Happy Saturday! Yes, happy indeed! Because today we’re off to discuss Rachel Amphlett’s latest novel. If you are new here, let me tell you Rachel is a fantastic author, and one of my favourites!
My biggest thanks to Sarah @Books on the Bright Side for inviting me to be part of the blog tour!
Title: The Friend Who Lied
Author: Rachel Amphlett
Date of publication: 9 June 2019
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Number of pages: 362
What she doesn’t know might kill her…
Lisa Ashton receives a last-minute reprieve from death two weeks before her birthday. Regaining consciousness, she is horrified to learn one of her friends has been killed – and saved her life.
As she recovers, she uncovers a trail of carefully guarded reputations, disturbing rumours, and lies. Soon, Lisa begins to wonder if one of her friends is hiding a terrible secret.
Because five of them entered the escape room that day, and only four got out alive.
And someone is determined to cover their tracks before she can find out the truth.
Can Lisa find the killer before someone else dies?
If you love amazing crime fiction or spy novels, you probably know Rachel Amphlett. If you don’t… Where have you been????
Now, Rachel Amphlett steps into another genre, the psychological thriller. Some think a writer can master one genre, be good at a second, but that the chances of succeeding at a third are slim. Let me laugh and offer them a copy of The Friend Who Lied!
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer… But how close is too close?
Lisa wakes up in a hospital room. Her last memories are from her birthday, with her four friends, in an escape room. Now she is alone in a sterile room, and in pain. The opening chapter had my heart racing and my mind panicking as the description of confusion of the patient had me stuck in an unknown place with a woman I didn’t know! This is when I knew that I would not be able to put the book down. If the pace gets steadier as Lisa finds her way out of the fog and we meet the other protagonists, the tension only increases as point of views shifts and snippets of the fateful day are revealed among old memories and clever twists.
None of the characters are really likeable. I did feel sorry for Lisa at times, but it slowly faded away as I turned the pages, discovering that in the end, it was a million tiny (or not so tiny) things said and done by each of the group members that had led everyone to get stuck in this sticky cobweb with the death of a man hanging above their head.
The silence around Simon’s death made me suspicious very fast. How come five friends get into an escape room only to see four of them get out alive? You should feel safe when surrounded by your friends, shouldn’t you? But Lisa finds herself alone. Except she’s not the only one in this position. The more I read, the clearer their group appeared. Long-time friends have never looked more alone! I soon suspected love was not the glue that kept them together, and the unwillingness of Lisa’s friends to tell her what happened during their game was the perfect proof that something was off. I was faced with a scab and I was itching to tear it off!!! Rachel Amphlett plays with appearances, tugs at bonds, and scatters hints throughout the novel thanks to unique voices, personal motives, and her special knack to create cracked pictures you just HAVE to dissect until the hidden truth appears.
Lisa’s recovery perfectly contrasted with life going downside for everyone. Being the receiver of her friend’s kidney just in time to avoid death, Lisa is a natural suspect in Simon’s death. What are the odds that a healthy guy falls dead at your feet just when you need saving? But Lisa doesn’t remember much, and she can’t rely on anyone’s words as no one seems to want her to discover what exactly happened. Why? Easy. Everyone has something to hide, and their common denominator is Simon himself.
I never trusted Hayley, Bec, and David, the remaining members of that peculiar group of friends. I could only see them through clouds of mystery and questions. Every time I jumped from a character’s point of view to another, I could feel my train of thoughts becoming shakier. I could not for the sake of it understand those people, let alone find out what they were hiding! I was only able to witness a friendship fall, get damaged, and finally break. If you can’t trust your friend, who can you trust??? The magic in Rachel Amphlett’s ways is that despite the fact I couldn’t connect to the characters, the waves of authenticity with which each of them talked and acted, and their own issues, made me care. It made me wonder. It made me shiver and ask myself if anything could be saved or if nothing was sacred enough to find salvation.
I adored this novel and I can only applaud Rachel Amphlett for another stunning novel!
The Friend Who Lied is an amazing taut and addictive psychological thriller in which physical pain matches emotional pain, the toxicity of friendships staining the pages to allow the past to choke the present.
Keep track of this fabulous blog tour and spread the love!
Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor and English Spy Mysteries espionage novels and theDetective Kay Hunter British police procedural series.
She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.