A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.
Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.
Nothing can shake her happiness - until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.
Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?
As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…
The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite is published by Bookoutre on 12 May 2017. I'm really pleased to host the Blog Tour here on Random Things today.
One of the first things that attracted me to this story was the setting. The wild and sometimes quite desolate Lincolnshire Fens. I live in Lincolnshire and I like nothing better to be able to really see a setting when I read a book. Barbara Copperthwaite has based the village of Fenmere on Friskney, and her great knowledge of the place adds so much to the telling of the story. That damp, silent, mysterious fenland takes centre stage in this book, beautifully and authentically described.
The Darkest Lies is a story of family and community. When teenager Beth Oak is found terribly injured on the marshes, shockwaves reverberate throughout Fenmore. This is a tiny village, inhabited by people who have spent most of their lives there. Their families are there, their friends and their workmates. Nothing ever happens in Fenmore, until now.
Beth's mother Melanie is determined that she will find out who did this to her beloved daughter. As Beth lies unconscious in a Leeds hospital, Melanie's world breaks into tiny pieces. She gives up her job, she tries to numb the pain with alcohol. She suspects anyone and everyone and she confronts anyone who she thinks may know something.
As Melanie's quest continues, her relationship with her husband Jacob starts to crumble. She sees a side to him that confuses her and disappoints her and begins to spend more time with an old friend from childhood who has recently returned to the village.
Told in three voices, The Darkest Lies is certainly a page turner. Young Beth's narrative was particularly engaging, as she has some very dark secrets she keeps from everyone who is close to her. Nestled between Beth's voice and that of Melanie are snippets from an unknown voice, but one that is quite terrifying. I did sometimes struggle with Melanie's narrative. She speaks to Beth as she relates her part of the story, and it felt a little forced and disjointed, sometimes she'd refer to her husband as Jacob, and other times he became 'your Dad'. I found this a little bit disorientating and each time it happened, it took me away from the story. Annoying as a reader, and maybe something for the author and her editor to consider?
Despite this, I did enjoy The Darkest Lies. Barbara Copperthwaite can certainly create a gripping story, and she deals with some very relevant and up to date issues; touching on the difficulties that Eastern European immigrants can encounter in Lincolnshire, and also delving into some darker and quite serious subjects.
I certainly didn't guess how this was going to end! The finale was very well written, with shocks and gasps a plenty. The Darkest Lies is a riveting read, the characters are very well crafted, although I have to say that I really didn't like many of them. However, the setting and sense of place is brilliantly portrayed, and adds real depth to the story.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in this Blog
Barbara is the author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD. Both have been Amazon best sellers. Her latest book, THE DARKEST LIES, is out on 12 May.
Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years' experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She's interviewed the real victims of crime - and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That's why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.
When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.
To find out more about Barbara's novels, go to www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCopperthwaite or follow @BCopperthwait on Twitter. To find out more about Barbara go to www.barbaracopperthwaite.com