Where the Truth Lies by Anna Bailey, 3.5 Stars

Anna Bailey has an interesting backstory. She went to school to be a writer, which obviously you don’t need a degree to write, but I’m sure the advice and mentors come in handy. Then she moved from the UK to Colorado…and worked as a barista at Starbucks. And that’s the same story as so many people I know, and yet it seems so much more exotic because she’s from the UK. She must have been such a cool barista with an English accent.

But yay for her, because she returned home and took her experiences working as a barista in a small town in Colorado and turned them into….her first book. Tada! And it’s a good one at that. And who knows, if she had never lived in that small town in Colorado, maybe she wouldn’t have found the inspiration to finally put pen to paper? We may never know.

From the Publisher:

The town of Whistling Ridge guards its secrets.

When seventeen-year-old Abigail goes missing, her best friend Emma, compelled by the guilt of leaving her alone at a party in the woods, sets out to discover the truth about what happened. The police initially believe Abi ran away, but Emma doesn’t believe that her friend would leave without her, and when officers find disturbing evidence in the nearby woods, the festering secrets and longstanding resentment of both Abigail’s family and the people of Whistling Ridge, Colorado begin to surface with devastating consequences.

Among those secrets: Abi’s older brother Noah’s passionate, dangerous love for the handsome Rat, a recently arrived Romanian immigrant who has recently made his home in the trailer park in town; her younger brother Jude’s feeling that he knows information he should tell the police, if only he could put it into words; Abi’s father’s mercurial, unpredictable rages and her mother’s silence. Then there is the rest of Whistling Ridge, where a charismatic preacher advocates for God’s love in language that mirrors violence, under the sway of the powerful businessman who rules the town, insular and wary of outsiders.

But Abi had secrets, too, and the closer Emma grows to unraveling the past, the farther she feels from her friend. And in a tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark—the truth of what really happened that night—to change their community forever.

My Review:

Abi is one of those girls who you just know is going to make it out of her small town. She’s beautiful, she’s independent, she’s got spunk and she can take care of herself. All the essentials are there. But sometimes, you can’t overcome a dysfunctional. It’s in her family, it’s in the town, it’s even running rampant at the church. So what happened to Abi?

As we learn more about everyone she left behind when she disappeared, there are many suspects that it’s almost impossible to tell. And beyond that, there’s so much reason why she would just disappear on her own too. We’ve got her alcoholic dad who is seriously messed up from his time in Vietnam. Her mom, who, despite being abused for years, stays with her abuser and allows her children to suffer too. We have the hot, but slightly criminal boy from a good family and the quirky independent Persian guy who the whole town hates just because he’s different.

There’s much going on in Where the Truth Lies, it will keep you turning pages far past your bedtime. Special thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review. This one is out August 3. Get your copy!


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