BOOK REVIEW – Fragile Lies by Laura Elliot

Fragile Lies

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture in return for my honest review.

I struggled to get into this book, and found that I was reading it in fits and starts. Some parts were quite engaging but on the whole, I didn’t find it as enjoyable as many other books I’ve read recently.

The book opens with what is meant to be a romantic getaway for a couple who seem to be very much in love. But their evening is cut short by the appearance of someone who may recognise them and we quickly realise they are not meant to be there together and that this is an illicit liaison. One thing leads to another, and the evening ends diabolically with a hit and run accident.

Lorraine Cheevers is nursing the devastation that comes with a broken marriage. She is packing up her home and moving, with her tempestuous teenage daughter Emily, to Trabawn, the quiet village where she spent her childhood holidays.

Told through a series of flashbacks, we meet Lorraine’s cousin and then best friend Virginia, her punk rocker boyfriend Razor (later to grow up and become Ralph), and Adrian who Lorraine falls madly in love with and later marries. From the start I found Virginia to be a fickle cow and Adrian to be wholly unlikeable. I still can’t decide about Ralph, but I think he’s probably overall a good guy who quite rightly didn’t take well to being cheated on and treated like a chump.

And then there are the chapters where Killian, victim of the hit-and-run we witnessed in the prologue, is visited by family and friends who continue to talk to him and tell him what’s happening in the life that he is missing. I couldn’t get into these short chapters. I found them choppy, and was often unable to figure out who was talking to Killian at any given time. Mostly though, it’s his father Michael Carmody, who is determined to discover who did this to his only child.

He thinks he’s figured it out, and goes in search of the culprit, only to find that things are most certainly not as they seem, and not as clear as he thought they were. I figured out what had happened at exactly 43% into the book. I took a while to decide whether we’re meant to figure things out at that point or not, but have come to the conclusion that we are supposed to realise earlier, rather than later, what’s going on! This is actually quite a refreshing twist, as usually one needs to read an entire book to get to the crux of the matter. Here you actually need to know by at least half-way through what’s happened, otherwise you won’t figure out what’s going on in the remainder of the story! So, very clever writing there!

I found the ending to be quite rushed in order to get everything neatly wrapped up. Lorraine does come into her own by the end of the story – up until then I didn’t feel that her personality had developed enough. Slowly but surely though, by the end, her strength does shine through and I felt quite pleased for her for overcoming the odds.

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