BOOK REVIEW – Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena

A chilling look into what it means to be a part of a family with a child who is ‘different’. Lapena gets it spot on, and adds her own personal touch of drama to the mix, making this a page-turning thriller that will leave you literally open-mouthed once you’ve read those final words!

Dr William Wooler is a respected doctor who’s having an affair with Nora – a neighbour and colleague. But the affair is now over and he’s despondant as this was unexpected. He decides to take the rest of the day off and goes home, expecting to find the house empty so that he can get some peace and quiet and clear his head. But he discovers that his problematic 9-year-old daughter Avery is home. He’s certainly not in the right frame of mind to deal with her! Could his day get any worse? Well, it’s about to …

A few hours later his wife calls him and tells him that Avery is missing. He’s horrified! How could their little girl just disappear in their safe neighbourhood?

As the police start their investigations, it becomes apparent that more than one of two of the Woolers’ neighbours might have some secrets that they’d prefer not to share. It seems that in the race against time to find Avery Wooler, the police are going to have to separate truth from lies; fact from fiction.

Shari Lapena has been referred to as the “Queen of the One-Sit Read” (by Linwood Barclay, no less!), and for good reason. This is another unputdownable page turner that’s not only a fabulous thriller, but also looks at the dynamics of a family struggling to come to terms with a challenging child. It shows how this effects their interactions not only with each other within their own family circle, but with those who they come into contact with on a regular basis, and who are familiar with them on various levels.

Lapena is sensitive to those who don’t ‘fit’ and allows the reader a look into the worlds of the ‘other’ – yes, she might sometimes do it in an off-beat, and rather disturbing way! But it gives us a deeper understanding of the difficulties that many people face in having to get up every single day and finding a way fit in with a world that just does not have space for them. She’s a master at making it glaringly obvious that life is not smooth sailing for everyone and we shouldn’t take it for granted that it is!

Highly recommended!


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