Today I’m VERY excited to bring you a review for The Liar’s Room, the new release from Simon Lelic!
Title: The Liar’s Room
Author: Simon Lelic
ONE ROOM. TWO LIARS. NO WAY OUT…
Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.
But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?
Then Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt.
And Susanna realises she was wrong.
She doesn’t know him.
BUT HE KNOWS HER.
AND THE GIRL HE PLANS TO HURT IS HER DAUGHTER…
The bar was set very high by Simon Lelic’s first novel, The House [read my review here], and I’m very happy to report that The Liar’s Room, though a fairly different read, is just as gripping!
This story centers around one location really, in that it’s all about counsellor Susanna and her client Adam, who seems to know too much about Susanna’s ‘previous life’ that she’s tried so hard to keep a secret. Adam bring a level of threat to Susanna’s daughter, Emily, and she’s desperate to stop the awful events that Adam has already put in motion, seemingly to punish her – but why?
Part of the enjoyment of this story is that you don’t really know what’s going on but, through flashbacks from Susanna’s past, as well as extracts from her daughter’s diaries, we slowly begin to find out more and more about what happened with Susanna’s son Jake. I found myself really wanting to find out what had happened with Jake, and the awful occurances that took place many years ago – this is the main storyline really, as everything taking place in the present day (in Susanna’s office) is all about finding out what happened before, what Adam has done to Emily, and why Adam is so angry. This one main setting creates a surprisingly claustrophobic atmopshere.
There are twists and surprises in this novel which I really enjoyed reading, and it made me really think about how I’d feel in a similar situation. Themes of responsibility and guilt are prevalent, as well as some shocking and disturbing parts which are difficult to read but made me even more invested in the story.
I liked the way Simon Lelic crafted the characters, making them believable enough but also incredibly interesting and flawed; they felt like they could be real people, and in addition to this the storyline itself felt fresh and different to others in this genre. I would really recommend this gripping read.
Many thanks to Penguin Books for providing an arc of this novel on which I wrote an honest and unbiased review.
[About the Author]
Simon Lelic was born in 1976 and has worked as a journalist in the UK and currently runs his own business in Brighton, England, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
Simon’s latest novel, The Liar’s Room, is available now in the UK, and will be released soon in the US. His previous novel, The House, was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club choice.
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