New Zealand Woman’s Weekly

Mother of ALL LIES


- Nicky Pellegrino BOOKS EDITOR

Imagine if everything you thought you knew about your family turned out to be untrue. If it’s lies and no-one is what they seem. That’s the premise of this wonderfull­y tense psychologi­cal thriller.

Sophia believes her parents to be a couple who run a rumpty garden centre and café together. Her mother Nina is a bit clingy and is struggling with the fact Sophia has moved to London to pursue her career as an architect. So when she phones begging her daughter to come back to their Suffolk home, her daughter ignores her at first.

The next day, she makes the drive, arriving home to a horrific scene, her mother’s body hanging from the branches of a tree, her father stabbed almost to death and bleeding nearby.

Police treat the crime as an attempted murder/suicide, but a shattered Sophia is certain Nina would never have done such a thing. And when she discovers her mother has written a memoir and that a publisher is highly excited about it, she is even more confused. Why would anyone care about the story of Nina’s life?

The truth lies in three missing notebooks, where Nina has spelled out the secrets of her past. When Sophia finds them, she will learn who her mother and father really are, and uncover an astonishin­g tale of naivety and exploitati­on.

No spoilers here, it’s enough to say that Nina’s notebooks take this story in a very different direction and gradually it becomes clear to Sophia that she too might be in danger.

Everything is Lies is all that a thriller should be. It’s an edge-of-theseat, briskly paced twister, with a simmering sense of threat. And there’s depth and poignancy to it as well. This is a mother/daughter story that examines the way we never fully know those we are closest to.

While there were enough clues strewn about for me to pretty much solve the mystery before the big reveal, that didn’t ruin at all the suspense of this darkly original page-turner.

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