Book Review: Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

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Title - Tell Me No Lies
Author - Lisa Hall
Publication Date - October 20th 2016
Publisher - Carina
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)

Don't. Trust. Anyone.

It was supposed to be a fresh start.

A change to forget the past and embrace the future.

But can you ever really start again?

Or does the past follow you wherever you go...

It's no secret that Lisa Hall's debut thriller with Carina UK Between You and Me was an absolute knock-out, hitting the top spot in numerous charts not only following its release but in the run-up too. Sneaky, sly and sumptuously twisting, it was one hell of a novel with a twist that completely knocked my socks off, so you can imagine how incredibly excited I was when contacted about reading and reviewing Hall's second novel Tell Me No Lies. I couldn't wait to be delivered back into one of Hall's dark, dangerous and menacing worlds, where the characters are never what they seem and the plot is capable of veering off into any direction at any given time.

In Lisa Hall's Tell Me No Lies, the novel begins as pregnant Steph Gordon, husband Mark and son Henry are about to embark upon a brand-new start. They've just arrived at their beautiful new home in Blackheath, where the Victorian townhouse is waiting to receive them and their many boxes of belongings ready to be unpacked. After a draining year, following the discovery of her husband's affair, Steph sees this as a real opportunity to begin again. To let go of what happened before and truly be at peace with her life. Once settled, and while Mark is away due to his career, Steph begins to become acquainted with her new neighbours. One, the handsome Laurence. Two, the bubbly, sweet-natured Lila who lives just across the way. Letting people into her life has never been easy for Steph, but she knows that, while Mark remains away, what she needs are friends and so, for the first time in a long time, she allows herself to experience what it's like to have people around her who she can trust and turn to when problems arise. It's a tricky hurdle for Steph to overcome, especially considering what happened when she was younger, so it's completely understandable for her to feel so nervous about allowing new people into her life. Along with her appointments with Dr Bradshaw to keep her in check and her journal to jot down her thoughts and feelings, Steph is sure everything that happened previously is firmly behind her and she's ready to embrace her new life, her new friends included.

But of course, things are never as simple as they first appear to be. Just when everything seems to be going well for Steph, her life slowly but surely begins to become infiltrated by a menacing presence she's unable to pinpoint and, paranoid or not, she's sure that someone is playing games with her. From the grim, decaying posies being left in her front porch to the threatening notes and emails from untraceable sources, her new life suddenly doesn't feel as safe and secure as she hoped it would be. Something definitely isn't right, but is she imagining things? She's worked so hard to get herself to where she is today. Is she suddenly backtracking? At first, she's sure that she can handle whatever it is that's going on, but as the novel progresses and things begins to spiral out of control, Steph begins to feel way out of her depth and turns to those close to her for help, support and guidance.

Once again, Hall has hit the nail on the head. Tell Me No Lies checked all of the boxes in terms of what makes a knock-out thriller and I was absolutely hooked from beginning to end. With Steph's background to consider I did, at times, wonder whether the past was coming back to haunt her but at the same time, I wanted to believe so keenly that she was correct in her assumptions later on in the novel. She was such a compelling character, with such a whirlwind of a past, and Hall couldn't have made her any more interesting if she'd tried. It was a constant guessing game for me. With each new character that was introduced to the plot, I wondered exactly what role they would play in this story and couldn't wait for them to reveal themselves. Would they be good or bad? Would they make things easier or harder for Steph? The more involved I became in Steph's story, the quicker the pages turned as I raced through and tumbled down the rabbit hole of twists and turns that were delivered exceptionally by the author, making this a book that I just couldn't get enough of.

There was a real essence of danger within this novel. It constantly simmered beneath the surface, just waiting to rear its ugly head and, when it did, I felt the blow like something physical. Hall writes with sharp-as-a-blade precision, yet still manages to ensure that her novels are rich with real and raw emotion that reaches you on another level. Not only are we witness to Steph's new life unravelling within this story, but we also see the threads of a relationship being pulled apart to their very limits in the most beguiling and testing of ways. It's hard to know who to trust, who to turn to and who to run from, and Hall captures that panic and hysteria divinely in Tell Me No Lies. It was all-consuming. Addictive. Frightening. After all, you never truly know who you're dealing with, do you?

Becca's Books is awarding Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall with five of my bookish cupcakes. An absolute belter of a thriller that will have your heart in your throat. Be prepared to be led down paths you never saw coming. Hall is such an impeccable writer in this genre and I, for one, am already excited to see what she has for us next.

About the author
Lisa loves words, reading and everything there is to love about books. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was a little girl – either that or a librarian - and after years of talking about it, was finally brave enough to put pen to paper (and let people actually read it). Lisa lives in a small village in Kent, surrounded by her towering TBR pile, a rather large brood of children, dogs, chickens and ponies and her long-suffering husband. She is also rather partial to eating cheese and drinking wine.

You can find Lisa Hall on Facebook | Twitter |

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