Book review: Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

This was one of my holiday reads, and in that regard it's absolutely perfect: just the thing to take with you for a few hours spent on the beach. (I picked up a humdinger of a mosquito bite, but I can't blame the book for that).
The story is straightforward enough: Paul Morris, an author who's light faded after his first novel, finds himself in need of someone new to sponge from. He hooks up with Alice, a woman he barely remembers from his university days, and begins the rather tawdry process of ingratiating himself so deeply into her affections that she'll let him move into her house. (Having had to leave his rent-free digs, Paul is living with his mother).

Part of this plan involves romancing Alice during the yearly vacation she takes with friends and family on the island of Pyros.
Unfortunately, Paul doesn't realise that many of Alice's friends remember him from the last time they met on Pyros ten years ago, the same time that a fourteen-year-old girl vanished from a house close to where they were staying…

From a technical point of view, this was a very well written book; if you're looking to improve your own style, or just study what works in a published novel, then this should be on your list of must-reads. It has an eloquent, flowing style, not too heavy on the literary, but poetic enough, I think. It's very much a slow burner, but all the characters are hideously deep enough to keep things interesting until things start to pick up, though that doesn't really start to happen until you're about two-thirds of the way through the book.
Lie With Me is billed as a murder mystery, but be honest, the murdery bit is in the background; it's mentioned every so often so you remember it's there, but it only really comes to the fore when things start to really fall apart for the hero. In the main, this is a well-written character study of ordinary, flawed people with very dark secrets.

Eight out of ten.

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