The safest lies by Megan Miranda

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241344408.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Mystery and suspense, Fear, Kidnapping, Agoraphobia. Wow, another great page-turner from Miranda, who is fabulous at writing exciting thrillers featuring interesting heroines. Kelsey is a young woman who has been raised by her mother to see danger everywhere. Her mother never leaves the house and has a safe room, fully equipped for any emergency. When Kelsey has a car accident and goes over a cliff, and her mother's real name is printed in the news report of the accident, what follows makes Kelsey wonder if her mother's paranoia about hiding and keeping safe after her abduction and torture as a teenager is real.
With a cliffhanger at the end of the first chapter and a graphic and nail-biting description of the car accident and resulting rescue attempted by volunteer firefighter Ryan, the reader is hooked into the story and it is virtually impossible to put it down until all is revealed at the end. The descriptions of all the measures that Kelsey's mother takes to secure their home and provide for a possible invasion are detailed and fascinating and provide the background to the question about fear, and whether it can be handed down in DNA or learnt by observation. However, Kelsey may be afraid, but she is resourceful and when faced with danger and a missing mother, manages to think through issues and plan what to do. Ryan, the love interest, is also adept at handling emergencies and the pair make good partners when things get tough.
This is definitely a read for anyone who enjoys suspense, likes a strong heroine and enjoys a book that keeps the suspense alive. Readers who enjoyed Two can keep a secret by Karen McManus and Broken things by Lauren Oliver are sure to want to pick up The safest lies.
Pat Pledger