Cover Image: Truth Truth Lie

Truth Truth Lie

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this arc. Loved the plot on this one, a vacation gone wrong. What to do with no phone service and some scary notes? Definitely a mystery whodunit.

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My thanks to Thomas and Mercer, Claire McGowan and Netgalley.
Had you asked me a very few, scant years ago about this author, then I'd have said to stay clear. But...It's this author has proven to me that she can fucking rock some shit!
This book? Yeah, that's the good shit! Sniff it. Snort it. Smoke it.
You do any of that and lol, you're probably too messed up for this!😜
Seriously? This story came together more than I would have guessed.
Good stuff.

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A seemingly innocent game where you tell two truths and a lie shapes up to be the centre of Claire’s latest unsettling novel. It is unsettling, because a group of university friends, their partners and children, are on a private Scottish island for the weekend. It’s a chance to celebrate a 40th birthday with decadence and no expense spared. Until they play the game and longstanding friendships and relationships begin to fall apart. An anonymous entry suggests there’s no way off the island, another statement reveals they’ll all kill or be killed while there. Which, if either, are true, or is it true that everyone who’s meant to be enjoying a special weekend has blood on their hands? Expect a pacy, packed storyline with plenty of raised eyebrow moments and wicked plot that’ll ensure you’ll keep reading to the end.

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Such a good one! I loved the isolated island setting and the group of frienemies. When they play a game, it has unimaginable consequences. I liked seeing how all the stories came together and how everybody was involved. Such good twists in this one!

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For a group of friends celebrating a milestone birthday on an isolated Scottish island things take a sinister turn during a game of two truths and a lie.

Stories featuring groups of people stranded on an isolated island, with their lives in danger, are quite common. Author Claire McGowan has managed to put a novel spin on her version of the genre in Truth Truth Lie, resulting in an enjoyable and intriguing read.

Eight adults, many of them friends since university, along with a teenager and five-year-old twins descend on an isolated island to celebrate the fortieth birthday of twins Vicky and Jonathan. The pair already have an association with the island as their family used to own it but there are frequent hints that it had to be sold as a result of something that happened in the past.

Most of the group have known each other for over twenty years having met at university. Amira, however, is still classed as a bit of an outsider as she’s only been one of them since she married Paddy fifteen years ago. You can feel the resentment and built-up anger from Amira as she has to deal with regular snubs from Vicky and her best friend Fiona. Another outsider is Rachel, Jonathan’s new girlfriend. The group is hostile towards Rachel, not only is she much younger but Jonathan used to be married to Fiona. Rachel, however, is too thick-skinned, or more worried about not being able to post to Instagram, to notice.

It is during a game of two truths and a lie that events take a sinister turn. After the first couple of rounds, it is obvious that the group don’t know each other as well as they thought. Then someone pulls out a slip of paper saying;

Everyone here has killed someone.
There is no way off this island.
You will all either kill or be killed.

Panic mode sets in. The group begins to wonder if they are truly alone on the island or does one of the group have malevolent intentions. At this point, it is great to see the author poking fun at the genre as one of the characters points out they shouldn’t split up as that’s when the murders usually start.

The reader slowly learns that the first statement is true. We get insight into periods of time over each person’s life where they have been responsible for the death of another person.

When one of the characters is discovered dead, quickly followed by another, panic sets in. No one can be trusted, particularly when secrets are uncovered.

The tension builds as each person is faced with simply surviving until they are rescued. You don’t feel invested in any of the characters as none of them are particularly likeable. I was intrigued to know who was responsible though and if anyone would survive. Numerous twists kept me guessing until the very end.

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Truth Truth Lie is mysterious, suspenseful and will fill you with anxiety. A story in which panic, paranoia and murder take center stage. Claire McGowan keeps you guessing by making everyone a suspect while concurrently having them all fear for their lives. It’s intense!

A group of friends congregate on a private Scottish island to celebrate the 40th birthdays of two members of the crew. As the festivities begin, they play the game two truths and a lie, leading to reading a slip of paper that insinuates everyone present is responsible for someone’s death, there’s no way off the island and that they will all either kill or be killed. But who wrote these statements, and which one is the lie? As old actions, secrets and resentment are revealed, tensions and paranoia increase with violence seemingly inevitable. And then someone turns up dead. Then the fun really begins.

Claire McGowan pulls off a neat trick in Truth Truth Lie. She spills the tea on each character and their unsavory past, yet somehow keeps several of the characters worthy of sympathy. Not all of them mind you. Some of the character’s actions are more despicable and unforgiving. But even then, there are little moments where you might feel sorry for them. Which brings depth to the story and a way for readers to pick which people they believe are behind the devious plot versus which ones they cheer for to be innocent. That’s the beauty of this book. Each reader could have a different view of each character. Which makes for fun book club discussions.

Crime, suspense and the psychological collide in Truth Truth Lie. A thriller that will leave your nerves frayed and your mind on edge.

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This kept me guessing throughout — a pacy, gripping, tense + engrossing thriller that I flew through. The twists kept me captivated and the writing style was brilliant.

Thank you Netgalley + the publisher for my ARC!

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Claire McGowan is a great writer. Truth Truth Lie is a closed room thriller taking place on a Scottish island. University friends gather and things quickly go awry. You will not be able to guess the ending of this one!

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Amazing book!
I was thoroughly engaged throughout this book and I didn't want to put it down! The author captured my attention from the get go! Five stars from me :)

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Unfortunately this was a DNF for me. I could not stand our main character Amira, I found her insufferable and hated being in her head. The book just felt way too slow and repetitive, and I did not find myself engaged with the story. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Truth Truth Lie by Claire McGowan started off strong for me and stayed that way for the entirety of the book. I was on the edge of my seat a couple of times. I wasn’t able to guess the ending at all- so a total win in my book.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Shamefully my first book by this author, despite her having written so many! A group of family and friends head off to a remote Scottish island for a weekend break. When playing an evening game of Truth, Truth, Lie where three anonymous statements are written by each person and the others have to guess who wrote it and which is the lie, they find an extra slip of paper in amongst the others with three chilling statements on it - 1) Everyone here has killed someone, 2) There is no way off this island and 3) You will either kill or be killed here. The guests have no idea who wrote it and which one of the statements is a truth or a lie.

This was a great read which gripped my attention from the beginning. The group of people who are on the island are all family and friends who have known each other for years. Whilst there aren't too many characters to deal with, it did take me a little time to remember who was who and who was with who! For me, none of the characters were particularly likeable, but I don't think we were necessarily meant to like them. They all had their own secrets and the three statements written made them all start to look at themselves and their friends differently. I loved how their secrets slowly began to tumble out and by human nature, they all began to look out for number one and nobody seemed to trust each other!

It's a dark, thrilling read and the atmosphere of the lonely cold island certainly gave me chills down my spine as I read. I didn't have a clue who was behind it all and, like the characters in the book, I began to question every single person! The story is told from the perspectives of only a couple of the main characters and the local detective who has come onto the island after the weekend to investigate what has happened. You do get a few little snippets along the way from an unknown person, but all becomes clear who this is as the story moves on.

It was a really enjoyable read with a taste of a classic whodunnit theme. There are plenty of twists, turns and surprises to keep you hooked on the storyline throughout. Would definitely recommend!

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eady to play a rousing game of Truth, Truth, Lie?

Okay, I’ll go first:
1. I love to read
2. Goodreads is my favorite place to talk about books
3. I hated this book

Well…you can see by the stars I dished out, along with the positive review below, that clearly #3 is a blatant lie!

Unfortunately for the characters in this book, deciphering the lie wasn’t nearly as easy.

A birthday party for two friends in a group that have known each-other for most of their lives.
But now to complicate things even more, we have children, wives, husbands and even an influencer girlfriend in the mix.

What more unique way to celebrate the birthdays than on a remote island off of Scotland. No Wi-Fi no cell service😱. Just an emergency phone. Otherwise complete seclusion. No contact with the outside world. I don’t see a problem with that do you? I can sense everyone starting to sweat… (I'm out🙋🏼‍♀️).

On the first night after of heavy drinking the adults decide to play a party game of Truth, Truth, Lie.

Only there is one extra notable piece of paper thrown into the box with the words,
◆Everyone here has killed someone.
◆There is no way off this island.
◆You will all either kill or be killed here.

Now it’s every man, woman and child for themselves! A fight to survive the weekend!

If you enjoy locked-room thrillers then this is the book for you!

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer

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Another brilliant story by one of the best psychological thriller writers out there. Funny, dark and deranged. Highly recommended xx

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A great locked room style mystery. Perfect read if you love the Agatha Christie style of who did it. I thought it was well thought out and written and loved it.

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My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer publishers for a copy of “ Truth Truth Lie “ for an honest review.
I’ve read and reviewed several of Claire McGowan’s previous books and this latest release is right up there with the best.
The storyline had me gripped from the start , and had me guessing right up to the end.
Great characters , full of suspense and totally unputdownable !

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I couldn’t stop thinking about when I’d next get the chance to read this book over the past couple days. It was such an engaging thriller, and I really enjoyed the twists and turns of it. It started out a bit confusing with having to remember who was who with the introduction of all the characters, but by the time I had everything together, the book went from zero to one hundred very quickly. I really enjoyed it, and it was quick paced enough that the story flowed quickly and evenly, even with a turn here or a twist there. The only thing keeping me from giving it five stars was the really in-your-face Covid narrative throughout. Maybe it’s just me, but I want to escape when I read a book. There were scoldings and lingerings on that narrative that detracted from the overall book, which honestly became a bit boring, and I felt it to be almost a cop out with some of the plot points. But again, just my personal opinion. It was a great exciting read, and I recommend it for anyone who’s a fan of thrillers. As someone who doesn’t usually go for a thriller kind of book, this one was excellent. Thanks so much to Thomas & Mercer, Claire McGowan, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this advanced copy!

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Really enjoyed this unique take on a locked room mystery set on an isolated Scottish island where all the key players seem to have something to hide. Intriguing premise, atmospheric setting and plenty of twists and turns make for a page-turning read. Recommended!

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The book starts with a group of friends going away to a private island off of the coast of Scotland for their twin friends 40ths. On the first night they play a game of “Truth Truth Lie”, when an extra note is added to the game, one that has truly shaken them all to the core and has them thinking about their pasts… When points of the note start to become true, and the deaths begin, they no longer trust each other, not that they ever did, not really. It’s a race against time to get off of the island before they all wind up dead before the weekend is over… Will anyone survive? Who wrote the note? Is one of them murdering their friends one by one? Or is it an outsider from their pasts who has lured them in?

So I LOVE escape room style things, the Escape Room movie is a firm fave thriller - and whilst this isn’t explicitly an escape room… they had no way off of the island, soooo it kind of works!

I enjoyed the multiple POVs of the group on the island, the back stories of the people that died because of each of them, and Mhairi’s future POV of finding bodies on the island in real time! I won’t lie, it was very confusing at the beginning, but after about 20% it started to make sense of why we were getting “random” people’s POVs.

I’ll be completely honest though, none of the characters were likeable… Amira just whined a lot, Vicky was so up herself and entitled, Paddy was clearly not in love with his wife and simply didn’t care, Fiona was jealous and resentful, Rachel was self obsessed, Jonathan was again rich and so entitled, Daniel was a drunk and a cheat, I couldn’t quite work Louise out though… she definitely intrigued me as she was very quiet in the beginning! But yeah… I hated every character in the end except for the children🤣

Sometimes I think though that having unlikeable characters in a thriller really works… an example being Blood Orange, hated every character but is still one of my top thrillers🤷🏻‍♀️

I highly recommend people read this when it is released, better yet, preorder it! I’d love to know your thoughts if and when you read it. And I know it’s still available to request on Netgalley, so what are you waiting for?!🫶🏻

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I love a story where a group of old friends faces some unescapable home truths- and Truth Truth Lie does this wonderfully.
A 40th birthday celebration on a cold February weekend on a remote Scottish island, no wifi, no mains electricity - what could go wrong? In the group of 8 adults, there are siblings, couples, divorced couples, new partners and that doesn't even begin to touch the surface of who went out with who at university. As a group, they're a privileged bunch, living a rich life with all of the finest things, and if a few of them are secretly envious or scornful of some of the others, its kept well under wraps.
When they get to the island, they play a game of truth and lies= and soon discover that there's an additional anonymous entry into the game, a piece of paper that says ‘Everyone here has killed someone. There is no way off this Island. You will all either kill or be killed here’. The group are naturally completely shaken up by the anonymous message, and it doesnt take long for some confessions to be shared about how some of them had been inadvertently involved in someone's death, albeit accidentally.
It doesnt take long for suspicion to run riot in the group, and when first one, and then a second body, is found on the island, panic takes over. Accusations fly, things are said that can't be unsaid, and secret resentments are finally brought to the fore.

I found myself suspecting everyone in the story at one point or another - its a real page-turner with lots to get stuck into, and some great red herrings along the way. Loved the constant reveal of past secrets and upsets, every character had more to them than first meets the eye.

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