LIE WITH ME BY SABINE DURRANT
Like her first two psychological thrillers, Under Your Skin and Remember Me This Way, Sabine Durrant’s Lie With Me has a firstperson narrator. This time, though, it’s a man – and a fairly dislikeable specimen at that. Paul Morris, a once‑promising novelist whose career is on the skids, is a habitual liar and a sponger with an inflated sense of his own superiority. When he meets Alice, an attractive but vulnerable woman, he talks his way into her bed – and then into an invitation to her villa on a Greek island. Which is where the strands of a web of guilt start to twine themselves insidiously around him…
The writing is taut and compelling, pulling us in. Durrant skilfully establishes character and atmosphere, imperceptibly building up the tension and quietly dropping in small details and seemingly random events that only later reveal their significance. Yet more cunningly, she succeeds by the end – especially after the final chilling revelation – in making us feel sorry for Paul, no matter that he’s the architect of his own downfall, and even in making us identify with him.
The sensation of reading this subtly crafted novel is of sliding, slowly but inexorably, into a dark, dank pit from which there’s no escape.