Title: All Your Little Lies
Author: Marianne Holmes
Publisher: Agora Books
Date of publication: 22nd October 2020
Format reviewed: E-ARC
Number of pages: 320
When everything you say is a lie, can you even remember the truth?
Annie lives a quiet, contained, content life. She goes to work. She meets her friend. She’s kind of in a relationship. She’s happy. Not lonely at all.
If only more people could see how friendly she is — how eager to help and please. Then she could tick “Full Happy Life” off her list. But no one sees that side of Annie, and she can’t understand why.
That all changes the night Chloe Hills disappears. And Annie is the last person to see her.
This is her chance to prove to everybody that she’s worth something. That is, until she becomes a suspect.
Drenched in atmosphere and taut with tension, All Your Little Lies takes a hard look at why good people do bad things.
Two years ago, I read A Little Bird Told Me and adored it, so when I heard of Marianne Holmes new novel, I jumped on the opportunity to read it.
All Your Little Lies is very different from A Little Bird Told Me, however it is equally compelling. The shades of darkness don’t match but have the same addictive effect.
I found Annie to be a very strange main character. I’ve read my share of strange, but she is a woman who gave me a hard time! I disliked her pretty much straight away. First impression? I don’t know but being privy to her thoughts did not do anything to help!
When we meet her, she is breaking into a man’s apartment. It soon becomes clear she knows the guy, and that she is not sane!!! Well, the funny thing is I truly thought she was completely bunkers, but the more I read, the more I got to know her. It doesn’t mean I warmed up to her, but I could – if not understand – at least get an idea about the motivations behind her behavior.
The next day, the vanishing of a schoolgirl hits the news and Annie hard. I had no idea why we were jumping from a weird night to a piece of news, but I was intrigued. Intrigued is actually how I felt throughout the book. Amazingly intrigued. I noticed a fine thread between Annie’s life and what was happening in her neighborhood. Annie was fascinated by the disappearance of this girl, and her life being as bare as it was, she clang to it like a mosquito to my skin.
Annie’s life is empty. She only has one friend, who squeezes her into her life when possible, an okay nine to five job, no pet, no love relationship… well, in the strict sense of the word. Annie is longing for people to see her as she is, to fit in, and be surrounded with people. Still, whenever she tries, it is quite… disastrous? She reads the signs and situations in her own way, and that can’t lead to the truth…
The truth; the heart of this story. To hide her breaking into an apartment, Annie has no other choice but to stay silent. No one would understand her reasons. But then she discovers she is linked to the disappearance of Charlotte, the schoolgirl. The only way to get out of her personal mess and get rid of whatever people would make of her being tangled in the headline news is to lie. So she lies. The whole book is a pile of lies. One lie leads to another, and before she knows it, Annie has weaved the trickiest web!
Her tailspin is slow and gripping. Each chapter recounts the events of a time of a day. Thursday night, Friday morning, Friday afternoon… This gave me a true feel of watching Annie, of being the stalker behind the curtain, the fly on the wall. I loved it.
I also believe that being so different from Annie, there was a kind of voyeurism to my reading. How far would things go? How many lies could she use before it all came back to hit her in the face? Why was she so off? Even before the events triggering anxiety and paranoia in her?
Marianne Holmes is a really clever author who knows how to write stories that ensnare and consume you. If I was curious about the lies, I had no idea just how many were hiding inside the pages of this book.
In the end, Annie’s lies forced her to hit rock bottom and free herself in such a violent and strong way that I left the book feeling close to her. If you’d told me it would end like this when I began reading, I would have laughed at your face. That’s the sign of a good read, and a cracking thriller.
I loved it!
You can grab your copy here! (only £1.99 at the time this post is published)
I would like to thank Peyton at Agora Books for inviting me to be part of this book tour and for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
My review of A Little Bird Told Me
Marianne Holmes is the author of A Little Bird Told Me, published by Agora Books in 2018. She was born in Cyprus and bounced around the UK, Germany, Kuwait and Belgium with her RAF parents as a child but is now firmly based in London with her own family. She has degrees in Classics (RHUL) and Linguistics (UCL), neither of which got much use while she worked in marketing.