Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
The Lies We Tell starts off well enough, and there is a mystery here, but for the life of me, I'm not quite sure exactly what that mystery was. Is Julian out to get Rowan? Did her mother have some involvement in it all? Was her father the man she thought he was? Oh, and then, we have two murders that have Rowan and Billy running around and asking questions. And exactly why is the undertaker so involved in a police investigation anyway? So, yes, there were questions, loads of questions with very few answers. I suppose this story is several mysteries in one with none of them getting the focus they need.
The thing is this is part of a series, and I'll admit that I didn't know that when I started reading. That said, it didn't take me long to figure it out. I'll just add here, that I would not recommend this book as a standalone. The author does give some backstory, but it's not really enough to get a good feel for what's happened so far and at the same time, it's repetitive. Yes, that left me a little befuddled too, but it is what it is. I'm not even sure how many times we're told that Julian is a prolific serial killer. I get it, this dude has killed a lot of people, and he's obsessed with Rowan. I can remember that without it being repeated. So, it's safe to say that the repetitiveness of this one annoyed me.
Quite often, I'll grab a book in the middle of the series and like what I find enough to go back and start at the beginning - Even if I don't understand everything that's mentioned in said mid-series book. That is not the case with The Lies We Tell. To sum it up, the story is convoluted, and parts of it seem to almost go in circles. I was less than impressed with Billy and Rowan who spend an awful lot of time running in those previously mentioned circles. For a smart woman, she wouldn't even remember to eat if Billy didn't constantly provide meals for her. Basing my opinion on what I've found here, I won't be bothering with earlier books in the series.
At the risk of being spoiler-ish, I'll add that Julian isn't the only serial killer I learned about in this book, so I can only deduce that Rowan is some kind of serial killer magnet. If that seems a little farfetched, I thought so too. On a positive note, one case is solved in this winding road of a story, but I still ended up with more questions than answers, and then it just ends. It's more open-ended than cliffhanger, but it felt like this whole thing was just one big set up for the next book in the series. One that I won't be bothering to check out.