On my blog today I’m sharing my review of the latest psychological thriller by Jo Spain, The Perfect Lie. Jo is one of the authors who will be appearing on the First Monday Crime Panel on Monday, 7th June 2021. I’ll have all the details about who will be appearing and how you can access the event at the end of this post. But first let’s find out more about The Perfect Lie.
He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder.
Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning, it’s the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death.
Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect.
But it was all built on the perfect lie.
I’m a huge fan of Jo Spain’s books, and I couldn’t wait to get started on her latest. The Perfect Lie is one of the most gripping books I’ve read this year. It’s addictive, clever and so well plotted. I devoured it in just a couple of sittings.
The pace and tension is excellent, and the taut writing keeps the book flying forward. We meet Erin, a publisher, who has moved to America from Ireland. She falls in love with a police detective, Danny, and they marry. Five years later, Erin is left devastated when Danny throws himself to his death when police detectives visit them at their home. Still grappling with what has happened, Erin is horrified when eighteen months later, she is on trial for his murder.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding Danny’s death which I wanted to get to the bottom of. Erin’s frustration comes through very clearly as she tries to make sense of the man she thought she knew well. But it appears that he was keeping secrets from her. Why did he feel as though he had to end things this way? What prompted him to kill himself? Erin fights to get answers to this, and as she gets closer to understanding why he did what he did, she uncovers some uncomfortable truths. Like Erin, I had to know if what she found out about him was true; I didn’t know who to believe.
Jo Spain also takes us back to 2016 at Harvard University, where we meet Lauren and Ally, two students. It’s not clear when we first meet them how their story connects to Erin’s life in the present. I wanted to know how this was going to be weaved together, and Jo Spain does this in a very clever way. I had no idea how the plot was going to unfold as I was reading. It’s what kept questions ticking over in my mind as well, as I tried to work out what was really going on with Danny and what he was involved in.
Jo Spain keeps the tension turning up a notch as the book races towards its finale, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I was utterly gripped; once you start it, I guarantee you will not want to put this book down. It’s the perfect book which you could happily lose a Sunday afternoon too. I highly, highly recommend this book; you don’t want to miss it!
Publication date: 13th May 2021
Print length: 400 pages
The Perfect Lie is available to buy:
FIRST MONDAY CRIME
If you would like to tune in to watch Jo Spain talk about her book and her writing, you can do so via the First Monday Crime Facebook page. The event is being live streamed on Facebook from 19.30 p.m. UK time. Alongside Jo we also have appearing, Imran Mahmood author of I Know What I Saw, Dorothy Koomson, author of I Know What You’ve Done and Patricia Marques, author of The Colour of Death. To access the event please click on the link below which will take you through to the First Monday Crime Facebook page.