Cover Image: The Perfect Lie

The Perfect Lie

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Member Reviews

I REALLY enjoyed this book! 

No-one could ever accuse this book of being slow to get in to. The first 2 chapters are action packed and set the scene well. The book flits between two time periods and both were equally enjoyable and gripping to read. 

There were so many twists and turns in this book and I just didn't want to put it down. The characters were well formed and likable, even the sideline ones. 

Thoroughly enjoyable and I would highly recommend.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for sending me this ARC in return for an honest review.
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You don't ever have to worry about whether you'll find it difficult to get into a new Jo Spain thriller; she will have you gripped and intrigued from the start and The Perfect Lie is no exception. Right from the start we see Erin Kennedy's life fall apart, shockingly and unexpectedly in a dramatic fashion. Erin is an Irish girl now living in America working for a publishing house and married to a police officer Danny in the Newport PD. Not only did she witness his suicide, which is horrific enough, and then find out that he was under investigation by his own force, but it seems that she is now also on trial for the murder of her husband. How can it have come to this?

So you will definitely be hooked from the thrilling and shocking start, but still, a crime thriller set in the USA and within the American criminal justice system is quite a departure for Jo Spain. Or is it really entirely new ground? Certainly Spain's previous work has all been very much related to Ireland, to the specific nature of Irish issues of historical crime, political and financial corruption, institutionalised abuse, as well as specific family and social issues. That's the case in her regular DI Tom Reynolds series as well as pretty much all of her standalone books so far. Nonetheless, this is an author continually striving to extend her range, and often - only the last standalone Six Wicked Reasons didn't quite make the mark for me - very successfully.

Aside from being set in America and dealing with the US justice system, there's another interesting development or variation from the typical Jo Spain thriller. In The Perfect Lie she takes on the genre of thrilling courtroom drama. In a roundabout way. First you really want to know why Erin is there at all, and although Spain drops some clues it remains frustratingly and intentionally vague. Not least is a parallel backstory being told about a young college student being abused by her boyfriend who is afraid to take the matter to the police.

Now if you've read any crime fiction before you can begin to put 2 and 2 together here, but if you've read Jo Spain before you will know that she has her own way of working with crime fiction mathematics. The problem here is that you are left with two sides of an equation that doesn't add up for a significant proportion of the book. That should be reason enough to keep you intrigued, but there may be some irritation that significant names, events and too many loose ends and indeed even Erin's Irish backstory are being left deliberately vague just for the sake of springing a surprise twist. On the basis that it's Jo Spain and that things will undoubtedly begin to resolve themselves in a way that makes this worthwhile, there's reason enough to keep you reading, and sure enough the resolution and revelations at the conclusion of The Perfect Lie are unlikely to disappoint.

As to whether the author successfully makes the transition from Irish-themed crime fiction to American crime fiction, well, on that front it's true that this feels less like the typical Jo Spain novel. Except in one respect. Although she writes crime fiction Spain usually deals with real life or topical issues and here there is indeed an underlying subject that remains topical and has been highlighted again by recent events. With that subject to the forefront, The Perfect Lie is not just a clever and entertaining crime thriller, but has a real and meaningful purpose that gives it just that little bit more of an edge.
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Following a family tragedy, Erin Kennedy leaves Ireland to make a fresh start in New York where she subsequently meets and marries her detective husband Danny Ryan. Not long into their idyllic marriage and on what starts out as an ordinary day, Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues. Before they can explain why they are there, Danny walks to the window of the fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death. Eighteen months later, Erin is on trial after being accused of her husband’s murder...

I was gripped from the first page of this book right up until the satisfying end. The plot line is very intriguing however it’s also a little confusing and did take me a while to catch up but when I did, wow! The twists hit me in the face left, right and centre and the story only got more chilling as it unfolded. While I’m not usually a big fan of heavy police detail in books these days, it absolutely worked in The Perfect Lie and was more focused on the corruption and betrayal by serving officers, rather than the procedural aspect.

Amongst the many murky secrets that are revealed throughout the storyline, there is one jaw-dropping twist that completely threw me and which made me even more eager to get to the end. Erin is a great main character - while she’s brave and strong, she is also written very realistically and is a prime example that even as a level-headed, rational person it’s so easy to trust the wrong people. 

The premise of this book is a good one and is delivered well and I’m definitely going on the hunt for more of Jo Spain’s work after this unputdownable read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quercus Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book started off promising and I was hooked straight away. Unfortunately it then just dragged on and I found myself getting confused and not really knowing what was going on. I have really enjoyed this authors other books but this was slightly disappointing
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This review will go live at the link below on 13 May:

I loved Jo Spain’s Six Wicked Reasons, I loved Dirty Little Secrets even more, I went into The Perfect Lie with the highest expectations but they were all met and – dare I say it – exceeded. I don’t know whether to sing Jo Spain’s praises for being so clever or hit myself over the head for being so dim!

The first thing that came to mind after a few chapters of The Perfect Lie was WTF. Of course it was right there in the blurb, I could have known that police detective Danny would jump to his death, that his wife Erin would be charged with murder. I would have known all that had I read that blurb, but I was craving a proper thriller so I grabbed one off Mount TBR that was bound to satisfy my thriller needs, it was Jo Spain, that was all I needed to know. But there I was, two chapters in and faced with the conundrum: how is Erin charged with murder when it was clearly a suicide, which was witnessed by a few police officers to boot? I couldn’t wait to find out how Jo was going to make that one work!

The narrative takes the reader back and forth in time. We find out what happens after Danny’s death, up to and including Erin’s trial, while also learning about their earlier relationship. Thrown into the mix, rather incomprehensibly at first, is a storyline set at Harvard a few years earlier. The alternating storylines allow Jo and her characters to keep their secrets close to their chests, keeping the reader in the dark, guessing at every little thing.

As the story progressed I figured a few things out, but there was a whole bunch of things I didn’t see until I practically crashed into them. The less you know, the better, just read it!

I just have to pull out all the clichés for this one. I was intrigued from the get-go, it had me glued to its pages, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and kept on my toes as well. All of that at once. What a feat! 

The Perfect Lie is a cracking thriller! Intriguing, tense and super addictive, it’s a corker any thriller lover needs to add to their collection right this instant! Need I say it? Highly recommended!
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This is Jo Spain's new standalone novel and let me tell you it does not disappoint.  I love Jo Spain's Tom Reynolds series and this book was just as captivating and gripping as all the books I've read before by her.

The Blurb
Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy.  She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport.  When Erin answers the door to Danny's police colleagues one morning, it's the start of an ordinary day.  But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth floor apartment and jumps to his death.
Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband's murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined.  She thought he was perfect.  She thought their life was perfect.
But it was all built on the perfect lie. 
This book Had me gripped from start to finish, I'm not even joking when I say that I did not see half the twists coming and my jaw hit the floor more times then I care to admit.  I was unable to put this book down and was kept guessing the whole time, this book has it all - mystery, suspense, anger, betrayal it was so good I don't even have words to describe how engrossed I was from the beginning.  It's a very well written book with a clever plotline that keeps the readers interest, the characters especially Erin's are likeable and relatable, overall I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

Many thanks to Netgalley for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
4 Stars.
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This was the first Jo Spain novel I've read and I'd highly recommend it. It's a gripping, pacy read with a very likeable main character and twists and turns I didn't see coming.  I loved the setting, the writing and the highly original plot. I'd highly recommend it and will definitely be exploring Jo Spain's back catalogue. 
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.
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This is a stand-alone story set in Long Island in the US, rather than the Ireland based books I'm used to from this author.  Erin is married to Danny and they are still in the honeymoon period of their relationship.  On the day they are supposed to go for a long weekend away, his police colleagues show up on their doorstep and he throws himself of their balcony.  The story that follows flicks between the events that follow Danny's death, the now, where Erin is on trial for the murder of her husband and events sometime before Erin met Danny concerning Ally and Lauren.  
The story is well blended together and the pieces start to come together halfway through the book, but it's not until the end that we are given the whole picture.  I made several guesses about this, but they were all wrong.  I love it when I can't guess the outcome.
An enjoyable read.
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I've loved ever single Jo Spain book and I think this is her best yet. The US setting is new but works perfectly and the story is immediately gripping and it's genuinely difficult to put this book down once you've started. There are twists, really well written twists though, not twists for fashions sake. I only wish I had read a little slower. Don't pass this one by.
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Wow. Just wow.
This was an amazing story. The characters are so well written that I could find Erin or Ben as my neighbors.
This thriller kept me on the lookout from the first pages. And when I discovered the whole truth, I couldn't believe it.
I never saw it coming.
I could never guess who the bad guy was until I had him in my face and still couldn't believe it.
This is how all stories should be. So well written, so well structured.
I think it was the best thriller I have read in the year. And that I read many!
100% recommended
You will enjoy the story of Erin and Danny ....
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*Actual rating 3.5*

A huge thanks to Quercus Publishers for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. Oh man, this book was a surprise read! This book tells the story of Erin Kennedy who moves to America from Ireland following a family tragedy. One day she wakes up in the morning to a good breakfast with her husband Danny *think bacon, scrambled eggs, and coffee* before that one knock changes her and her husband’s life. It took seconds for her husband to do something that will forever change Erin’s life. I don’t want to spill some good tea but read it when it comes out because it's actually good and it makes you question if one can ever truly know their partner
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Chilling an calculated in so many ways. This well-written book makes you wonder if you really ever know someone. Sometimes everything just goes wrong, and once you cave in or do a mistake just once, it might take you down, or haunt you for the rest of your life.

It is hard to write a review about a book like this, because you want to talk about it, you want to share your thoughts, but it seems impossible without giving away too much of the plot. This book kept me hooked from the first page, and I really wanted to find out the truth. There are so many twists and turns in the book, at the same time only parts of the truth are reveled, which can really mess up a reader's mind.

Now that I think about the characters I really feel for most of them, and at the same time I feel really sorry for them, but I also understand some of the things they did, while at other times I question what they did. I guess that's humans for you. I hope my review is as cryptic as I intent it to be, because I feel like it reflects the book very well.
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This book is brilliant. The first chapter leaves you thinking WTF and you have to read on.

Erin lives in the US, settling down with Danny after moving there from Ireland. Danny is a cop and everything in their life seems to be hunky dory, until one morning Danny’s partner comes to visit and the next thing you know Danny is jumping out of the fourth floor window! 

So many questions that need to be answered and no one is helping Erin to understand.

She finds friends in people she didn’t think she should to help her find the unbelievable truth that led to her husbands death.

A gripping book with lots of different plot lines which did not lead to confusion or misunderstanding. Really well written and thoroughly enjoyed!
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Speechless, fantastic opening chapter and it doesn't disappoint throughout the book, from beginning to end. It held my attention and I was kept guessing who did what and why until the very end. It was all frighteningly plausible. 
NetGalley very kindly sent me a copy of this book for an honest review.
#ThePerfectLie #NetGalley
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Wow just wow! Jo spain hasnt disappointed at all. With main characters Danny and Erin all loved up and seemingly not a care in the world.  When Danny suddenly dies in shocking circumstances. His secret life unravels quickly.  Did she know her husband?. Then Cal comes on the scene.  Is he who he says he is?
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The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain is a real puzzler of a book. I was totally hooked!!

Erin Kennedy has settled in beautiful Long Island after fleeing from a family tragedy in Ireland and is blissfully married to Danny until Danny's partner Ben shows up.  Now Erin is on trial for murder...

This is a tense thriller with a cast of interesting characters, set in an amazing location and has a few unexpected twists.
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A great read and highly recommended.  Told in two timelines of the present and eighteen months before it starts with Erin’s husband Danny jumping to his death in front of her.  This hooked me from page one and couldn’t wait to get to the end.
Thanks to Quercus books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
#ThePerfectLie #NetGalley
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I downloaded the ARC of this novel from NetGalley, having been intrigued by its premise.

I expected it to be a quick read and full of suspense. However, in the event it dragged a little - the narrative order made it too obvious what had happened and who the true criminal was. I also didn’t take to any of the main characters, and especially not the narrator, whom I found tedious in the extreme.

If you find the narrator more appealing, I think this would be a much more exciting read, as you would care whether or not she was acquitted of the crime of which she’s accused and whether or not she got away with the crime she actually does commit. I just didn’t care either way. Sorry.

That said, it was a well-written novel - hence the three stars, which in my grade scale means a book did what it set out to do but just didn’t captivate me. I would recommend it if you’re looking for a beach read - maybe just read the first few pages before committing yourself in case you don’t like the protagonist, as she really makes or breaks the reader’s connection with this novel, in my opinion
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The Perfect Lie is a complex mystery involving a number of time lines. It includes a story within a story that takes you almost to the end of the book to discover how they are intertwined. Erin marries Danny, which helps her stay in this country after her Visa expires. But who is Danny and why did he do the things he did? Erin is on trial for killing her husband. But the book begins with Danny committing suicide by jumping off the balcony of their apartment. Did Erin really know Danny even though she loves him? Erin is a very likable character, but she has difficulty determining who to believe. She is recently recovering from the trauma of her sister's death, when she becomes involved in a very similar situation. 
While I was sometimes confused on who had the "Perfect Lie", the author ties everything up nicely at the end. You want to keep on reading to discover the truth and to find out how all the puzzle pieces fit together. I would recommend this book if you like mysteries
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Oh my goodness! This is a roller coaster of a read! Opening with an Irish girl in New York being accused of her husband's murder, but we know that she saw him jumping to his death from their apartment balcony, with police witnesses. What is going on? The backstory and the present are presented to us bit by bit as Erin fights to work out for herself what her husband Danny was involved with and who she can trust. 
Well told but at times confusing as the story jumps back and forth
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