Emily Klein doesn’t know she has killed her husband until the day of his funeral. At first, signs point to a tragic accident. Yet, as Emily pieces together the events before his death – events which led to her own memory loss – she begins to suspect that her husband’s death may have been the result of more than a terrible twist of fate… But the accident is only the beginning. Because while Emily’s physical scars will heal, the trauma of the accident has awakened old ghosts. She hears strange sounds, catches things that can’t possibly be there in the corner of her eye. Before long, everywhere she looks, she seems to see her husband. And suddenly, Emily finds herself asking the most dangerous question of all: Can she really trust herself?
This review is spoiler free and provided to me for free for an honest review for the Those Who Lie blog tour. With all the formalities out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff.
Those Who Lie is a very good story. It’s interesting how the events unfold from Emily waking up and sort of unfolding her thoughts about her husband to even the very end when you learn the truth of it all. I sadly guessed the ending and spoiled myself for the ending but, it didn’t ruin the experience much for me. Something else I can compliment is how it had all the right elements for the a mystery: red herrings, distractions of subplots, and details about other matters to again distract you from the matter at hand.
Unfortunately, what made the reading a task for me was the writing itself. Jeffrey spends more time explaining more unnecessary details than fleshing out characters. It’s not a terrible thing, but I wish that I knew more about each character. Characters such as Emily’s step brother, Matt, and best friend, Pippa, were so suddenly thrown into the mix that it was hard to remember who was who. This along with the sort of paced explanations of people, it felt almost like a surprise that Emily and such and such had this kind of xyz relationship. It felt as though many things were left out where they needed to be.
Emily even was very hard to relate to because it was hard to determine almost how reliable she was or, honestly, how she truthfully felt about someone. The unreliability wasn’t a flaw or even a fault, but again it was more of her unreliable emotions about someone that made it harder for me as the reader to determine if the person was worth liking, worth suspecting, or an enemy. For instance, when Emily is sent away, she begins a correspondence with a friend of Amanda’s (her sister) named Will, but that chapter itself feels rushed and a little shallow that the interaction seems almost meaningless. It’s almost hard to understand her logic and her response in some reactions which makes it even harder to understand how one is supposed to feel about that character.
The other difficulty was the show vs tell aspect of the writing. What could have been shown was told and what was told could have been shown. It was hard to relate to some characters because of this aspect. In some ways, it felt as though I was being lead into the story rather than being one with the story. In the beginning there was a scene of Emily looking for her husbands laptop and I recall feeling a bit annoyed and impatient to finish the scene and move on. It wasn’t the intended response, of course, but those small interactions and scenes happen a bit often where in fewer words or interactions, the scene’s resolution can be met and the subplot or plot can continue.
Despite my issue with the writing, I would love to read more from Jeffrey’s. There is a special element to her story telling that I do thoroughly enjoy. My sleuth behavior was to blame for guessing the ending but again, it didn’t spoil the experience for me at the least. I would truthfully give it a 3/5 stars. Also, if anyone is interested in guessing the mystery (hopefully slower than I did) there’s a giveaway for everything pictured above. Test your luck and enter here via rafflecopter.