check out Laura Marshall’s other novels as well because I enjoyed her writing style and the flow of the novel.
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I really liked Laura Marshall's other book, I can't remember the name of it right now, but it was really good, this one did not keep my interest like the first.
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I really enjoyed the twists in this book that kept me guessing all along - and I love that we discovered right along side of Ellen! Really fun story to read, even though it took a little while to get a hold of the switching POV’s and timelines.
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This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I just couldn’t put it down, thought I was a bit confused in the first couple of chapters because it was unclear what was going with the flashbacks. It all started to come together when I reached chapter 3.

I never liked Sasha and couldn’t even feel sorry for her. It wasn’t clear to me what exactly happened between her and her mom, but I thought she was just a manipulative teen who played grownup when it was convenient. Sadly, she never grew out of her ways. Ellen was Sasha’s marionette, and even if she lied unknowingly, I don’t think her reason was strong enough to make up for how her little lie contributed to Daniel’s ruin. The same goes for Karina. She was ever needy and never a true friend to anyone.

Now, Daniel... oh Daniel... my heart ached for him and all the wrongs done to him. I wished there’d been more about his life after the lies that put him behind bars came to light.

All in all, I really enjoy this book.
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I totally engrossing psychological thriller, I thought this was a very good example of its genre, the multiple viewpoints kept me on my toes right until its satisfying ending.
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Sasha and Ellen are long time friends. In fact, as adults, they now share the same flat. They also share quite a twisted past that they don’t talk about anymore. Until…
Sasha disappears. According to the people in Sasha’s life, she’s done this before without warning so it doesn’t raise a huge red flag until Ellen suspects something is terribly wrong and involves the police.
After Ellen’s search for Sasha commences, their past comes hurling to the forefront of their lives and lie upon lie begin to surface. Sasha has many secrets. Secrets even Ellen didn’t know about.
The story begins the day Sasha moves in with her godparents Tony and Olivia and their two sons Daniel and Nikki. They move into a house across the street from Karina. Friends, Karina and Ellen gawk at the new family. They notice Sasha has a scar on her face. The reason? The first lie.
The remaining lies create a tangle of webs that will have you at the edge of your seat. Someone was thrown in jail, someone lied, someone covered that lie, and the accused has been set free after a decade. Who is he looking for? Was he truly guilty? If not, who is the real guilty party and how close is Ellen to figuring it all out before it’s too late?
We are huge fans of Laura Marshall. After reading and reviewing “Friend Request”, we knew we would love “Three Little Lies”! The only thing you may struggle with is what the three lies actually are because the lies seem to keep on coming!
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I haven’t read Friend Request yet but plan to next! I enjoyed this book; I would recommend it for fans of thrillers/mysteries.  The flow of the story was good and kept my interest but I have to note that the middle seemed to drag on a bit. 

I would like to thank NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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A dark domestic drama chalked full of secrets and lies!

Secrets lead to lies, lies lead to secrets, a vicious circle that never ends! This book was all about the distruction of a family, the unraveling of a friendship, and the secrets and lies that cause the devastation....  believe me there are more than just three lies!

Ellen and Sasha have been friends since they were teens... bonded together by time and tragedy they are as close as sisters... so when Sasha those missing Ellen is very worried and convinced it has something to do with the tragedy in their past..... but Sasha has not always been completely truthful with Ellen... and as the secrets begin to be revealed Ellen wonders if she really knew her best friend at all?

This book was like an onion, with many many layers that were peeled away slowly throughout the book.... I really liked Ellen and sympathize with her, I was right there with her navigating her way through Sasha’s deceit... The story is told from multiple points of view and two different timeframes... The bulk of the story was told from Ellen‘s perspective, however we also got the perspective of Sasha‘s godmother that I felt was tremendously impactful... Sasha lived with her godparents as a teenager and Ellen formed a tight bond with her godmother, I think there was some jealousy involved with this... additionally One of the godmother’s children was directly involved with the tragedy, I thought it was interesting to get a mother‘s perspective....

This wasn’t necessarily a story filled with twists and turns, it was more of a puzzle that you pieced together throughout the book.... a story about the complexities of family and friendship and how much our actions have on others... a well told story that completely captivated me from first page to last!

An extremely well told domestic drama with a satisfying ending, absolutely recommend!

*** many thanks to Grand Central for my copy of this book ***
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★★★☆
Ellen and Sasha have been friends since their teenage years and now share a flat in London. One night Sasha goes missing and Ellen thinks that her disappearance might be connected to a rape case they testified at when they were teenagers. While searching for her best friend ,Elle soon realizes that Sasha might be keeping secrets that put her and now Ellen’s life in danger 

Three Little Lies is my second book by Laura Marshall which I thoroughly enjoyed but maybe not as much as Friend Request. This was more of a domestic thriller than a suspense novel told from multiple point of views but easy to follow . Even though a slightly predictable ending ,it was an entertaining read and will look forward to reading more by Laura Marshall 

I would like to thank Grand Central Publishing & NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.
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I adored Laura Marshall's first book, but Three Little Lies was far superior. It kept me guessing the entire time and the ending was extremely satisfying. The flawed characters were well developed, yet the reader is able to empathize with each girl as we followed them into adulthood.
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This mystery runs back and forth in different timelines, and was a bit confusing.
The story was very good, and it did leave you on the edge of your seat to see what would happen next.
BUT, and a big BUT, it was somewhat predictable with forgetable characters.
I really LOVED this authors first book, Friend Request, but this one just wasn't quite as good.
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I immediately wanted to read this title, after having read Friend Request. 

Sadly, this one didn't have the same effect. It was, however, a wonderful escape from day-to-day life. The plot slowly unfolds and is quite stunning.
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This thriller didn't do it for me, but, it's a fast read with a large group of characters trying to solve a mystery and safely locate their missing friend. The pacing was a bit off for me, and I found the characters and their interactions a bit hard to relate to, but that said, if you're looking for a book to read on a plane or train, this one would easily fit the bill.
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Two storylines going on at once, three girls in each.  Ellen, Sasha and Karina have been friends for awhile and when Sasha goes missing Ellen must go back to their past to see if it could be the reason why she has disappeared now.  

I love a book with two storylines and especially when you know why the characters overlap in each storyline from the beginning.  I like when the mystery is the mystery in the book, not how the stories will connect.  

For mystery books I judge them based on if I am satisfied by who the culprit is.  I was mostly satisfied by who dun it.  I think beyond that for this book it just felt petty.  It felt as though Ellen couldn't get past her feelings from high school and as her character is the main character I just had a few moments where I wanted to take her out of the book and tell her to grow up!  

After I finished this book, I read the reviews and many said that her other book Friend Request was layered and a great read, so I am excited that I already own it and hope to read it very soon.
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I really enjoyed this book. The characters were complex and interesting. Ellen did drive me a little bit crazy throughout the story. I did not see the end coming with Nicholas being the bad guy. But I think that's what made the book interesting. There were a lot of options for who could be behind something. Ellen's character had a way of making you question everyone. It sucked me in the beginning and I had to continue reading to see what actually happened to Sasha. I would recommend this book for sure.
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In 2005 something happened that tore apart the lives of several people and severed friendships forever.  Then it takes us to present day when the one they sent to prison is out, someone is missing and nerves are on edge for all involved.  The story is told back and forth between then and now, and told in the view of various characters.

I love that it gave such a thorough view by hearing it in the voices of the main characters.  The story was exciting and kept you guessing.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think you will too.
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I read FREIND REQUEST by Laura Marshall last year and it was a smashing thriller. Would Marshall be able to repeat this achievement? Is THREE LITTLE LIES just as good? To be frank, not quite. It's still a good book. However, storywise didn't it capture my interest in the same way and the ending felt a bit too expected.

Still, the writing is good, there is a flow to the story that I love and the story never bores me. The change between different characters was a great move especially since I found Ellen to be a bit too naive for my taste. The story is set both in 2005 (and forward) and 2017 (the blurb says 2018, but the book says 2017). However, Ellen never felt like a grown-up to me in 2017. Like she never truly grew up. Also, that she was so blind when it came to Sasha made me a bit annoyed. They even lived together and still, she seemed so clueless.

What I found most interesting with the story was just the mystery of what really happened in 2006. I wanted to know the truth. And, even though I never truly felt connected to Ellen and the rest of the characters so did I feel that my curiosity kept me going. I just wished the ending had been a bit more of a surprise. It felt a bit flat, to be honest. Too predictable.

THREE LITTLE LIES is a book that just didn't rock my socks. It fails to be truly thrilling, however, the writing is good. It's the story that just fails to grab me, which is a bummer because I really liked FRIEND REQUEST. I hope the next Laura Marshall book will appeal more to me.
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