The Lie tells two stories, in alternating chapters - the present day, and the past events of five years ago. The present day follows Jane, a homebody who has a love for animals, her caring partner and his young daughter. But Jane doesn't actually exist, the life she has built for herself is all a lie. Her name isn't even Jane.
Five years ago, Jane (then known as Emma) and her three best friends set off on what should have been a trip of a lifetime to a yoga and meditation retreat in the mountains of Nepal, but the trip quickly turns into a nightmare of lies, deceit and disturbing secrets.
There is so much more I want to share about the plot of this story, but the less you know, the better when going into this book. Firstly, the characters were perfectly flawed in a way that made me love and hate them all at the same time. When I say love, however, I mean they're so great to read about. They are all so flawed it feels amazing, and a little bit scary, to get lost in their world. Whilst the book is mainly focused on Jane/Emma, we get to understand a lot of the other friends' thoughts, personalities and motivations - and that was one of the greatest things I liked about this book. Secondly, the friendship dynamics. Whilst there are a lot of themes that run throughout this book, female friendship group dynamics is undeniably one of the most prominent. The book explores not only the surface appearance of a close-knit female friendship group, but it looks beyond it, to the envy, anger, jealousy and other negative feelings that may bubble just below the surface. The messages within this book are so loud, I was thinking about them for days after putting this book down.
Finally, the storyline itself. The twists and turns were unexpected - something that is quintessential to a good psychological thriller - and I was really enjoying the feeling of being surprised. Saying "I couldn't put it down" is such a cliche when it comes to defining a good book, but it couldn't be more true for The Lie. Whilst this isn't exactly a good thing to admit, I'll admit it anyway, for the sake of an honest review: it takes a lot to disturb me. I watch/read/listen to a lot of crime/thriller type content and when something truly makes me feel uncomfortable, I know it's good. This book made me feel uncomfortable so many times. As well as the disturbing content, there was a general vibe of uneasiness and mistrust throughout the whole book and I could feel it even when nothing particularly disturbing was happening.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say this is one of my favourite books of the year. I would highly recommend reading this book if you like good thrillers that will disturb you in all the best ways.