Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter

Book Review

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter - Reading, Writing, Booking Blog

"Ambletern was a different sort of place, a house brimming with history and secrets and promise. A house where things happened."

The Weight of Lies will be published on 6th June 2017. It is written by Emily Carpenter and published by Lake Union Publishing.

This book has some excellent elements mixed with some really terrible ones, it adds up to a mystery that is only OK, but is worth a read if you want something fairly frivolous and not too in-depth.

In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty­-year­-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.
Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.
Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother.
Soon Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.

The Weight of Lies takes a while to get going, the first part is mainly about Meg's relationship with her mother, and is very Mummy Dearest but without a compelling enough relationship to make you want to read on. I didn't really connect with Meg at all, there's no depth to her, she's supposed to be spoilt but there's nothing much underlying to connect to.

However, once she gets onto the island and stops whinging so much about her mother the book gets going. It becomes a bit more classic thriller, with a small set of characters in an isolated location. You don't know who to trust and there are a lot of secrets slowly revealed which I liked.

There are twists, some of which I didn't see coming, and the tension definitely ramps up towards the end.

I like the way Carpenter inserts segments from the novel Meg's mother wrote, Kitten. Frankly, I'd rather read that book than The Weight of Lies; a creepy child, ancient legend, mysterious death in a secluded hotel, it's right up my street, very Stephen King.

There are some excellent elements in The Weight of Lies but the writing lets it down, and there are unnecessary chick-lit additions and a rather lack-lustre love affair which just did not have any passion or tension whatsoever. There are also some spectacularly cringey lines.

"He had a jaw like a scythe and eyes that I couldn't look away from."

Good grief.

But, if you clear all the cheese, overly dramatic cliffhangers and poor little rich girl story, there is a good, strong thriller underneath.

Rating: 2.5/5 (rounded up to 3 stars for Goodreads and NetGalley)

I received a copy of The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter via NetGalley in return for an honest review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

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