One More Lie by Amy Lloyd #BookReview #BlogTour

How do you live with yourself as an adult when you were convicted of murder as a child?

And when you can’t remember the crime…

Charlotte wants a fresh start. She wants to forget her past, forget her crime – and, most of all, forget that one terrible moment. 

It’s the reason she’s been given a new name, a new life. The reason she spent years in prison.

But even on the outside, with an ankle monitor and court-mandated therapy, she can’t escape the devastating memory of the night that turned her and her only friend into national hate figures.

But now her friend has found her. 

And despite the lies she tells to survive, she soon finds herself being dragged deeper and deeper into a past she cannot confront.

Even if it’s going to cost Charlotte her life…

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for One More Lie  by Amy Lloyd today, together with Joanna at Over The Rainbow Book Blog. Many thanks to the author and Rachel Kennedy for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

Many of us will be familiar with the notorious cases of murder perpetrated by young children. The shock and angry recriminations reverberate for years with further polemic discussion when the time arrives for these now young adults to be released back into society. It's an emotive and controversial subject but one that makes for an intriguing psychological suspense novel.
The short chapters switch between the present and various points in the past and are written from the perspective of initially just Charlotte, then later in the book from Sean, her sole childhood friend and the boy who was found guilty alongside her of committing murder. Charlotte isn't her real name, of course; as the headlines report at the start, she has been given a new identity - and allegedly 'cosmetic surgery and full benefits costing the taxpayer over £1,000,000.' In truth, while Charlotte is her new name - with a passport and new life story to go with it - her appearance has only changed through the passing of the years and she is living in a halfway house with a job in a local supermarket.
It soon becomes obvious that Charlotte is one of those people who doesn't quite fit in. It's not just because of her criminal record - although her ankle tag is a potentially visible indicator of her past. She doesn't really understand social interactions, tries to pick up her cues from how those around her behave but is often left anxious and confused in company. The chapters set in the past reveal she was a lonely child who had a loving but troubled upbringing which together with her social awkwardness results in her being ostracised by most her her peers. Her friendship with Sean arises through their mutual loneliness despite the differences in their home lives. Where hers is loving but with firm boundaries, his is chaotic and lacking in warmth. As the book progresses and the reader is introduced to the adult Sean, it would seem probable that he was always destined for a life of crime. He's not an immediately easy character to sympathise with, in comparison to the naive and needy Charlotte which presents one of the most fascinating themes in the book- how does society decide who is most to blame when more than one person stands accused of committing a terrible offence. Is it the quiet little girl or the cocky young lad who already has a reputation as a troublemaker? Charlotte doesn't remember, her mind has closed off that part of her life other than to leave her with a dreadful fear of underpasses.
The truth about the murder isn't the only topic of this gripping story as it also explores what happens to these still young adults who spent many of their formative years locked up and away from society. We learn that Charlotte had to be taught how to live in the outside world and over the course of the book it becomes apparent that an earlier release attempt ended in failure. The role of the public is held up for consideration too - who is to blame when understandable anger and grief becomes more vitriolic and dangerous? Is it really possible for those who ended up in the public eye for the worst possible reasons to ever become truly rehabilitated in the eyes of the readers of the tabloid newspapers and internet sites who denounce them as evil?
One More Lie is a compelling thriller which kept me guessing right until the end but it is also a thoughtful look at what drives people to behave as they do. Is it inevitable that some will end up in trouble, whether due to nature, nurture or a combination of both? It also explores loneliness and the need to belong to somebody and what happens when that desire is taken to extremes. Charlotte's early life is shown to have clearly impacted on her later choices and her relationship with not only Sean but also her family and her psychiatrist, Dr Isherwood with whom she has developed a close but perhaps too reliant a bond.
There is so much to enjoy about One More Lie; the distinct voices of the two main characters, the tantalising jumps back in time which reveal little glimpses of the truth without giving away the full story, the doubts cast about what really happened in the past alongside the question as to whether Charlotte and Sean are able to fit back into a society which doesn't really want them and a tense, shocking finale. It all adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable, riveting read which kept me so engrossed I finished the book in a day. I highly recommend it.

One More Lie is published by Century and can be purchased online from the following retailers;
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository
or from your local bookstore!

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Amy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her debut novel The Innocent Wife which, when it was published, became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.