Publication Date: June 26, 2013
In Lies of the Dead by Shauna Bickley, the police notify Tom that his boat has been found adrift and that there are a note and wallet on board that indicate that perhaps Tom’s brother Liam took his own life. Tom and his sister Andi, realize that perhaps they didn’t know Liam and his life in London and start their own investigation into why their brother would resort to such a measure. As they pursue leads, Tom and Andi realize that Liam’s life was as dangerous as it was complex and that danger may now spill over to them.
The author, Shauna Bickley, provided me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
We as citizens of the World are obsessed with reality shows but how well do we know those who should be closest to us? Bickley presents a heavily character-driven novel in Lies of the Dead. We are permitted a peek through the door at siblings who have long held feelings about their middle sibling. They agreed that he was mother’s favorite. Why would he slip into the English coastal town and take Tom’s boat in order to kill himself? Is that he’s self-centered or was there a larger scheme? Did Liam kill himself or was it convenient to make people think he had? Andi, his sister, isn’t as interested as Tom and she has bigger fish to fry. She believes that her ex is trying to take custody of their 15-year-old twins. Bickley paints ordinary people in extraordinary situations and does it well.
Many authors will set aside the daily life for the sake of the plotline. Bickley maintains a balance between the story lines driven by Andi and Tom in a way that never feels muddled or awkward. Tom gets the bigger ah-ha moments, but he has his feet on the ground and Andi, in turn, is no less interesting despite being more grounded in her everyday life. Andi’s twin daughters aren’t in the business of making her life easier. The girls are not as concerned in a very realistic way as Andi about threats to their well-being. Their mom is old, out-of-date, blowing things out of proportion and essentially a pain in their butts.
The connection that Bickley establishes between reader and character enhances a well-developed story. Liam is not who either of his siblings thought he was but, if they are honest, they knew he could be inclined to think of things so negative. The action, once it starts going, is compelling and non-stop. Bickley’s writing style draws the reader into a wild ride that is over much too quickly. I simply kept turning pages without a thought to the clock. The creativity involved in some of the plot twists and turns were just mind-boggling. I wanted to skim ahead to find out what happened but wanted to make sure not to miss a word.
Lies of the Dead is a very human mystery/thriller. I have no complaints. I loved every moment of the story. If you like mystery this is a must read of 2013. Be sure to drop me a line and give me your take.
Read an excerpt and buy Lies of the Dead by Shauna Bickley on