Prather’s Pick: A novel driven by lies
The plot of this week’s novel is based on a number of lies, one right after the other. Thus, there are numerous twists and turns, and while all thrillers have surprise endings, this week’s novel has a dilly.
“Lies,” was written by T.M. Logan, who is also the author of “29 Seconds.”
Cell phones and social media play a big role in the novel that is set in London. Joe Lynch, the leading character, teaches English. He’s been married to Mel for nine years, and they have a four-year-old son named William. Mel has clients in some sort of business of her own, and she enjoys activities such as tennis.
One day, after school, Joe and William are heading home. William loves cars and has a knack for being able to identify them so as they ride along William calls out, “Audi…Renault…Bimmer.”
Then, suddenly William says, “Mummy car.”
Sure enough, it is Mel’s VW Golf. She doesn’t notice them as she turns into a Premier Inn.
Joe thinks that she’s meeting a client and continues to drive on home, but William wants to show his mother the Superstar Certificate he had received at school. So Joe tells him they will surprise Mummy and drives into the parking garage at the hotel.
When they go inside they find Mel with her back turned to them. She’s with a man—a man who Joe knows. It’s Ben Delaney, a successful businessman who is married to Beth, one of Mel’s best friends. They have a fourteen-year-old daughter named Alice.
Joe notices that Ben is angry, pointing his finger at Mel. Joe backs William out of the hotel and to the car to wait for his wife. He texts her. No answer. When she comes out, her head is down, and she looks upset. She doesn’t notice Joe. She gets in her car and exits the hotel.
Then Ben comes out. Joe waves and calls out to him. He gets out of the car. Ben claims that he hasn’t seen Mel. When Joe questions him further, Ben becomes angry and calls Joe a “classic underachiever.” He shoves Joe back against his car.
Joe is taller and heavier than Ben. He doesn’t want to hurt Ben so he just gives him a little push. Ben stumbles backward, trips over his briefcase, and hits his head on the concrete. He’s on his back, his eyes closed and his mouth open. Blood trickles from his ear.
Joe bends over Ben, but then he notices William standing close by. There’s a catch in his voice. He’s scared. He has suffered from asthma from an early age, and now he can’t breathe. Joe thinks about the boy’s inhaler, but they don’t have it with them. He panics, puts William in the car and races home.
Later, Joe checks up on Ben. His car is gone. There’s no police tape. Then Ben goes missing. That’s not all that’s missing, either. Joe has lost his cell phone and a bracelet. The lies begin.
This book is published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks. The book costs $9.99 in paperback.
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