Pretty Ugly Lies
A Gripping and Chilling Domestic Noir
by Pamela Crane
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 18 Jul 2018 | Archive Date 01 Aug 2018
From a USA Today–bestselling author, a psychological thriller that asks: What would cause a woman to murder her own family?Jo's idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until the day her daughter is abducted, and the only way to find her is to unravel her dark past.
Ellie is a devoted wife . . . until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about.
Party girl Shayla knows how to hide her demons. But when she's confronted with a life-shattering choice, it will cost her everything.
June knows suffering intimately, though the smile she wears keeps it hidden.
Soon the lives of these four women intersect—and one of them is about to snap . . .
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 141 members
Wow... this book really makes you think. As a mother there were so many feelings and emotions that the women in this book felt that were all too close to home. Feelings that make us all human and real. Scary how easily something can click and tragedy strikes. The stories in this book come from real life, families that struggle, women who lose themselves, kids that take over. I think that anybody reading this book will feel some connection to the characters. Thank you Pamela Crane for writing such a thought provoking and powerful book. And thank you for allowing me to be part of it by reading it Thank you Bloodhound Books and Netgalley for the advanced copy
The story begins with the murder of a husband and children of a family and the thoughts of the person being with them ‘til the police arrives. Is it the killer? The mother/wife? You don’t know that. After that the story is told in alternating chapters between four women, all having problems in their so seemingly perfect lives and everything starts to unravel for them. It proves, that you don’t know your neighbor, friend, colleague just from what you can see. Nobody in the suburban street they all lived thought something was wrong with anybody living there. Sure, there is gossip and pressure to fit in, but no one knows for sure what’s happening behind closed doors. I has some problems in the beginning with the four different pov’s but after a while it just flowed and I got the hang of who is who. The sad thing, I didn’t like any of the women, or their husbands for that matter. They all were self centered and just whining. They didn’t talk to their husbands, they didn’t try to change their lives. They just wanted to blend in, in this fake neighborhood. Sure, I felt sorry for them, but I also was mad at them for being passive and waiting for someone to do something, instead of doing it themselves. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Bloodhound Books!
The scary truth is that the shocking tragedy depicted in the prologue of this twisty,thought-provoking domestic drama happens with frightening regularity throughout the modern world.We very often see reports in the newspapers or read stories in magazines about people who murder their partners and/or children.And after they commit these terrible acts they insist that they loved their victims.Love,that four letter word that rules our lives and our hearts yet is so hard to describe and put into words.This emotionally charged thriller is a story about love,a parent's love for their child,a wife's love for her husband.The lengths people are prepared to go to in the name of love,the secrets they are prepared to keep to continue feeling loved.It's a twisted tale of love,secrets,lies,obsession,fear,betrayal,manipulation,misconceptions,parenting,depression and forgiveness that may be fictional but also has a very heavy dose of gruesome reality. The chapters alternate between the points of view of the four main characters Jo,Ellie,Shayla and June.Four realistic individuals who are each struggling to cope with their own personal crises.Jo`s three year old daughter has been abducted,Ellie has discovered that her husband is having an affair.Shayla has to make a life - shattering choice that could cost her everything and June is struggling to cope with four children,one of whom is autistic,one who is antagonistic and a husband who doesn't seem capable of staying employed.As a parent I would have liked to have felt some sympathy with at least one of these ladies but I honestly couldn't.Jo cared more about what her posh neighbours would think about her than her missing daughter.And the other three were always moaning,whinging and wining about how bad their lives were and how much of a struggle it was to get through every day.All parents have days when their children drive them insane but suddenly one day your children are all grown up and getting on with their own lives and you seriously miss their noise and mess. All these women were so wrapped up in themselves and their little secrets that they didn't stop and appreciate what they had.The women certainly had issues and more than one may have suffered from depression but which one reaches her limit,cracks and commits multiple murders?.Interspersed throughout the story we get insights into the mind of the twisted individual who has abducted Jo`s young daughter.Some of this person's thoughts were spine chilling and uncomfortable to read. I really enjoyed this chilling,well written domestic thriller and look forward to reading more books by this author in the future.Highly recommended
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley, first off, for allowing me to read and review this book. What a book it was! This is one of the best books I've read in a while. The characters were dynamic, flawed, and human, which in fiction is imperative. No one is perfect all the time, even if they try to keep up appearances that they are. This book is about four women that appear to have the perfect life, but underneath the varnish of the great neighborhood, there are deep, dark secrets that threaten their families, and even lives. At its heart, it's also about the struggles of being a mother, and I loved how it wasn't sugarcoated with the usual platitudes. Crane didn't shy away from the loneliness, or the frustration, or the darkness that can come with being a stay at home mom. I could relate to some of these themes, being a SAHM myself. This book shows the sides of motherhood that aren't often talked about, or written about. As the main characters struggle with varying factors from mental illness, autism, infidelity, and so on, you can feel the darkness creeping closer. The pace of the book is consistent, and the twist at the end is a good one! I wasn't expecting it, but in the context of the whole novel, it made sense. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a good thriller!
I loved this book. 4 main characters, each with secrets of their own. Goes to show that no one knows about peoples lives , except what people want them to see
Pretty Ugly Lies dangles the first chapter of this book out there like a worm on a hook. A quick snag and the reader is on the hook for the rest of the story. The intro, a mother has killed her kids and her husband and is dealing with the emotions of the aftermath. The author spends the rest of the book introducing four mothers who are all possibly the murderess. Each mother is at the end of her rope, angry, depressed, or feeling unappreciated or unfulfilled. Motherhood has transformed their lives in such a way that they do not recognize themselves anymore. Each seem to be haunted by lies, some current and some by the past. Throw in some infidelity, depression, and even a kidnapping and you have a whopper of a story that you cannot put down. The suspense drags the reader along waiting for the other shoe to drop that turns a mother into a murderess. The author does not disappoint as unexpected twist are tossed in for a really good read. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
What a treat this book was an honest account of how we are not all suited to being a perfect example of an earth mother. Some of the characters really didn’t like their children or liked themselves more but the consequences were dire and there were no winners. Fabulous book read in one mammoth session during a very hot day can’t recommend highly enough
"My children had become my prison, my husband my jailer, and my life the executioner of my soul." Pretty Ugly Lies is a domestic drama that begins with a woman awaiting the arrival of the police to the scene of the murder of her husband and children. Definitely an attention grabbing beginning. What follows is the story of 4 women that live in the same neighborhood. Each woman tells her own reality in alternating chapters, which is hard to keep up with at first but it gets easier. This is not a butterflies and rainbows story but I do think it's more relatable than most women are willing to admit. I know I certainly relate to these women and perhaps that is why I enjoyed the book as much as I did. It certainly gives you pause for a moment to reflect on your own life and the choices you made that led you to that life...and would you change it if you could. A thought provoking look at what being a wife and a mother feels like when you realize you've lost yourself along the way. I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A moving, incredible book for every woman who has ever felt a moment of unappreciation, exhaustion or of just never being enough. Not for the weak of heart, we get a glimpse into the lives on Oleander Way... Following four different women throughout each of their own daily private struggles to be a wife and mother, providing for their families while getting so little in return - all while upholding the image they have created about their perfect lives. Jo, Ellie, Shayla, and June, each dealing with their own private turmoil, never finding a moments peace or an outlet for the growing pain inside them. I can't imagine there isn't a woman or mother alive who could not connect with this story on some personal level. We get a glimpse into four not-so-perfect lives and witness the heartbreak of a woman finally losing it. Incredibly painful yet such a beautiful story, I was brought to tears at not only the struggle and loss but of the strength of those who held on and found the good in their lives. Highly recommended ~ First book by this author and can't wait to see what's next!
I enjoyed this book and read it in less than a day. It opens on a murder scene, although we don't know at this point which of the characters is involved. The narrative then alternates between four different women - Jo, Ellie, Shayla and June. To the outside world, they all have seemingly perfect lives but behind closed doors, there are definite cracks and secrets being hidden. One of these secrets ultimately leads to the opening scene. There is a bit of a twist towards the end as I kept thinking that I had guessed what had happened but ultimately I was totally wrong! I'd recommend this book and will look out for other things from the author.
Wow, Just wow! This is my first book from Netgalley, so thank you for my first book. This book was GREAT! I knew from the first chapter, I was hooked. Its a story of 4 women who live the perfect life on the outside, Shayla. Jo, Ellie, and June who try and balance motherhood with a lot of secrets, lies and twists and turns. I could not put this book down! The writing was awesome, just flowed so well, (kind of reminded me of Liane Moriarty) kept me engaged the entire time. This was honestly the best book I have read in a long time.!!! I think I will reread it. 5 Plus stars to Pamela Crane!!!!!!
Four women all live in the same road. They all have secrets which will destroy them and their families. JO- has the perfect life, beautiful home, husband and kids. One day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to delve into her past. ELLIE- is a devoted wife until she is betrayed, she is hanging by a thread. Revenge is in her heart. SHAYLA- no longer feels loved until she has an affair. Now she has a live threatening choice to make. JUNE- has regrets, she just wants to turn the clock back. These four women all have demons, but which one will kill to get what she wants? This book was a page turner. Once I started reading I could not put it down. It was heart wrenching, tears for Jo when her daughter was abducted. This book was thought provoking, heart wrenching and the ending I was completely stunned. What are you prepared to do for love? I would like to thank the author Pamela Crane, Bloodhound books and Net.galley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for giving an honest review.
I recommend checking out this new thriller. It has a interesting plot and is well-written. I will be checking out more from this author in the future!
Desperate Housewives meets American Phsyco !! I absolutely loved this!! Gripping from the start. I could not put it down. Highly recommend this for thriller lovers!! Absolutely Brilliant!
Wow! This book was intense. I could relate a little to all four women. I think any mother probably could. This book contains a lot of hard truths. At times it was hard reading. This book had deep, dark angst. Pamela Crane is an amazing writer. I could not put the book down. I received an advance review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! Just wow. That was something! This is so dark and some people will not be able to handle it. But it really sucked me right in! The book alternates it’s chapters with the life story of the four characters and it was a bit confusing at first. After a while it clicks. Each character is really at a crossroad. Outwardly they all appear to have the American dream. Quickly we realize this isn’t the case. The prologue sits in the background throughout all this horror. Each time I felt I would know how it would wrap up I was wrong. I surely didn’t see that coming! This one will keep me thinking for a long time! I highly recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley, Bloodhound Books, and the author for a copy in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
The beginning of this story packed a punch for me, and you do have to take on board the many characters with it being based around four women, and their family lives. Jo, Ellie, Shayla and June, all trying to show the world they are coping, when realistically – they are human. This had a Stepford wives feel to this domestic family thriller. It is a pacey read, and does make you question yourself as a parent, and it is so relatable. I can honestly say at times, I wanted to go hide away from my kids, as much as they were wanted and loved, it isn’t an easy ride at all. The flaws through this book are plenty, and remember it is a fictitious read, but it also held elements of truth and humanity – in some senses Pamela has given us a book that is brave, telling of the struggles of parenthood. So the characters sometimes come across as selfish, but I think that this is due to the realistic thought process of not having rose tinted glasses on and we see what Is going on inside them, rather than what they portray to the world. This is a startling, tiring, and exhausting look in to parenthood, but wrapped around it, is the storylines that were heart-warming and endeared me to hoping these women find a solution. This is the first book that I have read by Pamela Crane, but will be eagerly looking out for more
Four women, four happy families- or are they? From the outside all is tickety-boo. On the inside, however, is a very different matter. One woman has an autistic son whom she struggles to get through to. Another has discovered via a lipstick stain so thinks that her husband is seemingly having an affair. One is having an affair of her own- with consequences. Another has just had her daughter taken from under her nose whilst out at a family game. All are trying to live “normal” lives but behind closed doors there are secrets- ones that change lives. The book begins with a woman at a murder scene- that of her husband and children. We don’t know which one it is. This book knows how to grab you, throw your emotions around and then some. Short, snappy chapters for each of the four lives. Lives thrown so easily. Stories we see in the media and don’t think too much about the fall out unless you have ever been close. The gamut of emotions- hope to hopelessness, frustration, relief and everything in between. A book to make you think, a book to make you appreciate what you have in life and how fragile things can be. Stunningly written, this will remain with me for a long time. Wow. (rest of links on publication day)
A woman kills her husband and . She calls the police. Just as they arrive, she is prepared to tell the story of the day her soul died... Jo Trubeau: Her 3 year old daughter, Amelia, is kidnapped. The police are called to the scene. Ellie Harper: Resents her husband particularly because she had to give up a career for him. June Merrigan: A waitress with 4 children. One of them is a 5 year old autistic boy. She feels as if her life is self-sacrifice and poverty. Shayla Kensington: House-rich and cash poor. Her son is constantly bullied. She is bi-polar - also unhappy with life but has no idea what would make her happy. These four women act and interact with each other in a well written narrative fashion. All of them have marital discord and problems with their children. However, their lives are distinctly different. Yet, there is somewhat of a commonality amongst them. Amazing story with powerful emotions. And the conclusion... you never see it coming. Superb read!!! Many thanks to Bloodhound Books and NetGalley for an emotion-packed read !
Pretty Ugly Lies is filled with secrets and suspense. . This is my first book to read by Pamela Crane and I loved it. She keeps the reader completely engaged in the storyline. I couldn’t put this book down. I will be anxiously awaiting her next book.
This book was a trip into the thought provoking. It makes you think about the lives of everyone around you. How they live their lives, what makes them happy, angry? Or even dare I say, crazy? This book takes these questions and throws them in your face. Crane basically screams LOOK! NOONE IS NORMAL. I enjoyed the realness of these stories and how it makes you believe that anything can happen to anyone if the right circumstances arise.
The story flicks between the four woman so we get an insight into each of their lives. Each woman is quite different so was interesting trying to work out how the whole story line was going to pan out. From the very first page the author ensured they had me hooked. How could any woman kill their children, never mind their man. Those first few pages though do make you reflect on your own family life and the relationship we have with our husband and children and how we can take each other for granted. If anything this story goes to show what goes on behind closed doors and also how well we really know people. It actually gives you a lot of food for thought and I think these women's lives will have an impact on the reader. Pretty Ugly Lies is a gripping and thought provoking read. I think it will make many of us feel normal in how we think about our own family life. The blurb suggests that readers who have enjoyed Laine Moriarty's books would enjoy this book and I whole heartedly agree. A domestic noir story that readers certainly do not want to miss. My thanks to Bloodhound Books and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Thank you to Netgalley and Bloodhound Books for allowing me to read and review an advance copy of this book. Pretty Ugly Lies begins with the death/murder of a husband/father and 2 children. It definitely hooks you from the beginning and you spend the rest of the book trying to figure out which of the 4 women has murdered their family. Each women is haunted by lies, some current and some old. Each is less than the perfect image they portray. Add infidelity, depression, and kidnapping and it was very hard to put this book down. There are unexpected twists and varying degrees of happy endings that really don't disappoint.
What a gut punch! Pamela Crane perfectly captures the anguish that all moms feel at various times in their lives. From the feeling that something was their fault (when it was not even in their control), to the pressures of keeping a house without a lot of support and from wanting to feel attractive again to being ignored by one’s own kids and husband…she really hit the points squarely. I liked the way she wove the four women’s stories together, while giving each woman her own voice. The mystery that opens the story is cleverly alluded to and keeps the reader guessing. I never highlight passages in books, and I highlighted at least five or six, because I could have written the same words. “Stay-at-home moms don’t own the luxury of free time” hit especially close to home. I should have it put on a t-shirt. This was a very well-written book that kept me interested…and made me glad to know that others have the same thoughts sometimes. Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane is a chilling look at the dark side of motherhood The story is told via 4 multiple POVs - all women who are wives & mothers. On the outside they look like you or me - dutiful mothers & wives who are taking care of their families. The real story lies beneath the pretty exterior - those darker feelings and emotions we normally keep hidden and/or suppress. Know what I mean? I know you do because we've all been there. Think of those hard days where you feel overworked, under appreciated, overlooked and it feels like nothing you do is right or enough. Well this book doesn't shy away from any of it! It takes all those emotions and heightens them. "But darkness hid behind closed doors, climbed up the walls, wove a web that would eventually entrap them in misery." The books opens up with with a chillingly grisly murder scene - a family annihilated. We don't know who it is but slowly, the tale is spun and we find ourselves taken in by these women's stories. All the while, we are left to question - who finally snapped and became a monster? "I became a snake shedding its skin as I fed on my anger. I dropped the mask that I hid behind, letting my inner monster loose." Crane's writing is gripping and raw in her portrayal of marriage and motherhood. She doesn't shy away from the ugliness that can reside under the facade. In my opinion, she puts it ALL out there! The story is heavy and touches on kidnapping, lies, secrets, infidelity, caring for children with special needs, homosexuality and even psychological disorders but it's also very readable. I found it easy to connect with these women despite the complicated subject matter. There were a few things that I feel could have been done better and I had to suspend my disbelief a bit but overall, I enjoyed the story. The premise of the book was compelling and it was definitely a darker look at motherhood. We hear stories of women who "snap" or commit atrocities and wonder - how could they do that? Crane offers us an interesting peek into the lives of such women.
Thanks to Netgalley for my copy. The opening chapter of this book drew me right in with the murder of a husband and children. We are then introduced to four women who all live in the same neighbourhood all dealing with problems and issues in their family life. The chapters alternate between the four women and their POV. I didn't particularly like any of the women and quite frankly at times could have shaken them out of their passivity but I did feel empathy for them at times especially when dealing with some of their husbands. This book is an honest portrayal of domestic life when a happy front is not what it appears. As the families fall apart you think you know who the killer is but it keeps changing.
Thank you NetGalley & Bloodhound Books for the ARC of Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane. This book definitely holds your interest. Once you start reading you get drawn into the story and it’s characters. I will not give any spoilers. Let’s just say many twists and turns that will keep the reader interested and intrigued. This is my first book by the author and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the near future. I recommend this book hopefully you will check it out.
Oh My! That opening scene! Then a gripping, thrilling ride through the lives of four diverse women navigating family life.
Wow, this had me hooked from page one, the characters are so strong, not always likeable, but strong and the storyline is gripping!
Pretty Ugly Lies tells the story of four woman who live the "perfect life", or do they? You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Each woman has skeletons in their closets and it is only a matter of time before they come out to haunt them. How far would you go for love? This book gripped me so hard and did not let me go until the end.
Firstly I was drawn to the cover, secondly I was drawn to the story, it was very compelling and I couldn’t put the book down.
This story is told from 5 different point of views; one is minor. The 4 major POVs are married women with children. We learn how they are tired and fed up with their lives. They all have secrets and those secrets will make or break them. This book sucked me in and I was upset when I had to stop reading and go to work. It’s a very quick read but you are fully endorsed in these women’s world. This author knows how to hook a reader. Be sure to read the short at the end. It’s written by her daughter and is hilarious.
Holy moly this book was GREAT! I couldn't put it down and I read it in less than two days. I got to one part and was like REALLY?! did that just happen?! so good. I loved this book. This book is a gripping psychological thriller. My favorite. Four women's life intersect and their lives are full of lies and secrets. Ellie is a devoted wife. She loves her husband and her two children. Her children can't stand her and her husband is cheating on her with a pretty little thing. Shayla is a party girl. She's married but she makes a decision in a spur of the moment and ends up with a huge secret she's keeping from her husband and children. It will destroy her family for sure. Jo's daughter gets abducted and her whole life is turned upside down. She can't believe someone would take her daughter from a busy park during the day. June has a few children and one of her children has autism. She makes a bad decision one day to try to kill herself and her children. She can't take it anymore. This book was great but on some parts of this book I found the women in this book to be spineless and powerless. The ending was great though.
Pretty Ugly Lies Pamela Crane Available: July 18, 2018 Thank you to NetGalley.com for the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I will forgive the purblisher for the re-release of this book and trying to pass it off as new – only because the story itself was so fricken good! I could not put the book down because I was dying to figure out who committed the murder and I wanted to see how it all played out. What I loved: The honesty of the women for their feelings about their families (Ironic because of the title, right?). No one truly has the Pintrest perfect life out there no matter how much someone tries to keep the ugly out – these 4 women just take their feelings to the absolute extreme. What I didn’t love: The ending/afterword was a little too perfectly ties up with no loose ends - I’m not sure if I would have that level of forgiveness in my heart and be able to move on like that. While I’d like to think I am a strong person, I’d also like to think I would lose it for a while if that happened to me. What I learned: Gun safes and lithium – two things really needed by these ladies.. Overall Grade: A- www.FluffSmutandMurder.com
This is a must read book! The twists, turns and spine chilling suspense of these four women will have you questioning everything. As a mother, it may be surprising how many of these same thoughts you may have had at one point or another. Loved it!
From the first chapter the author knows how to grab the readers attention and hold onto it. The story starts off with a murder scene. We don’t know who it is. The story is told through four women’s point of view. Each of them tells us about their mundane lives. I could understand how family life can be draining but I really wanted to shake some of these women. A lot of people would envy these characters lives. They have it all yet they aren’t happy. A well written read that will have you thinking about the life you’ve got and what you make of it. Will definitely be reading more from this author.
Oh.....my.....word!!! I was not expecting THAT! Granted I didn't read the blurb of Pamela Crane's novel, but if I had I really don't think that the storyline would have shocked me as much. I really do think that this book needs to be read with the minimal amount of information known beforehand. I am gobsmacked! As soon as the story starts, the author shoves her readers into the deep end whether they like it or not - such a memorable and spine tingling opening to a novel, but one that filled me with extreme nervousness from the get go. I will hold my hands up and say that I was a bit unsure after reading the beginning of the book, purely because I wasn't sure whether I would be able to cope with the story unfolding before me. Obviously, I did continue, yet that sense of nervousness stayed with me for the duration of the book. And no, not in a bad way. I suppose I didn't realise how invested in 'Pretty Ugly Lies' I had become, nor did I realise just how vivid the authors words would relay into my mind. I would have to say that the only real downfall for me was the fact that there were a lot of characters to keep tabs of, as well as the chapters not being as well-defined as I would have liked, especially when character headings didn't match to the character in the firing line at that particular moment. I did get a bit confused which meant that I had to take time to work out the character family tree before I continued. But, as I say, that was my only little irk regarding the book - I loved everything else! Well, that makes me sound like a creep now doesn't it! I didn't love the events, just to clarify - I'm not thattttttt sick haha. I just loved the high level of intensity, the gritty suspense, and the fact that the entire storyline was making the hairs on my arms stand to attention. I am not going to go into detail about particular events in the book as, to be perfectly honest, it isn't my place to judge. However, I am utterly flabbergasted by what took place in the storyline, and I am in awe of Pamela Crane's ability to make everything appear very realistic. 'Pretty Ugly Lies' is such a gritty and dark read which, despite being slightly out of my comfort zone, ticked all of my boxes due to its extreme suspense and cleverly woven storyline. I may have not long finished reading this, but my poor heart still hasn't calmed down yet! Chilling!
A heart-pounding and gloriously addictive thriller, Pretty Ugly Lies will grab your attention from the very first sentence and keep you on the edge of your seat until the final jaw-dropping twist. If you loved Gone Girl and Big Little Lies, then this breath-taking chiller should go straight to the top of your must-buy list. Four women whose lives couldn’t be more different and who seem to have absolutely nothing in common find their worlds intersecting and entwining in ways they never imagined before. It is absolutely impossible not to be jealous of Jo’s picture perfect life. She is the envy of all her friends and family and people seemingly cannot help but be envious of her and wish that their life was as rosy as hers. However, Jo’s idyllic life is shattered into a million tiny pieces when her daughter is abducted. Jo would move mountains to find her missing daughter and ensure that no harm comes to her. There seem to be no clues as to where her kidnappers might have taken her, however, could the perpetrator of this heinous crime be somebody Jo knows? Could the clue to her daughter’s disappearance be linked to Jo’s shocking past? Ellie’s life revolves around her family. A devoted wife whose entire world centers around her perfect marriage, Ellie thinks that she has a lot to be thankful for – until cracks start showing in her perfect marriage. The relationship that meant the world to her was built on a foundation of lies and deceit and when she discovers the pain of betrayal there is only one thing occupying her mind: revenge! Ellie is determined to exact vengeance and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal – even if it means going down a dark and twisted path that will cost her everything! Shayla is a party girl who seems to lead a carefree existence, but nobody knows better than her how to keep her demons at bay and the scars hidden from the light. Despite all the chaos she has endured, Shayla thinks that she is managing well – until she is forced to make an agonizing choice that could wreck everything for her. What will Shayla do? Will her impossible choice manage to destroy her life? June is well acquainted with suffering and anguish, but smiling enables her to wear a serene patina that ensures that any pain she endures is kept secret. However, secrets do have a habit of getting out… When fate unites these four women and brings them together, they find themselves drawn deeper into a web of danger and deception where nobody is safe…especially as one of them is a killer! A tense and terrifying page-turner best read with the light on, Pretty Ugly Liars is as juicy as your favourite box set. This nail-biting thriller redefines the word unputdownable and once you start reading this dark, twisted and jaw-dropping tale you will find yourself completely mesmerized and won’t be able to stop reading until you reach the last page. Pamela Crane has penned a compulsively readable thriller that is first class! Pretty Ugly Lies is a well-written, thought-provoking and captivating read that is sure to keep you glued to your sun lounger this summer! Don’t miss it!
This book reminded me of Desperate Housewives with all the drama but none of the humor. Four women live on upscale Oleander Drive. Outwardly they have it all but their seemingly perfect lives are anything but. The characters were realistic if somewhat depressing. None of the women is satisfied with her life. They are stressed from trying to be perfect wives and mothers while resenting all the sacrifices they have made. The story starts with the murder of one of the husbands and children but we don’t know who the victims are or who the murderer is. The story is told in alternating viewpoints in each chapter which sometimes got a little confusing. The women are dealing with infidelity, money problems, secrets, and kidnapping, while trying to up with the Joneses. It is no surprise that one of them snaps and you must wait till the end to find out which one it is. I would like to thank Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read this thought provoking book
Starts out with a bang! The book begins by describing the tragic and gruesome murder of a husband and children...but doesn’t tell us who killed them and why. Excerpt - “Sorry isn’t enough anymore. Sorry can’t fix what’s broken. Sometimes a sacrifice is the only way to start over again. This is one of those times.” The story is narrated by four woman and someone’s secrets lead to murder. Shayla...a bi-polar mess. She has an amazing husband and two wonderful kids, but is bored with her life. She’s hiding a secret that could rip her family apart. Jo...happily married with three kids. Her life was perfect until her three-year-old daughter was abducted. She blames herself for not watching Amelia close enough, and wonders if the kidnapping is related to a long forgotten secret from her past. Ellie...gave up her career for her husband. Now her world revolves around him and she has two unappreciative brats and a cheating husband. This isn’t the life she imagined when she married Denny. June...a waitress with four small children (one with Autism). Her lazy husband can’t keep a job and her life is in constant turmoil. Her days are filled with screaming kids and Autistic tantrums. She secretly reminisces about her younger days and the life she could have had, if only she’d been truthful years ago. It was easy to relate to these women and what some might call their “trivial” struggles. I couldn’t help but sympathize with them, as my emotions have taken over many times and I’ve had some of the same overwhelming feelings! Just when I thought this book might not meet my expectations...another big explosion that leads us back to the unforgettable and tragic murder. This ARC was provided by NetGalley, Pamela Crane and Bloodhound Books, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you! #PrettyUglyLies #NetGalley #Amazon
Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane In "Pretty Ugly Lies" Pamela Crane reveals the lives of four very different women in this dramatic, intimate domestic noir, of which I could not put down, especially upon opening the book to suddenly discover how someone is killing a whole family! As the story unravelled I found myself really keen to find out who had murdered not just the husband but the kids in such a horrific way! We hear, through the voices of four women, Jo Trubeau, Ellie Harper, Shayla Kensington and June Merrigan, how their seemingly unconnected lives and problems eventually intertwine in this cleverly written tale of domestic bliss gone wrong. We also hear the evil thoughts of the kidnapper and for me that made this read even more entertaining, sending chills down my spine! Overall, Pretty Ugly Lies raises some series issues, from kidnapping a child, stalking, and infidelity, to marriage breakdowns, autism, and suicidal thoughts. There's certainly a huge amount of problems within these girl's lives and the neighbourhood they live in. I wouldn't want to live there, however affluent it looked on the outside. If you love a book full of some pretty ugly lies, then the killer secrets and domestic misery within this dark thriller will have you double checking what's lurking in the shadows as you read! Not to mention checking where your kids are. A powerful statement of how a twisted, disfigured need for love can evolve into a terrible tragedy with disastrous consequences! Oh, and as a side-note, I loved how, at the very end of this story, Pamela's daughter Talia (7) wrote her own version of "The Girl Who Got Kidnapped" and why! It's such a cute, Grimm Fairy Tale like story, (totally different to the actual book) and pretty well written for such a young age. I can safely put money on Talia definitely following in her mum's footsteps as a writer herself! I hope I get to see that day! My thanks to Bloodhound Books and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Where do I start? Other than to say what a rollercoaster ride this story is, with drama filled moments that made this book pretty addictive. The opening alone sets the reader on a very dark path it makes a brilliant start as I was so curious as to what will happen. Pretty Ugly Lies follows four women Jo, Ellie, Shayla and June who all have the so called picture perfect lives but what really lurks below the surface. Along the way we see the different reasons that the characters may be teetering on the edge. This story shows us that even though from the outside everything looks rosy there could well be secrets, lies and infidelity waiting to be discovered. As the story progresses you get to know the characters along with their flaws all experiencing family life both the good and the bad. I was left feeling quite emotional at times as I saw the way that everyday things can get bottled up which can set off a chain of events, in this case coming to an explosive conclusion. The way that Pamela Crane wrote this story was perfect at keeping me on my toes I must have changed my mind numerous times over who I thought would commit murder. Nothing is as it appears to be which I thought worked really well at keeping the suspense and tension levels at a high. It really is an explosive story that pulled me right in. If I could only use three words to describe Pretty Ugly Lies they would be Dark, secretive and shocking! Four stars from me! With thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my copy.
Pretty Ugly Lies centers around the lives of four very different women, but yet their situations are all too similar. What they all share in common is the constant sacrifices they have made for their families, the endless responsibility, feelings of being underappreciated and unloved, and the realization that they have given up their lives and careers for the sake of their family. When it becomes all too much to handle, one of these women finally snaps leaving a deadly path of destruction that rocks the entire community. We start off with the murder of a husband and children, but we are left in the dark as to whom the killer may be and we are left wondering why and how a mother could do this to her family. Here starts our journey into the unknown and into the lives of each of these four women as we try to determine which one of them has lost their grip on reality. I get it, I really do. Having a family is a sacrifice, but it can also be very rewarding too. I may not have any children, but I do have two sisters. I am twenty years older than both of my siblings and they completely tortured me when they were young. Evil spawns who were determined to make my life miserable. So, I can understand the frustration and how easily it can be to snap. It also led me to the realization that I do not have a maternal instinct. Hence, why I have no children or the desire to have any children. It doesn't mean that I don't like children, I just like them when they aren’t mine. I also had the one thing these four women didn’t. I could leave any time I wanted as they were not my children. These women were stuck with kids, a husband, and responsibilities from the time they woke up until the time they went to sleep. Day after day after day...over and over again. This can take a toll on any mother at any time. So, I can sympathize with some of the thoughts and feelings each of these women are going through. “But darkness hid behind closed doors, climbed up the walls, wove a web that would eventually entrap them in misery. I’d been caught in that web” Pretty Ugly lies is told through four points of view. Each mother, while seeming to have their lives under control to the outside world, harbor deep and deadly secrets. Pamela Crane really did a fantastic job giving these women a unique voice that made them realistic and relatable. Crane has also given us a story that could have been ripped from the headlines. She gives us a glimpse into the Andrea Yates and the Susan Smith’s of this world. The story just grips you from the first page and as we get to know each of these women, you realize that figuring out who murdered their family is not as easy as it seems. Crane throws these red herrings out at us and slowly reals us in to the point where we think we know who did it, but we are so so wrong. You are completely left in the dark until the very end. I was floored and completely shocked with the reveal. Pamela Crane has a deadly grip on domestic noir at the highest level. Pretty Ugly Lies is a twisted tale that delves into the lives of seemingly normal women and veers off into secrets, lies, and a chilling conclusion that will take you through the intricate layers of a psychological thriller that often times blurs the lines of reality. Although this is the first book I have read by Pamela Crane, it certainly will not be the last. Pretty Ugly Lies is a five star read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.
If I could only write two words for this book it would be: ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. Talk about hooked from the start! Once I'd read the opening page, I simply couldn't put the book down until I found out whose family had been killed and why. What an absolutely jaw dropping start to a book: a woman holding her dead husband's hand whilst her other hand holds a knife covered with the blood of her children. WHAT!?!? Who is this? Who lives at 15 Oleander Way? Well I couldn't read fast enough to find out and as we peep through the curtains into the lives of four women we realise that any one of them could be our killer. Jo Trubeau is hiding a secret from her past that comes back to haunt her when her youngest daughter is abducted from the playground. It soon becomes clear that Amelia was chosen because she's Jo's daughter and Jo must decide exactly how much her secret is worth keeping. As tension mounts between Jo and her husband, Jo is very close to breaking point and if Amelia is not found, who knows what she might do. Ellie Harper has given up everything to be a wife and mother but her family treat her like dirt. Her 11 year old daughter, Darla, acts like an insolent teenager and her 9 year old son, Logan, has been expelled from school for biting. Both children treat Ellie like a slave and when Ellie finds lipstick on her husband's collar, it really could be the straw the broke the camel's back. Shayla Kensington is suffering from bipolar disorder and has an affair in her manic state which she soon regrets, but by then it's too late. When her son, Arion, finds Shayla with her fancy-man he transforms from a 'wet noodle' (as Shayla calls him) to a stick of dynamite. If Shayla wants to stop Arion from telling her husband, she has to take matters into her own hands. Our final suspect is June Merrigan. We are introduced to June as she is hiding in a closet (a wardrobe to those of us this side of the Atlantic), desperate to escape her autistic son, Austin. Also in the closet is a shoebox with a gun inside and June has very vivid fantasies of putting that gun to her head and pulling the trigger. What secret is she hiding that would make blowing her brains out preferable to it being revealed? Each woman became my prime suspect at one time or another and because of their juicy stories, any single one of them could have killed their family. The way the whole story is put together is simply sublime; it's like doing a jigsaw with a missing piece and only when that piece is slotted in, can the whole picture be revealed. The gripping, gruesome opening scene reminded me of the TV show Damages and Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, where you see the end of the story and can't watch or read fast enough to find out how the characters got there. I loved how the woman in Chapter 1 could easily be any one of the four women we are introduced to. Their stories are quite heartbreaking when you delve into them despite each of them having the appearance of a Stepford Wife. One of these women is a murderer...will you guess which one? Pretty Ugly Lies is what domestic noir is all about; gripping, shocking, surprising and absolutely brilliant. If you like Liane Moriarty, you will LOVE Pamela Crane. Take my word for it: Pretty Ugly Lies is pretty freaking great! I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Author Pamela Crane had been on my radar for a long time now. So when Bloodhound Books announced that they are publishing her next, I had to get my hands on it, and I’m glad I did. The book starts off with a woman at home which has now turned into the murder scene of her husband and children, awaiting the police. Now that is what I call an attention grabbing first chapter. From that point on, there was no turning back, I had to read the complete book. The story follows four women living in the same neighbourhood, tackling all the curveballs life has to offer. With alternating chapters presenting the different point of views of the the four women, it is, at first, a bit difficult to follow them but you slowly get a hang of them. This book shows what all a woman goes through as a wife, a mum, a member of the society. With ever story I was hanging by the edge, wondering what’s next. I could feel the stress each of the four women and could see that they could snap any moment now. As humans, our threshold of tolerance is limited, one negative incident and it’s easy to lose it all. This book shows to how much depth a person can truly go before harming themselves or their loved ones and the author skillfully managed to express this through the story. This book is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and B.A. Paris. Pretty Ugly Lies is a twisty, thought-provoking Domestic Noir which will make you wonder what a wife and a mum goes through and what are you doing in that equation. Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Sometimes, when reading domestic noir, I find it’s much of the same, the same recycled story over and over again. But Pretty Ugly Lies was a breath of fresh air. I loved the multiple viewpoints of the four women (Jo, Ellie, Shayla and June), I was interested in each drama, making this an engaging read throughout. While each of our leading ladies didn’t necessarily have a distinct personality, it didn’t matter too much, what was key here was the scenario each lady was in, and that was easy to distinguish. So, despite the fact that I couldn’t always remember who belonged to which drama, I was fully invested in the drama. It’s like when you watch TV shows such as Desperate Housewives, or reality shows such as Love and Hip Hop – there’s always plenty of drama and it’s thoroughly entertaining. And amongst all the drama, you get the thread of emotion, the parts you really care about – in Pretty Ugly Lies, you care about how the children are impacted by each scenario, and wow, are there some intense moments featuring the children. And when one of these women snap, they snap, like what in the holy hell kind of craziness is this – and I mean that in the best possible way, the shock of the event that occurred ensured I’d stayed thinking about this one. While this is an entertaining read, it is also a thought-provoking one, because once you strip back the layers of drama, you see the suffering. The pain of living a life you didn’t imagine, second guessing the decisions you made, those scary moments when you feel trapped in your own life… Crane doesn’t hold back, she makes these women honest in their feelings – they voice what, perhaps, many mothers are afraid too, the fleeting thoughts that can enter a mind. Everything has a darker side, and motherhood is no different! This was my first time reading a novel by Crane, and I shall be seeking out more of her books because I found this one so engaging and entertaining with enough emotion to make me care. I absolutely recommend this novel to fans of domestic noir.
This story opens up with a shit load of drama. Definitely a good way to grab your attention to keep you going. A crime scene, a gripping murder of a seemingly dutiful husband and two wonderful kids. How had it come down to this? Four Wives, Four Moms, Four women carrying some PRETTY UGLY LIES around that would soon bring their lives to shattering halt. Crane's writing is riveting and gets you thinking. As a mom myself, have I had these thoughts? Am I just as exhausted as June was? Did I feel unloved as much as Ellie had? Would I be as careless as Shay? Would I ever have to endure a heartwrenching four days with a missing child as Jo?? “One day is all it takes to snap, though.” I found myself being connected to each mother throughout this book as I am tired, I am exhausted and yes, somedays I do not feel worthy of much at all. I would classify this book as complete horror for the simple fact that there is a reality in it all. We've seen the news, heard the stories, scrolled down our social media with headlines of Moms going off on the deep end. "Maybe I was no different than the monsters out there. Maybe we all had a little bit of monster inside us." In the end, hitting close to home, I give it 5 stars. Well written, unputdownable!! Thank you Netgalley and Bloodhound Books for an ARC of Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane in return for my honest review.
This book will drag you in from the first chapter alone… It will have the reader wanting more and to know all the answers. This story is told through four different women, all with differing lives but all with a secret! This story for me got me thinking about my life as a stay at home mother of two, it can be stressful like some of these characters point out but you’ve got to appreciate the good side too. I.E. watching your kids grow up, seeing their smiles and making memories! Parts of this story are dark and are hard to hear as a mother myself. Every mother should love their children beyond the world so what happened in this story really shocked me and shook me up. A thrilling, chilling, captivating story. Had me hooked. Fast paced, easy to devour and can easily be finish in one sitting! A brilliant story but did it hit me quiet hard in parts. Poor children. The story also includes my worse nightmare… An abduction. A well deserved four stars. Highly recommend.
4 Pretty Ugly Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This book takes a dark, real, and raw look at motherhood... I want to start off by saying I thought this was a really good book... it was very readable... probably too relatable, maybe hit a little close to home at times.... it was also a quick and compelling read filled with extremely well developed characters.... my only issue with this book is the characters themselves, I will go on a mini rant about that at the end of my review, LOL The book starts out with a bloody murder scene, a mother has snapped and murdered her entire family.... we are then introduce to four different mothers with plenty of dirty laundry both literally and figuratively... some of these mothers I found more likable and more relatable than others... Jo was probably the most sympathetic character for me, I mean how can you not feel for a mother whose child has gone missing? Dark secret or no dark secret this is every mother‘s worst nightmare.... The rest of these mothers rub me the wrong way and I will address that more later.... but you do not need to like the characters in a book to like the book and I thought this book was really well done... I loved trying to figure out who snapped and I really thought it could possibly be each of these mothers at some point during the book.... this was a fast paced Book, that kept me turning those pages.... I enjoyed knowing the outcome while reading the book it really made the amateur detective and amateur psychologist in me happy.... Strongly encourage you to pick up this book it was a real look at the darker side of motherhood, filled with secrets and plenty of twists.... warning rent ahead* The mothers in this book seriously frustrated me with the exception of Jo.... now I do understand motherhood is hard I have three kids and my first two are only 13 months apart, I get it! I also suffered from postpartum depression after my second child was born, so I get that as well! BUT these women did not seem to have any love towards their children... these are women who chose to have children, who are living in a upper-class neighborhood by choice, and they just could not seem to see the forest for the trees.... and the expectation that your young children are going to shower you with love and appreciate you is insane! Seriously I don’t think I truly appreciated my parents until I had children myself.... I just ultimately had a hard time with these women whining about their almost perfect lives and blaming their children for what was wrong with them.... they all clearly needed a friend like me to smack them back into reality! LOL I think it says something about the amazing writing and character development in this book to have evoked such strong emotions in me! *** many thanks to Bloodhound Books for my copy of this book ***
This was a quick and easy read, it kept me entertained. I wouldn't say this was a mind blowing book but it was pretty decent. I did have a hard time keeping tabs on all the characters and story lines. I felt like they were all similar. I also, kept waiting for a big event to happen that would intertwined the four characters lives together, like the summary mentioned, but I didn't get any of that. I felt like it was two sets of best friends helping each other out of their problems. Which is fine, the stories were pretty original, especially to have four stories going on in one book. However, I felt like there was major plot wholes in this story. I would of liked a little more explanations on some of the stories. However, the writing was great, the story ended okay, and I did like all the characters. I would recommend as a quick read.
Right from the start of this book you find yourself thrown in to the story, and it is pretty much non stop right from there! I really enjoyed the story, it had a great plot and the pace was spot on, it kept me focussed and hooked to the storyline. I really enjoyed the characters and I think the author achieved some excellent characterisation with them which brought it to life and made it a believable book. I loved the different points of view used to tell the story and this is definitely a book to make you think about what you have in life. The story flows very well and I loved the ending – four stars from me for this one! Highly recommended!
This story follows the lives of 4 women who all have lives that involve some form of secret whether it be in the past or present and what happens when those secrets are revealed. It shows how lives are interconnected in ways that one would never think and the characters are well written. This book was an easy read and one that I didn't want to put down. Thank you Netgalley for giving me access to this book.
"...sacrifice could teach us how to live fuller, that being true to oneself wasn't about temporary happiness, but about enduring the hardships and finding strength within." Oleander Way, North Carolina. Four families. Four wives who are also mothers. Mothers who are drowning under the weight of demanding husbands and children. Something has to give. This psychological thriller and mystery is told from the viewpoint of four different women. All are doing their best to take care of their children and their husbands -- and largely failing. One of these women decides to take matters in hand. The result is family annihilation. How did it get to this point -- was there a moment when everything broke or was it a slow, eroding process borne of frustration and futility? A slow burner of suspense, this novel shows motherhood and marriage as a thankless prison. The anguish of the women is palpable, all the more because I struggled to understand it and empathize. The mother with a special needs child, the one whose husband was having an affair, the other with a secret lover who wouldn't let go, and the woman whose child was kidnapped from the park as retaliation for a long ago mistake. What do these women have in common? Real life and all its toll on their hearts, minds and time. NO SPOILERS. An extremely fast paced book that begs to be read in one sitting. At the outset, the reader knows that a there has been murder, but it takes most of the narrative -- told from different points of view -- to get to the who and why. Although I'm not quite sure I liked how it all turned out, it definitely was a compelling read. I feel that the overall tone was quite depressing and certainly would make me question my desire to have children or a family (if I hadn't already gone that route with much different results). We read about women who "snap" and commit horrific crimes against their families and always wonder -- what was the last straw -- and WHY? There are no answers here, really, but maybe just the underlying theme: endure. Thank you to NetGalley and Bloodhound books for this e-book ARC to read and review. This is a standalone and is not part of any series.
This is definitely a book to make you think. Long and hard. A murdered family is at the beginning of this. How could anyone kill their partner let along their own children? It is beyond my comprehension. Four women's stories feature alongside each other and the gritty truth about motherhood is at the fore. All of them very different and from different cultures but one thing they do have in common is that they all have children. It highlights the enormous change in one's life once you are responsible for one or more babies but I did find that they all feel they have been dealt a bad hand. All parents have difficult days but overwhelmingly they would not change anything. More than this will spoil it for others. You won't be bored, the pace is quick, and you will want to keep going until the end. A clever bit of writing. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased. My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.
This was my kind of book. It was a very fast and exciting read. All of the main characters were moms dealing with "mom" kind of problems and stressors which held my interest. I was able to relate to all of them even if I didn't agree with them. I thought the reveal though was a little out of left field. Nothing like that was on my radar and the ending was just ok. I liked that the ending was not a perfect one but this lacked something. I would recommend this for sure, especially to those who like family dramas.
What a great book!! It kept me engaged from the beginning until the end! I cannot wait to read more from this author.
I thought this book was fantastic and had me hooked from page one. You read the first person account of a woman who has just murdered her husband and children. You then return to the past and meet four women all struggling with family, partners and relationships. One of these women you know will end her story by killing her entire family and as each of their stories unfold you can understand how all of them could be driven to this final act but which one? I loved the characters and their individual stories and how the plot kept twisting. You could empathise with the women, their families and the issues they were facing. I would definately read Pamela Crane again and highly recommend this book. Thanks to Bloodhound books and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.
This is the second book I have read by this author, they just keep getting better and better. In this book there are four different women living different lives from their childhood. One very big secret, one of them is a killer! They all seem pretty normal in their own little world, but looks are deceiving. Unfortunely, there are more than just them involved. There is children and spouses. A very well written thriller with complex characters that draw you into their world and doesn't let go. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley.
I need more books like this in my life. Lots more. Wow I think every mother, every wife; every person at some point in their lives thinks the horrible thought “What would happen if they weren’t here?” If you are a mother and can honestly say that you have never, not once, thought your life would be better off without the hassle of the kids or the husband or the mind-numbing domestic duties then you are either freaking Superwoman or you are lying to yourself. It’s ok. We have all been there; locked in the closet, staying as quiet as we can, hoping that our wonderfully adorable little demon spawn won’t find us and we can finally get that minute of blissful peace before the never-ending demands start again. You are not alone. This book is for you. I think what I loved most about Pretty Ugly Lies is the realness of it. In a Desperate Housewives way, this book shows all those dark, horrible thoughts and secrets that these four “soccer moms” have. All that inner hate and disappointment and resentment that we all pretend we don’t feel from time to time is right in your face, rearing its ugly head, and it is so relatable that it’s scary. Though this book is told alternately through 4 POV’s, once you get a handle on who each character is it is really easy to follow. This is a quick and engaging read that might have a few cringe moments but it is really worth seeing it through. The author is excellent at grabbing your attention right away (that first chapter…holy crap!) and keeping it which I actually think is in part due to the different perspectives we keep flipping between. Who doesn’t love a bit of drama and skeletons in someone else’s closet? Crane teases us just enough in each chapter that this book is hard as hell to put down. Actually, I didn’t put it down. This was a one-sitting read for me. I just couldn’t stop myself. I will say that there are some parts of this book that might be hard to read. We immediately get thrown into a family murder and if that isn’t something you think you can handle, this book isn’t for you. If you think your children were created from unicorn dust and cannot imagine someone thinking any less of theirs, this might not be for you. If, however, you are overworked, over stressed, feel the need to lock yourself in the car until the screams of “MOMMY!!” stops for just 5 freaking minutes and cannot wait until your favorite time of day (bedtime) to fawn over how cute Junior looks when he is sleeping, all the while praying he doesn’t wake up until morning….you need this book. Right now. 5 amazing stars from me and I plan to buy this for every mom friend I have. Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book.
I've heard so many great things about this book, and it didn't disappoint. The action didn't let up from the first page, and the alternating points of view really worked well, both giving insights into the characters' lives, and adding to the story itself.
What causes a woman to murder a whole family? Jo's idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until one day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to unravel her past. Ellie is a devoted wife... until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about. Party-girl Shayla knows how to hide her demons. But when she's confronted with a life-shattering choice, it will cost her everything. June knows suffering intimately, though the smile she wears keeps it hidden. Soon the lives of these four women intersect and one of them is about to snap… A thought-provoking domestic noir novel which shows the gruesome reality of what can break an everyday woman. A really good readable relate able read. The shocker at the beginning makes you continue to read to learn more.
At the beginning of this book, I felt like the characters were sort of whining about their lives. However, as the book progressed, the four main characters developed into three dimensional, complex women with overlapping lives. In some ways, the book is realistic about the lives of women who are wives and mothers—someone always wants something from them and very few people value or even notice them. It feels ugly but it also feels true. The characters go to more extremes than most women, but it all feels very relatable. Solid read I would recommend. Thanks to netgalley for the opportunity to review this book.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book starts off with a shocking opening murder scene that forces you to read the whole book in order to find out why and who committed it. I thought this book was a well written psychological thriller that kept me interested and guessing the whole time. This is the author’s 1st book and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
While some of these situations are a little outlandish the overall theme that motherhood is hard resonated with me. Taking a peek into these women’s lives was super entertaining. I was kept guessing until the end of who killed their family, I was not expecting it!
Thank you Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was the first book I’ve read by Pamela Crane. I requested this book on the description alone and I’m glad I did. I was hooked from the first chapter and found it to be well written. It was a difficult read at times yet as a mother I could understand some of the anguish the characters felt. I don’t want to give much away because I absolutely did not see the twist coming. I really enjoyed this book and will be on the lookout for her next one!
Motherhood really is life's toughest job. It can shake the most confident woman to her core. Pretty Ugly Lies tells the story of 4 women, all struggling with different family issues. This is not a happy book. It exposes the dark side of marriage and motherhood told from each woman's perspective. Despite their flaws, I liked these characters, I pulled for them, I felt for them. I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a good read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
This booked booked me from the first line. I wanted to find out who it was talking about. I could not put this down. The way all the lives intertwined and came together was wonderful. The writing style was easy to read and kept me interested till the very last page.
As a reader, this is fantastic. As a mother, it is disturbing and thought provoking. Are we really capable of harming children? What does it take for a mother to snap? I only had one child, and she is now grown, but were there moments in her childhood when I was ready to give it all up? I can't say that I recall, but it was tough. This book makes you think. It makes you guess which mother is the one who snaps. I recommend this to anyone who wants a great read with serious undertones.
Wow!! This book was a show-stopper!! I absolutely could not put it down!! The story and characters were flawlessly developed and always kept me begging for more! Fast paced and so many twists you never see coming. So highly recommend!! Pamela Crane is a force to be reckoned with. Just brilliant! Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and give an honest review of this book.
#PrettyUglyLies #Netgalley Would a mother kill her children? Could she? Why? The book starts out with a murdered family. The rest of the story is told by different women, and we learn who the killer is. Being a mom it was hard to read in parts but it held my attention and I read it in one sitting. I was glad it was told by the different characters it helped me see their viewpoints. Good thriller. My thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an honest review of the free ebook.
Thank you Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. What causes a woman to murder her whole family? Jo's idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until one day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to unravel her dark past. Ellie is a devoted wife... until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about. This was the first time reading anything from this Author and she didn't disappoint. The book was a page turner from the start. Just when I thought I had figured out the ending there was another twist. The characters were well written drawing you into the story instantly. I highly recommend this book.
Pretty Ugly Lies is like Desperate Housewives on steroids - full of melodrama, sex, lies and more drama. I thought the story was very clever in itself, but the book did give me some anxiety as it headed toward the climax and things got really intense. The book has four main characters, all of whom live in an upscale neighborhood, but are hiding secrets behind their perfect exteriors. In the first chapter, we learn that someone has finally cracked and murdered their family in a raging bloodbath - but then the story shifts backward in time to depict the events leading up to the murders and slowly reveal who the killer is. Each of the four women is facing a crisis: Jo’s daughter is abducted; Ellie’s husband is cheating on her; Shayla is the cheater in her marriage; while June is overwhelmed by the demands of raising four young children, including a special needs son. Who finally cracks under the pressure? Gotta read to find out. I liked the story, because it really puts you right into the middle of the action. And the action is quite intense. None of these women are dealing with kids’ problems. But like episodes of your favorite television drama, some of the drama can be a little overwhelming. Without giving anything away, it’s like everything that can possibly go wrong in these ladies’ lives, does. I had to put the book down at point because it was stressing me out. The ending is pretty good too, though I had my suspicions (but I certainly didn’t get it right on). If you’re into domestic dramas and soap opera-y stories, you’ll love this book. It’s got everything that you could possibly want from a drama: sex, lies and murder. But if you’re looking for a low-key mystery or quick thriller, this isn’t a great choice for you.
Pamela Crane has an addictive style of writing which certainly gripped my attention from the start. The opening sets the scene with an unnamed woman killing her husband and children. Their are four very different women living in the same affluent neighbourhood. Each of them are living with a secret. We are drawn into their lives with the purpose of trying to guess which of these women finally snap. I read this book in 2 sessions as I found it difficult to put down. An extremely enjoyable read.
The story starts with a shocked wife surrounded by the blood of her family, murdered in her own home. Yet, she sits there feeling no emotions, just numbness. Did she kill them? Then slowly, we get introduced to the lives and families of 4 women living in a beautiful friendly neighborhood, where crimes like abduction, rape, burglary are not prone to happen. They’re meant to be the SAFE haven. Yet, bad things happen and a 3-year old girl gets abducted from the neighborhood park, just as the mother of 3, closes her eyes for a few negligible seconds. Will the girl return home safe? While these are two main themes the story fixes to develop, there is also significant development of other characters including the families of the women in question. They are narrated in each women’s POV and the writing is so brilliant, you might even tissues to wipe your tears. In this book, I see a perfect mixture of suspense, crime and thrill surrounding the lives of a neighborhood, where families are important, and anything external can lead to an automatic destructive mechanism. For instance, Lies. Small, negligible ones, that we might not think will come to haunt us in the future, but sadly, it does. As humans, we lie. It’s just a defense mechanism, right? While each lie we utter has its own consequences, women do have the bigger lot to lose, don’t we? This book showed me the ultimate destruction that happens to a family, when a small lie, however insignificant that can be, comes to haunt in the future. Family is important, and kids are responsibility. A BIG responsibility, yes. But why bring them to Earth, when you can’t take care of them? They’re after all, dependent on their parents. THIS is why I LOVE women’s fiction. This book gives the picture of the reality behind bringing up kids, big families, and the sacrifices they involve in the contemporary world. I’d strongly recommend women to read this, for courage, self-esteem, and Inspiration. All the opinions are my own. Happy reading. XoXo!
WOW! Pretty Ugly Lies is a crazy tale that you will not want to put down. You think you know "who done it" and you may be right but can you figure out who was the victim? All four of these women have issues they are trying to deal with and the lengths some of them will go may just surprise you. Can't wait for Pamela Crane's next book!
A quick and compelling read that I would recommend to all my friends with kids, haha. I was slightly frustrated with the characters, but I like when books evoke some emotions in me.
This book kept me so captivated, It had tragedies that we could relate too. Great book. I am going to buy this book.
A fast read, this one would be good as a slightly darker holiday read by the pool or on the beach. Pretty Ugly Lies brought up a few good questions about what you have and what it would mean to lose it. The characters were not perfect, and they were propelled to deal with their lives as they began to spiral out of control, each woman approaching their challenges in a different way.