Review: The Lying Room by Nicci French

 

Title: The Lying Room

Author: Nicci French

Published: October 1st 2019, Simon & Schuster

Status: Read September 2019, courtesy Simon & Schuster/Netgalley

++++++

My Thoughts:

The Lying Room is the first stand alone mystery thriller from Nicci French (the husband and wife writing team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) since the conclusion of the Frieda Klein series.

When Neve Connolly discovers her married lover murdered in his pied-à-terre she takes a deep breath and then works methodically to remove any trace of herself from the crime scene, before returning home to her husband and three children.

“He was dead. he had been murdered. But it wasn’t about her or them. That was irrelevant to whatever it was that had happened here.”

The Lying Room is a taut character driven mystery with its focus on Neve’s desperate attempts to protect her family, and herself, from the consequences of her lover’s murder.

“There was no getting away from it. She would have to get on with her life and behave the way an innocent person would behave. The fact that she was innocent–innocent at least of the murder–was no help at all.”

The author’s characterisation is generally strong and believable. A busy wife, mother, employee and friend, Neve is an ordinary woman caught up in extraordinary circumstances, and I could empathise with her impulse to protect her family, despite her obviously shaky relationship with her husband, and daughter. Her stress and fear Is palpable as Neve frantically strives to project a sense of normalcy, even while chaos descends on her home, in the form of a parade of unwanted houseguests, and surprise visits from DI Hitching.

“Even the truth felt like a lie now.”

There are plenty of red herrings in The Lying Room to keep any armchair detective guessing. Aware that DI Hitching strongly suspects she is somehow involved, Neve eventually becomes determined to identify the killer herself, and finds herself clumsily investigating her family, and friends. I didn’t guess the identity of the killer, or their motivation, until quite late in the story, though subtle clues are present earlier.

“Almost every part of the police investigation was wrong or misleading, the crucial evidence had been removed or destroyed. Their narrative of events was entirely false. But after all of that, the conclusions were correct.”

A well written, clever, and gripping novel, The Lying Room is an entertaining mystery.

++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Indiebound I Book Depository

 

Also by Nicci French reviewed at Book’d Out 

 

 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurel-Rain Snow
    Oct 02, 2019 @ 04:34:00

    I loved the Frieda Klein series, so I can’t wait to dive into this book. Great review, and, of course, I had to download this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Helen Murdoch
    Oct 02, 2019 @ 12:33:02

    I like it when I don’t guess the killer before I read about it, as long as it isn’t some completely random person.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  4. Tracey (Carpe Librum blog)
    Nov 22, 2019 @ 23:45:30

    This was my first Nicci French novel and I enjoyed it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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