Lie with Me Review
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Each day, we all tell little white lies—lies to impress, to get us out of evening plans, to get our kids to behave. They seem harmless enough. But in Lie with Me by Sabine Durrant, one man’s seemingly harmless lies grow into a web of suspicion.

The story follows the series of lies that gets struggling author Paul Morris deeper and deeper into trouble. It begins when he runs into an old classmate, and he tells a few lies to make his life seem more fabulous than it really is. After he reluctantly accepts a dinner invitation, he meets Alice, a wealthy widow who lives a comfortable life in a nice home—one that he wouldn’t mind sharing. But when he convinces Alice to invite him on her annual summer vacation in Greece, his lies start coming back to haunt him.

As soon as Paul arrives in Greece, things begin to go horribly wrong. As the group commemorates the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of a teenage girl—a cause that Alice has taken on—they also get caught up in the attack of a young tourist. And as the local authorities keep an eye on Paul and the others, the story builds in suspense.

The problem, however, is that Paul is such an unlikable character. Though some of his lies may be the harmless kind, there are just so many of them. He lies to protect his ego. He lies to cover his past mistakes. And he also seems to lie just for the sake of lying. Beyond that, though, he also says and does some horrible things—and it’s clear that he’s spent his life taking advantage of others. For that reason, as suspicion turns to Paul for the attack on the tourist (and possibly more) and as he begins to panic about that growing suspicion, readers won’t really care about what happens to him. He’s such a cold and heartless person—one who’s gotten away with so much—that it’s hard to feel frightened or outraged when it seems as though he could be wrongfully accused.

The story here is certainly clever, with the clues and details all coming together in a surprising way. But the pacing is deliberate—as long and slow as a warm, sunny day on the beach—and Paul’s growing desperation often makes it feel even more exhausting. So while the story is smart, the slow pacing and unlikable lead make it a difficult read.

Though the holiday setting and growing suspense seem to promise a tense and fast-paced vacation read, Lie with Me is slow and surprisingly gloomy—like a dark, angry cloud looming over your day at the beach. The idea is intriguing, but the reality simply isn’t enjoyable.

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