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Thursday 30 August 2012

White Lies by Jeremy Bates

Have you ever told a white lie…you know, to your mum when you’ve lied about where you’ve been, or to your husband about how much you spent on that divine pair of shoes, or to your employers about that cold that you—ahem—suddenly developed that Friday you wanted off work? Just a little white lie to get out of a sticky situation? Harmless? Perhaps, but it doesn’t quite work out that way for Katrina Burton…

In this an outstanding novel by Jeremy Bates, in which a seemingly harmless lie has unimaginable repercussions, Katrina Burton picks up a young hitchhiker (completely disregarding the dangers) on her way to a new town and a new school to take up a new teaching post. Somewhat drunk and disorderly, she realises she has to turf this unsavoury young man out of her car as quickly as possible and lies about where she’s headed. That’s it, problem solved. However, when she soon discovers he’s a teacher at the same school, her little lie suddenly takes a life of its own, despite a niggling little voice that tries to tell her to end it once and for all. But a chance encounter with a tall, dark and handsome stranger proves to be disastrous. Attracted and somewhat blinded by the charisma of this mysterious newcomer to the town, she finds herself being persuaded to feed her lie until it snowballs and heads towards even more lies, deceit, and murder with a rising body count. 

This was compelling, suspenseful, gripping, and trotted along at a perfect pace. Although it’s easy to question the path and wrong turns Katrina makes, you can’t help but feel compassion for Katrina who is teetering on a wire of indecision when her new smooth-talking companion coaxes her into making choices she knows deep down are wrong, but Jeremy keeps you guessing (and hoping) until the very end. 

Well-written, with a well-conceived and powerfully driven plot, this is one of my favourite books this year, so far.

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