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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Behind Every Lie

ISBN: 978-1501184031

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 02/04/2020

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars Top Books of 2020 Q&A with Author If you can’t remember it

Eva Hansen wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and discovers her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street, but she can’t remember what happened. And then she learns the police are suspicious of her. How do you prove you didn’t do it? Determined to clear her name, Eva heads from Seattle to London—Kat’s former home—for answers. But as she unravels her mother’s carefully held secrets, Eva soon realizes that someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. And with violent memories beginning to emerge, Eva doesn’t know who to trust. Least of all herself.

Told in alternating perspectives from Eva’s search for answers and Kat’s mysterious past, Christina McDonald has crafted another “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) domestic thriller. Behind Every Lie explores the complicated nature of mother-daughter relationships, family trauma, and the danger behind long-held secrets.

My Review

Check out my exciting in-depth Q&A Elevator Ride Interview with Christina McDonald

and this smashing new book BEHIND EVERY LIE!

Last February, we were "wowed" by Christina McDonald's knock-out thriller debut, The Night Olivia Fell which has been optioned for television by a major Hollywood studio. Check out my Q&A interview for all the "behind-the-scenes moments" and more about this talented new author.

Christina is a pro at delving into the complex relationships between mother and daughter. And in the lives of her characters. She takes us on an intense, suspenseful, and mysterious journey of dark family secrets and trauma, alternating from past to present—as Eva searches for the truth leading up to the event of her mother's murder.

Rich in character and place. Beautifully written, infused with lyrical prose and stunning metaphors, BEHIND EVERY LIE, is "Captivating, Atmospheric, and Illuminating."

Eva finds herself in a confused state due to being struck by lightning. The lines become blurred —what happened the night her mom was murdered? Is she to blame, or is there something more sinister at play? Does she want to know the truth, and can she trust herself?

There is so much here! The dual settings, from past to present, Whidbey Island/Seattle area to London, England. I am a huge Whidbey Island fan and always love visiting the area in person and in my reading.

The author sets the mood with her vivid descriptions bringing a strong sense of foreboding and impending doom. As a reader, you are drawn into the rich settings throughout the book, which I find critical.

From the elements of earth, still-gray waters churning behind the ferry, the isolation, and the weather. The land reached only by a ferry, the rain, lightning, dark clouds, and fire—all give you that chilling, atmospheric, unsettling, mysterious, and eerie vibe, which adds further to the intrigue.

All things “ART” play a big part in BEHIND EVERY LIE. I found the kintsugi technique called “yobitsugi” fascinating and the Lichtenberg figures! Also, the metaphors of broken pieces combined with the new —as relates to the character’s lives and transforms the broken.

There are many strong themes, family secrets, emotions, and highly charged topics addressed in the novel. From the darkness, the unknown, a dark past, guilt, fear, abuse, sadness, and a world of “broken promises, dreams, and hearts” —there comes something beautiful. The new cleanse the old. There is happiness, and joy, and new life, as she reiterates in the novel.

“We are not defined by our tragedies or mistakes, but by the pieces of all combined and the range of human emotions to be experienced.”

Something beautiful comes out of damaged and broken. There are many parallels and beautiful metaphors as relates to art and the character's lives, and she describes eloquently. Memories are a big part of the novel. They become distorted, twisted, to suit the teller, or ignored and forgotten, push away. I enjoyed how she explored these from different angles.

Set aside the time. It is unputdownable! This is a "must-read" cleverly crafted, emotionally charged domestic thriller. Fans of Mary Kubica, Heather Gudenkauf, A.J. Banner, and Kimberly Belle (all favorites), will find a lot to LOVE here. 5 Glowing Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Elevator Interview with Christian McDonald


“A layered, gut-wrenching domestic thriller that explores the complexities of mothers and daughters, and the secrets families keep. Smart and intense, and with more than enough twists to give you whiplash, McDonald’s beautiful, emotional storytelling will leave you breathless. I don’t think I exhaled until the end.”

—Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts, ITW Award winner for Best Novel

“Brilliantly intertwines page-turning suspense with jaw-dropping family secrets. An emotionally-charged domestic thriller that is sure to please!”

—Wendy Walker, national bestselling author of The Night Before

“A deep, suspenseful novel packed with family secrets. Christina McDonald has a true gift for creating characters that are so well-developed, it feels like you know them. An outstanding achievement!”

—Samantha Downing, author of the #1 international bestseller My Lovely Wife

“Starts with a bang, then builds the action steadily, a gradual unfolding of secrets and lies that will have you constantly switching alliances. Read it like I did, in one sitting and straight through to The End, because you won’t want to put this one down.”

—Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author

“A clever, tense, and absorbing novel—this tale of family secrets had me racing towards the final pages.”

—Emma Rous, bestselling author of The Au Pair

“A cleverly plotted and emotionally charged page-turner about memory, trusting yourself, grieving, and letting go. Family secrets run deep in this compelling exploration of how far a mother will go to protect her child. Full of twists and turns, this is domestic suspense at its best!” —Karen Katchur, bestselling author of River Bodies

“A lightning strike survivor discovers that memories are fallible, identities are fungible, and she can’t trust anyone—including herself. With nuanced and dubiously trustworthy characters, dual timelines revealing decades of secrets, and a tension-packed plot…an engrossing and utterly addictive thriller. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!”

—Kathleen Barber, author of Truth Be Told, soon to be adapted into an Apple TV series by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine

“Addictive and emotionally resonant, BEHIND EVERY LIE is a twisty, fast-paced thriller with secrets nestled inside secrets. Nothing is as it seems in this story exploring the sorrow and strength of brokenness, and with complex characters and a relentlessly compelling plot, you’ll be unable to stop reading it—or forget it once you do. ”

—Megan Collins, author of The Winter Sister


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About the Author

Christina McDonald

Christina McDonald is an author of domestic suspense novels, including The Night Olivia Fell, which has been optioned for TV by a major Hollywood studio. She has worked for companies such as, The Sunday Times, Dublin, and Expedia. Originally from Seattle, WA, she has an MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland Galway, and now lives in London, England with her husband, two sons, and their dog, Tango.

Christina enjoys reading, hiking and lifting weights at the gym. She always wanted to be a writer, and told her earliest stories to her two younger sisters, who were her first audience, cheerleaders and sounding board. She has a BA in Communications from the University of Washington, Seattle and an MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Going to college in Ireland wasn’t part of the master plan, but happened randomly when Christina went travelling and arrived completely jet lagged at Heathrow Airport in London, caught sight of the Aer Lingus desk, and spontaneously bought a ticket to Ireland. She loved it so much she went back the following year to study.

She is currently writing her third novel.






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