Title: Everything Is Lies
Author: Helen Callaghan
Publisher: Michael Joseph
No-one is who you think they are
Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed.
Everyone has secrets
Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death.
Especially those closest to you
The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn’t a killer. As her father is too ill to talk it is up to Sophia to clear her mother’s name. And to do this she needs to delve deep into her family’s past – a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .
What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?
Everything Is Lies is an intriguing read that took me by surprise – the synopsis doesn’t really give much away, and so I didn’t have any expectations about what was to come (and therefore, in this review, I’m going to avoid giving anything away that can’t be worked out from the back cover. Keeps it interesting!).
There are two main narratives in play here – one set in the present day and told through the eyes of Sophia, who heads to her parents’ house one day to find her mother has seemingly hung herself – but not before stabbing her father. Distraught, Sophia starts to uncover things she never knew about her mother which means all might not be as it seems… We then go back in time to the 80’s, and into the journals that her mother Nina has written. Through these we see what exactly happened all those years ago as it all intriguingly unfolds right in front of our (and Sophia’s) eyes…
Although this is, ultimately, a mystery/ thriller, I found that I could imagine a lot of it actually happening, particularly the storyline set in the past. I don’t want to give much away but Helen Callaghan writes in a way that makes you realise how easy it actually could be to find yourself in a situation like Sophia’s mother Nina, especially if you’re young, impressionable and have grown up without too much love and attention from your parents. This makes it all the more chilling, really, and I think I enjoyed this storyline more than the present day one, as it was just so engaging and gripping; it’s like a car crash – you know it’s all going to go wrong for Nina somehow, but all you can do is buckle in and watch everything unfold… I liked the way Sophia pieced everything together in the present-day storyline, though, and how it all came together.
Everything Is Lies is a well-written, gripping peek into a different world – of depravity, control and influence – which kept me turning page after page.
Many thanks to Michael Joseph for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
Everything Is Lies is out on 22 February!