Review Blog

May 31 2018

The lies they tell by Gillian French

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HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9781460755808
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Themes: Mystery. Social class. Pearl Haskin is convinced that her father had nothing to do with the fire that killed the rich Garrison family. Blamed by the affluent summer residents of Tenney's Harbor, her father once caretaker of the Garrison's estate, is struggling to find work and stay sober. Tristan Garrison is the only survivor of the tragedy and when he and his friends come back she is determined to get to know them and try and uncover what really happened that night. But there are dark secrets and danger as she gets closer to the truth.
The difference in social class is marked in Tenney's Harbor, the working class townies are separated from the privileged rich and rarely mix socially. Pearl and her friends work at the club frequented by the summer crowd, those very rich people who own estates and sail in the bay. Pearl is a calm, gutsy young woman who gradually gets to know Bridges, one of Tristan's inner group and then Tristan, the sad lonely boy who has lost all his family. As she goes out with them, she begins to uncover what happened that last summer.
This is a tense, suspenseful mystery and the reader's heart will pound in fear for Pearl as she investigates the nasty things that occurred before the Garrison's death. There are lies and darkness pervades the story. It is so well written that French managed to keep me guessing right up until its very satisfying conclusion.
Fans of the mystery genre will love this book which is perfect for those who liked One of us is lying by Karen McManus and Small spaces by Sarah Epstein.
Pat Pledger

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