Lies by T. M. Logan (St. Martin’s Press, September 2018) piles complication atop complication atop complication as one lie leads to another and yet another.
Joe Lynch and his wife Melanie appear to be the perfect London couple, living a dream life. At least, Joe thinks so. They’ve been happily married nearly ten years and have a four-year-old son, William. Joe’s an English teacher at a private school, Mel’s an executive at a large retail chain. They own their house, two cars, and they have lots of friends.
Joe’s life begins to fall apart when he accidentally discovers Mel meeting her best friend’s husband at a motel bar. Ben Delaney is rich, handsome, smart, and ruthless. They have a super-smart fourteen-year-old daughter named Alice who sometimes baby-sits William. Ben and Beth have been married for 15 years, and Mel was maid of honor at their wedding. He’s owner and managing director of a software development company that specializes in creating computer games, and Ben loves to play games.
Why are Ben and Mel meeting at a motel when both are supposed to be working?
When Joe confronts Ben in the motel parking lot, Ben denies meeting Mel. Then he becomes angry and shoves Joe against his car. Joe shoves back, and Ben trips over his briefcase, loses his balance, and slams his head hard into the concrete. Blood oozes from his ear and Ben appears either unconscious or dead.
Joe tries to call an ambulance from his cell phone, but there’s no signal. William sees the blood and begins to suffer a severe asthma attack. Of course, Joe has forgotten to refill the inhaler he kept in the glove box, and he must drive William home and find another inhaler before the boy chokes to death. Save Ben or save his son? His son is infinitely more important.
When Joe returns to the parking lot to help Ben, the man and his Porsche are gone.
Mel returns home at her usual time on Thursday night, He mentions he’d seen her car at the motel and she quickly denies it, claiming she was playing tennis after work with Hilary Paine. When Joe insists he saw her with Ben, she admits she lied because Ben asked her to meet him to discuss a sensitive personnel problem she’d promised to keep secret.
Joe begins to have doubts: If his perfect wife lied to him, is then the rest of his perfect life also only a lie?
When Beth reports Ben missing to the police, Joe could become a suspect if he admits he was the last person to see Ben alive. Mel urges Joe to lie to the police, and things go rapidly downhill from there.
Joe turns to the internet to prove Ben is still alive, but technology is Ben’s strongpoint, not Joe’s. Someone has hacked Joe’s Facebook account and posted lies about him.
Told entirely in the first person from Joe’s POV, readers will easily identify with Joe and feel his pain as lie after lie comes to light and a noose is tightened around Joe’s neck. Is nothing and nobody what they seem?
Lies is a great read, fast-paced and unputdownable.