REVIEWED BY MAGGIE SWINBURNE
There’s nothing as good as getting your hands on the latest Nicci French novel. Just the sight of the author’s name sends shivers of fear and anticipation down the spine.
Years have passed while we followed the audacious plots featuring the writing duo’s psychologist character Frieda Klein. This series began with Blue Monday (published 2011) and ended, eight books later, with Day of the Dead (2018).
But French’s latest book, The Lying Room, is well worth waiting for.
The suspense approaches boiling point
In this new stand-alone novel, all the unfolding nuances of plot and skilful evocation of suspense in the most mundane of family settings is as gripping as ever.
Our heroine, Neve – mother, wife, colleague – has an apparently normal life. But everything begins to go wrong when she finds herself looking at the murdered body of someone she knows better than she should in an ideal marriage.
The steps she takes, and the increasingly desperate measures she has to resort to in order to keep her secrets, make for a dramatic read. The suspense comes almost to boiling point as we follow the plot along.
If Neve didn’t do it, then who did? How does her innocent daughter seem to know more than she should – and where does the guinea pig come into the plot?
And all those fabulous lists…
With every step Neve gets in deeper and deeper, all the time trying to remember the lies… and the truth.
The laid-back detective is just so slow, yet you can’t help feeling all the time that everything Neve has constructed is just about to fall apart.
And as usual with a Nicci French novel, all the fabulous lists continue to appear. The things you find in a drawer, in a pocket, in a handbag, on the kitchen worktop.
They are all so innocuous – yet at the same time, you know while reading that these seemingly innocent lists are written with an outcome in mind.
Also as usual, the outcome is so unexpected that you have to read the whole book again to make sure.
The Lying Room by Nicci French is published by Simon & Schuster in hardback, RRP £14.99
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