Cover Image: The Lie

The Lie

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A suspenseful and enjoyable psychological thriller. Jane is enjoying a quiet life in rural Wales, when she receives a note that says "I know your name isn't Jane." The book flashes between 5 years ago, when Jane (then known as Emma) sets off for a girls trip to Nepal with her 3 friends that goes very wrong, and the present day, when Jane tries to figure out who is on to her. I don't want to say anything more so as not to spoil the plot, but this was one of those books you can't put down with good mystery/thrills in both parts of the narrative. If you're a fan of Ruth Ware, Lisa Jewell, etc., you'd probably enjoy this one too. I'm looking forward to checking out other books by this author.
Was this review helpful?
BOOK: The Lie
AUTHOR: C.L. Taylor

I actually read this book a few years ago, but for some reason the review never posted. So I am redoing it now. 

I love mystery thrillers normally. But this book kind of confused me. The timelines jumped back and forth, the plot was far reaching, and the characters seemed completely out of their mind. That being said, it is a fairly easy read, it just left me feeling like it wasn’t as grounded as it could be. I can’t really say much more than that about it without giving more away.

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):
I know your name's not really Jane Hughes...

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She's happier than she's ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.

Jane has tried to put her past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won't stop until they've destroyed Jane and everything she loves.
I received this book for review purposes from NetGalley. ⠀
Was this review helpful?
A good book. Read it if you like gritty thrillers and decent mysteries. Overall good - good characters, settings and plot.
Was this review helpful?
"I was escaping from a job I hated, Al was escaping from a failed relationship, Daisy was tagging along for the adventure, and Leanne... well, she was looking for somewhere to call home."

Five years ago four young women went on the 'trip of a lifetime'. Emma, Daisy, Alexandra, and Leanne have been friends since university. They live in London and decide to travel to Nepal.  Their decision to take this trip would leave an indelible mark on all of their lives, leaving at least one of them dead.

Skip ahead to the present day.  Jane Hughes works at Green Fields Animal Shelter in Wales.  She has had a lifelong affection for animals and this work is what she has always wanted. Living nearby, she bikes to work and cares for the dogs at the shelter.  She has a new and promising relationship with a primary teacher named Will who has a young daughter named Chloe.  Life is good.

One day she receives a threatening note.  Someone knows the secret she has been keeping for the past five years. Her real name is Emma Woolfe.  As the five year anniversary of the Nepal fiasco looms, someone is trying to freak her out. Still traumatised by her experiences in Nepal, Jane/Emma is an easy target. Right around this time, there is a new volunteer worker at the shelter. Angharad is keen to work, yet she seems inordinately interested in Jane...

Flashback to Nepal. After a few days drinking and enjoying the sunshine, the four young women trek up a mountain to a yoga retreat named Ekanta Yatra.  The fissures in their friendship are put to the test shortly after they arrive. This is a seriously creepy place.  The charismatic leader, Isaac demands they give him their passports. That should have been their first clue.  It is the beginning of monsoon season so they learn they cannot leave safely. The leaders seduce and manipulate people into their way of thinking - if they cannot do this they try to break them physically instead. As one devastating experience follows another Emma finds herself alienated from her friends. Her best friend Daisy seems almost like a different person. In fear for her life, Emma attempts to escape...

Back to the present in Wales 
Jane is run off the road on her way to work. Then she receives a foreboding text message with the words "Only the good die young. That'll explain way you're still alive then."

This is a thriller that explores the toxic nature that can define some female friendships. I liked the character of Emma, though the other girls sparked little affection. Daisy and Leanne in particular were unlikable and in my opinion, emotionally unstable.  The scenes set in Nepal were unsettling and oftentimes quite gruesome.  I read these anxiously anticipating coming back to the scenes set in Wales and the present day.  I believe that this thriller will appeal to many readers, though I cannot honestly say if was a favourite read of mine. I did find enough to admire in this book to be interested in reading more of C.L. Taylor's work.
Was this review helpful?
The Lie by C.L. Taylor has been on my TBR shelf for over a year. I was given an ARC copy before the book came out and unfortunately it got lost in the pile. However when I found it I knew I wanted to read it as soon as I could. I wound up purchasing an Audible copy as well and alternated listening and reading so I didn’t have to sit down the book for very long.

The story follows Jane Hughes as her tragic past catches up to the life she’s created for herself. You see Jane isn’t who you think she is. When we first meet Jane, she is working at an animal shelter in a small, country town, dating a single dad, and admittedly seems happy. I liked Jane and truly I felt sorry for her. She harbored a lot of guilt for her past and it seems she’s carried it with her. She lives in fear as well, wondering what would happen if someone learned her secrets.

As much as I liked Jane though, the story was hard to follow at times. It shifted from present to past (which occurred 5 years earlier) every few chapters. In the past, Jane and her friends are going on a three week vacation but one of the friends gets them stuck in a sexual/off-the-beaten path cult. This part of the story was intriguing but moved slowly. It was predictable and barely held my attention. It honestly could have been told in a couple of chapters or a really long prologue.

The present part of the story was much more interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat. Jane starts receiving vague, threatening, anonymous messages claiming the sender knows who she is and what she’s done. So the story revolves around this big mystery of what did Jane do and who is threatening her. I’ll admit I was captivated, but the slow chapters in the past combined with the fast-paced present was distracting. Then the climax of the story was sadly underwhelming.

Overall while I enjoyed parts and slugged my way through the others, The Lie was just an okay read for me. Despite liking Jane and the suspense of who was threatening her, her past exploits while scary held no appeal to me. I wasn’t connected to that part of the story at all. Once her past was fully revealed, the ending became too predictable and I found myself rolling my eyes. I did like the way the author can show how quickly friendships can unravel in a situation as described in the book. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, I’d recommend giving it a read.
Was this review helpful?
I requested this book because I wanted to read something different, but this just wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
Honestly, this book just wasn't my thing and I only read about half of it. My rating is based on what I read.
Was this review helpful?
A fabulous read, just as good as The Accident, if not better. Written well, great characters and fast paced.
Was this review helpful?
Despite my initial qualms about the far-fetched nature of the plot and the situation, I found myself drawn into the tension and suspense of the book as the full backstory is gradually revealed, with an exceptional frisson of jeopardy towards the end.  I found the central character of Jane engaging, although was not so convinced about her circle of friends, who turn out to be problematic in the events that follow.  We follow her drip-feeding of detail and plot about what happened years ago in their fateful group holiday, discarding the odd red herring in our wake, until we are launched firmly into the present with the menace of the past.  A gripping denouement makes the rather improbable plot superfluous, as the reader is already hooked into the fast-paced action in anticipation of a whirlwind ending.
Was this review helpful?
The title implies this story hinges on one big lie, but actually there are a number of lies told. ‘The Lie’ by CL Taylor is an examination of the group dynamic between four girlfriends who go on holiday together, seeking catharsis and finding horror. Before, during and after the holiday there is friction and bitching but once in Nepal they find betrayal, lies, bullying, intimidation and violence. Then five years later, the past threatens again.
The story is told in parallel – now, as Jane, who works at an animal rescue centre, receives a mysterious letter; and five years earlier, when Jane [then called Emma] went to a yoga retreat in Nepal with her friends, Daisy, Al and Leanne. When Emma starts to be suspicious of the retreat and the people who run it, it is too late to escape.
Unfortunately I didn't connect emotionally with Jane or her three friends. I found them unsympathetic at the beginning and inter-changeable, which meant it was longer before I ‘got’ the book. The age of the friends, and their partying, made this feel more like a chick-lit book than CL Taylor’s debut, ‘The Accident’. A yoga retreat in Nepal seemed an expensive place for the four of them to go, and when they arrive it is shabby and short of food: all things which set my alarm bells ringing.
It will make you never want to go on a yoga holiday.
Read more of my book reviews at
Was this review helpful?
This is creepy, thrilling and unpredictable. It is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read in the past year. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?