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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Lies She Told

ISBN: 9781683312956

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: 9/12/2017

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction. Liza Jones has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing down in both her professional and her personal life, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine. Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone providing for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, Beth sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the river.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the Hudson and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.


My Review

LIES SHE TOLD by Cate Holahan is a dark and twisty mind-bending thriller with more than one unreliable narrator.

On almost every page, this imaginative psychological thriller forces the reader to reconsider what is real. A book within a book when the lines of fact and fiction are blurred.

“The most dangerous untruths are truths slightly distorted.” — Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook H

Manhattan author Liza, (of romantic suspense) is under extreme pressure with her upcoming novel.

Trevor, a forty-two-year-old (editor) is telling a thirty-five-year-old woman in the middle of her target audience demographic, what her peers want in the sack. He thinks he knows trends.

Alternating between Liza’s POV in the real world, and Beth (the protagonist) in Liza’s novel. Needless to say, both these ladies lives are complex.

"Blurring fact and fantasy is my trade. I am a con artist. A prevaricator. I make up stories." So why does he think this one is real?

David Jacobson, husband of twelve years. Nick Landau, David’s law partner is missing. Nick never liked Liza.

Liza and David have been unable to conceive. Both the anxiety of this plus her writing deadlines push her to get lost in her characters. Their marriage is strained.

. . . She does not invent her characters. She steals them from her surroundings. To be a writer is to be a life thief. Every day she robs herself blind.

"It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place." —Henry Louis Mencken, A Little Book in C Major

As the pressure of the deadlines mount, Liza becomes immersed in her heroine. Unfaithful? Murder?

Is she writing about her own life?

Beth has a new baby and her husband, Jake is a prosecutor. He is cheating, while she is home taking care of the baby. The sexy officer, Colleen. The psychiatrist, Tyler, and an old friend.

Will both stories lead to murder? The lines are blurred.

Who is telling the truth? Who is not? Two stories intertwined.

The author cleverly draws readers into a world where truth blends with delusion, plus more. . .

Dark, twisty, and sinister grip-lit. The author keeps the reader on its toes while switching from fact and fiction while questioning every move.

Chilling, unique, intriguing, and disturbing, LIES SHE TOLD, will keep readers turning the pages. With all the books about LIES these days, this one definitely takes a distinctive spin.

A special thank you to Crooked Lane and NetGalley for an early reading digital copy.

I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Amy McFadden and Lisa Larsen, for a captivating performance.

Review Links:



“A suffocating double nightmare…‘To be a writer is to be a life thief.’”―Kirkus starred review

“Recommended for anyone who enjoys Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn, primarily because it’s better.”―Library Journal

“Engrossing…Holahan keeps the suspense high…until the surprising denouement.”―Publishers Weekly

“A swift and intriguing psychological thriller heavy with surprises.”―Foreword Reviews starred review

“If you can only pick one psychological thriller to read this fall, it needs to be Holahan’s Lies She Told…”―RT Book Reviews"

"Lies She Told had me questioning my own sanity, biting my cuticles well into the night, and jumping at the sound of my cat snacking in the kitchen. The best kind of suspense writer, Holahan will keep readers slightly off balance all the way through the book. Author and character so completely overlap, it makes the reader wonder if art is imitating life or life is imitating art. An excellent and compelling psychological read!" Susan Crawford, bestselling author of The Pocket Wife and The Other Widow

"This was a thriller I couldn't put down. Cate Holahan expertly constructs two parallel stories connected in unexpected ways with a twist that left me thinking about the characters long after I turned the final page." Rena Olsen, author of The Girl Before

“Brilliantly conceived, chillingly conveyed, Lies She Told is a mind-bender of a novel within a novel, with a story that is both gut-wrenching and compulsively readable. Cate Holahan is one of the best psychological suspense writers out there, and she’s only getting better. Read her.” Brad Parks, Shamus, Nero, and Lefty Award-winning author of Say Nothing

"A page-turner of the top order, cleverly conceived, brilliantly executed and impossible to put down. Cate Holahan has proven herself a master of psychological suspense…This mind-bending tale of jealousy, love, and revenge should be at the top of everyone’s summer reading list." Allison Leotta, author of The Last Good Girl

"Wow. Just wow. As soon as you think you've figured it out, Cate Holahan hits you with a twist you did. Not. See. Coming…A taut story." Alexia Gordon, award-winning author of Murder in G Major and Death in D Minor

“[A] masterpiece.…Lies She Told is guaranteed to make Cate Holahan a household name.” Joe Clifford, author of the Jay Porter thriller series

"Intricate, intense, and completely sinister―the talented Cate Holahan keeps you guessing until the final disturbing page." Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Say No More

"A chilling story…Cate Holahan keeps you guessing―and turning the pages―right to the end." Patrick Lee, NYT bestselling author of the Sam Dryden and Travis Chase trilogies


About the Author

Cate Holahan is the acclaimed author of thrillers Dark Turns (Crooked Lane Books, Nov. 2015) and The Widower's Wife (Crooked Lane Books, Aug. 2016). The latter was named one of Kirkus' Best Books of 2016. Her third novel, Lies She Told, will be published by Crooked Lane Books in September. In her former life, she was an award-winning print journalist and, subsequently, a television producer at CNBC.

She has written for BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe and The Record Newspaper, among other outlets. She also was the lead singer of an original rock band that she regularly threatens to reunite. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, ages 7 and 5, and dog. Read More






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