After a summer break, First Monday Crime is back at City University, London on Monday, 7th October 2019 at 18.30 p.m.
We have another brilliant panel for you. Claire McGowan will be moderating and she will be interviewing, crime writing husband and wife duo, Nicci French, (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French), Peter Robinson and Marnie Riches. I’ve just finished reading The Lying Room by Nicci French and I will be sharing my review below. And if you’re interested in coming to next month’s First Monday Crime, I’ll be telling you how and where you can reserve your FREE space at the end of the blog post.
Neve Connolly looks down at a murdered man.
She doesn’t call the police.
‘You know, it’s funny,’ Detective Inspector Hitching said. ‘Whoever I see, they keep saying, talk to Neve Connolly, she’ll know. She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one people confide in.’
A trusted colleague and friend. A mother. A wife. Neve Connolly is all these things.
She has also made mistakes; some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all.
But now one mistake is spiralling out of control and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger.
She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared to go to protect those she loves?
And who does she really know? And who can she trust?
A liar. A cheat. A threat. Neve Connolly is all these things.
Could she be a murderer?
I became completely caught up in Neve’s world after she discovers the body of her lover, Saul in his apartment in Nicci French’s new standalone novel, The Lying Room. There are long chapters in this book. This did put me off initially when I picked it up, but the writing is just so addictive, and it flowed very well, making it a very easy read to get into. In the end, I didn’t notice that the chapters were long at all.
Even more shocking, is Neve’s actions following the discovery. She thoroughly cleans the apartment, removing any visible trace of her presence. She is determined to make sure that her family don’t find out about her affair. But as she gets caught up in trying to remove the evidence, she puts herself in very grave danger and soon falls under the suspicion of the police. Why would she want to do this? Why doesn’t she call the police straight away?
Neve was a character who both intrigued and frustrated me. When we first meet her, I couldn’t understand what she was doing. I could have shouted at her for her actions. I could see that this was going to make her a suspect in the eyes of the police if they ever discovered what she did in the wake of Saul’s death.
There is a lot of family drama going on here as well. Neve’s daughter, Mabel, is supposed to be going off to university but she is having reservations about going, and Mabel is very grumpy with her mother. There is definitely friction between them, and this was another intriguing part of the plot which I wanted to know more about.
There are some really tense moments when Neve is interviewed by the police. I could see that the detective, Inspector Hitching strongly disliked her. It must be so frustrating for the police when they can see that someone is guilty, but they can’t find the evidence that clinches their suspicion. Neve is very clever, and this created high moments of tension when she is trying to cover up her actions. This certainly frustrates Hitching and other police officers who are working on the case when they are trying to make sense of Neve’s story. I kept thinking as I was reading that surely Neve was going to get found out.
But ultimately what drives the plot is who really killed Saul, and why did he have to die? Neve makes it her determination to find out who the person behind his death is if only to avoid the finger of suspicion being pointed her way. And I wanted to know what had really happened as well and this is what kept me turning the pages.
The Lying Room is fuelled with tension and drama. This is a highly engrossing read from Nicci French, which I would definitely recommend adding to your reading list. If you’re new to Nicci French as I was, this is the perfect place to start.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 3rd October 2019
Print length: 432 pages
If you would like to purchase The Lying Room, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.
If you would like to come to First Monday Crime at 18.30 p.m. on Monday, 7th October 2019, you can do so by clicking on the following link below. The nearest tube stations to City University are Farringdon and Angel. After the event we’ll be heading the Sekforde Arms for a drink.