Lie With Me – Sabine Durrant

Rating: 5 stars

I picked up Sabine Durrant’s Lie With Me in Marylebone station, because I wanted something to read on a long train journey. It was late, and I figured I would read a couple of chapters and then watch something I’d downloaded for the journey. Boy was I mistaken.

Lie With Me tells the story of Paul – playboy, exaggerator, sleazy philanderer and, most of all, liar. Following some literary success in his youth, Paul now flat-sits for more successful friends, passes the flat off as his own, sleeps with much younger women, and lives in fear of ending up living with his mother. When the opportunity to sponge off a widowed woman his own age presents itself, Paul takes up with the apparently vulnerable (but unsettlingly cold) Alice and blags his way on a family holiday to Greece. The rest – I shall not spoil!

lie with me 2.jpgThe great strength of Lie With Me is in its characters: Paul is the narrator we (I?) love to hate – always staring down women’s tops, and at the bums of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter and her friend, always casually putting other people’s things in his pocket; Alice is somehow both vulnerable and unavailable, both worldly and absent.

The narrative is perfectly paced, and we get just enough to guess at the twist before it is revealed, but not so much that we feel as if we know what it is going to be too early on. I read the book in less than twenty-four hours, and I would be surprised if many other readers didn’t – like me – struggle to put it down.

I would strongly recommend this to any readers!

Louise CAV ReviewsReviewed by Louise

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On a Small Island – Grant Nicol

When the author sent through the review copy of this book, he said, ‘I hope you enjoy it.’

on a small islandEnjoy’ is the wrong word. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been more upset or unsettled by a novel. Grant Nicol tells the story of Ylfa, a free-spirited but directionless young woman living on her own in Reykjavik. When a young man is horribly murdered on her father’s farm she is determined to unravel the mystery. However, she isn’t prepared for what follows. What should have been an isolated incident spins into a dark and crooked tale involving kidnapping, arson and rape.

At its heart, On a Small Island is about our inability to escape our past. The setting in Iceland is perfect, and Nicol gives a wonderful sense of the claustrophobia of a small community. The denouement is unfortunately handled a little too quickly, but the book remains gripping throughout.

I’m not sure I can say all that much more without giving too much away. Read this book. Just don’t expect to sleep easily for the next week or so.

Rating: 4.5 stars

profile2Reviewed by Nick

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