The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite

June 2017

4/5 stars. Filled with raw emotion, as you would expect, this is a harrowing story of lies and deceit, gradually peeled back until the truth emerges.

Description

A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.

Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

My thoughts

Melanie’s daughter, Beth, is left for dead on the Lincolnshire marshes. What was she doing out there at night when she should have been at her best friend’s house? Who delivered the blow that left her for dead? Why doesn’t anyone seem to know anything about the events of that night? Why aren’t the police doing more to find her attacker?

While Beth lays trapped in a coma in hospital, Melanie needs to find answers to these questions and uncover the truth about what happened in the marshes.

Filled with raw emotion, as you would expect, this is a harrowing story of lies and deceit, gradually peeled back until the truth emerges. The author vividly describes the acute pain and soul searching of the parents as they grapple to come to terms with what happened. But Melanie’s need to uncover the truth, drives her to make her own enquiries.

While I empathised with Melanie’s pain, at times she seemed too self-obsessed, which made me lose sympathy with her and left me feeling the novel was a little longer than needed. I can’t say any more without spoiling what is an emotional powerhouse of a story, with deftly handled twists and turns.

A difficult subject to read, but expertly handled. Well worth reading.

4/5 stars

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