Lie With Me
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books
29 December, 2016
If you like your fiction – crime or otherwise – to be different, rich in intrigue and as captivating a firework display at Epcot, then look no further than Sabine Durrant’s third novel Lie With Me. Furthermore, if you like your characters to be as dislikeable as the other, yet holding enough charisma to pull you into their individual stories, then this is the novel for you. In short, this is one terrific read.
It starts with a lie. The kind we've all told – to a former acquaintance we can't quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The next thing you know, you're having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday - swept up in their perfect life ... which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you're trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you - by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be – it's the lies that cause the real damage.
Paul is completely horrible. A person almost without redeeming features, it is testament to Durrant’s consummate skill that we feel anything but loathing for the man on all levels. Yet pull for him, gradually, we do, as his “friends” all show their own somewhat tawdry true colours.
The pace is meandering, yet in a way that not only misdirects and shifts the focus from that which is actually taking place – in an extremely good way, it should be said – but also somehow swallows the reader whole in a way similar to that in which a Venus flytrap consumes its prey.
Then there is Sabine Durrant’s powerfully poetic descriptive prose. You can feel the grimness of chilly, rainy London. You can feel the heat haze of the Greek islands. You can witness the fractures of dishonesty, subterfuge and deceit emerge page-on-page until finally all you can do is slam a hand over your mouth in abject frustration at what transpires.
This is a book that, once the blue touch paper has been lit, fizzes and crackles into brilliant sparks guaranteed to dazzle as much as any November the fifth rocket ever can.