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Someone Is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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‘In this podcast I’ll be looking at the six people with the most to hide about the night Erica Spencer died….’ 

Someone Is Lying is the latest novel from Jenny Blackhurst. Just published in ebook format with Headline Review, it is described as ‘a chilling new psychological thriller full of unexpected twists’.

My first thought on reading this book was of Desperate Housewives, the American series….albeit set in Cheshire! Severn Oaks is a small gated community within the town of Severndale. Home to a bunch of folk who like their privacy, and the seclusion that such an environment provides, Severn Oaks is an exclusive address.

Erica Spencer, resident of Severn Oaks, was the person everyone went to to get stuff done. From the annual community picnic at Severndale Primary to the PTA meetings and local residents’s groups, she was the go to, the reliable one, the doer. Tragedy struck the community the previous year when Erica fell from a tree-house at a Halloween party in the home of local celebrity couple, Karla and Marcus Kaplan. Erica died at the scene and the police placed cause of death as accidental. The community of Severn Oaks was saddened to have lost one of their own but time is a great healer and life moved on.

It’s now the following year, the neighbours have gathered themselves together for the annual community picnic, but with the very noticeable absence of it’s stalwart, Erica Spencer. As the picnic gets into full swing, there is a very unexpected and very shocking reveal posted on Facebook with the headline, ‘The Murder of Erica Spencer’, stating that a new podcast series is about to be released entitled The Truth About Erica.

‘Six suspects, six podcasts and a murder. I’ll see you the same time next week when we discuss how Erica Spencer died and focus on the first of the Severn Oaks Six’

The Severn Oaks Six, as they become known, are part of the main core of the Severn Oaks community and also the last possible witnesses to Erica’s tragic demise. As the story slowly reveals itself, so too do the secrets that lay hidden behind the confident veneers of these main characters. A mixed bag of cats, I can’t say I particularly warmed to any of them to be honest. Jenny Blackhurst portrays them brilliantly as a self-centred bunch of hypocrites, all very much wrapped up in their own successes and lies. Careers will be damaged, reputations destroyed, friend will turn against friend as the podcasts reveal the truth about Erica’s last few hours. What did happen in the Kaplan house that night? Was Erica pushed or did she fall?

“Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.”
 – Sir Walter Scott

The perfect quote to fit this unpredictable tale, a tale of suspense and untruths, a tale of twists and turns, of big reveals and petty hatreds. Someone Is Lying maintains the suspense and builds on the paranoia of the Severn Six as each podcast is released. When additional disturbing events begin to happen, there is confusion and doubt in Severn Oaks. Exposed secrets reveal the ugliness that lies beneath and the community is slowly disassembled with each broadcast.

Someone Is Lying is a highly entertaining tale. It does need a little concentration at times, as there are many personalities involved. But all have an important part to play in reaching that rather surprising finale so stay alert folks….you have been warned.

Someone Is Lying is quite an enthralling read, a very enjoyable read and one that I would really love to see played out on the big screen. It has an element of Poirot about it or Cluedo, leading us down many rabbit holes as we attempt to guess the real Truth About Erica….

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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