Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall, 3 Stars

Today I’m reviewing Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall. I reviewed her debut novel, Friend Request, a little over a year ago. It’s been kind of fun now that I’ve been at this whole blogging thing for a while to review the next book by an author I’ve previously reviewed. It feels like I’m visiting an old friend.

Laura Marshall’s story about how she came to be an author is a great one too. She had a lifelong dream to write a book and enrolled in a three-month-course offered by a literary agency to write her first novel. She entered two competitions with her writing and was short-listed in both. Armed with those accolades, she landed her agent. Read the full story here.

I did a little online search too and found that her agency, Curtis Brown Creative, offers many similar creative courses. They offer in-person classes as well as online options. How cool is that? Are you an aspiring writer? Check out their offerings on their website.

From the Publisher:

When Sasha disappears, Ellen fears the worst. Then long-buried secrets resurface, Ellen realizes she may not know Sasha — or what she’s capable of — at all.

2005: 17-year-old Ellen falls under the spell of glamorous newcomer, Sasha. As Ellen is welcomed into Sasha’s family, she doesn’t see the darkness that lies beneath their musical, bohemian lifestyle. At a New Year’s Eve party, events come to a dramatic head, resulting in a court case (in which Ellen is a key witness) that means family life at the Corner House will never be the same again.

2018: Now 30, Ellen and Sasha are still entwined in each other’s lives and sharing a flat in London. When Sasha disappears, Ellen fears the worst. She has gone missing like this before and the police won’t take it seriously, but long-buried events in their shared past mean that Ellen has good reason to be frightened – not only for Sasha, but also for herself. Finding out the truth about what really happened on New Year’s Eve twelve years ago puts Ellen in terrible danger, and forces her to confront not only the past, but how well she really knows her best friend.

My Review:

Sasha is the type of friend every girl wants. Or at least thinks she wants. She’s beautiful, confident and cool, mature, almost above it all. Ellen and Karina are just two average high school girls. Not necessarily nerdy, and pretty enough to coast through high school, but not popular enough to be invited to parties or be part of the in-crowd.

So when Sasha and the Monktons move into the corner house, Ellen and Karina, find themselves entering into a world they never knew existed. Life at the Monktons house is pretty much a non-stop, boozy, teenager’s dream. Mom, Olivia, is a successful opera singer and not the most engaged mother. Dad, Tony, likes the bottle a bit too much and encourages his sons’ teen friends to join in.

Karina has a huge crush on Daniel and thanks to Ellen and Sasha’s friendship, she now has access to him. With any teen group, there is a tangled web of adolescent emotions and love triangles and lots of secrets being kept from one another. The party is over on New Years Eve, when an alcohol-filled night ends with a rape allegation.

Fast forward to present day. Daniel has served 5 years in prison and 5 years of probation. He’s vowed revenge on Karina, Sasha and Ellen, those he insists told the three little lies–and just like that, Sasha has gone missing without a trace. As the story unfolds, we discover there are a lot more than three lies between old friends. And through twists and turns, those lies are revealed for what they truly are.

The main characters are Ellen and Olivia, and the story is told through their perspectives, but there are more characters with the brothers, the dad, the three girls and other friends. I enjoyed this book, but felt that with so many characters, they weren’t all developed as much as I would have liked.

As with Friend Request, Marshall hinges her story on a girl who is untouchable–cool, collected, always knows what to say, what ever teen girl aspires to. It’s a good mechanism, but the second time around now, not as alluring. And the thriller aspect of the story also isn’t very strong. It feels more like a law-and-order type of story. But I do also love those when done right. They remind me of early Jodi Picoult.

Still, fans of Marshall and domestic thrillers will enjoy this one. Special thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for a free e-galley in exchange for my honest review.

Three Little Lies is available now. Get your copy!





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