By Ekta R. Garg
October 31, 2018
Genre: Psychological thriller
Release date: September 11, 2018
Rated: Binge it! / 5 stars
A chance encounter for a man begins a chain of events that leaves him scrambling. The more questions he asks of everyone around him, the more problems it creates until he gets backed into an impossible situation. Author T.M. Logan will keep readers guessing until the end with the tight thriller Lies.
Joe Lynch leads a respectable life. He and his wife, Mel, live in a well-to-do suburb of London with their adorable four-year-old son, William. Because Joe’s hours as a teacher offer him more flexibility during the day, he bears the bulk of the responsibility for taking care of William and he enjoys every minute.
On their home one day, Joe and William spot Mel’s car in traffic. Joe makes a spontaneous decision to follow her; they can surprise Mel, he thinks. He follows her to a hotel where he sees her meet with Ben, a mutual friend. From a distance, Mel and Ben’s conversation looks heated. The interaction makes Joe uneasy and suspicious.
After Mel leaves, unbeknownst to her, Joe confronts Ben in the parking garage of the hotel. The men share a barbed encounter that ends with a physical challenge and Ben injured and bleeding. Joe runs, but he tries to get in touch with Ben soon thereafter to find out if he’s all right. He receives a few cryptic responses from his own cell phone, which he lost in the scuffle. Then Ben disappears.
The police come to Joe asking questions about Ben’s whereabouts, and Joe is dumbfounded. Ben initiated the conflict between them in the parking garage, but there’s no way to prove it. He confronts Mel who first denies anything intimate between her and Ben but then admits that they did have an affair. Joe tries to contact another friend only to be rebuffed.
It seems like everyone close to him has either betrayed him or wants nothing to do with him, and every time he gets over one lie he discovers another. Nothing makes sense anymore. Then the police come back for Joe, and he decides to make a run for it just to buy enough time to prove his innocence.
Author T.M. Logan keeps his thriller straightforward, which allows for a deliciously taut story. Readers will stay up long into the night to find out whether Joe can cross each and every hurdle that appears in his path. Logan answers every question he poses and does so with deft and panache.
More admirable is the choice of point of view. Joe narrates his own story, a plot device that often keeps readers inside the protagonist’s head for too long. Logan strikes the right balance between Joe sharing his thoughts and keeping the action moving. The result is a satisfying descent into the world of an entire host of people who resort to lying to benefit themselves.
Even Joe isn’t above telling a few fibs, a choice that will haunt him because he’s the one who stands to lose the most. Readers will rub their hands in glee at the novel’s pacing while at the same time worrying about Joe. A likable protagonist, he will have readers rooting for him all the way to the end.
The twist ending will make readers sit up and take notice, and even though the last few pages may seem like a quick wrap-up by that time Joe seems to deserve it. I believe readers will find with Lies by T.M. Logan that they will want to Binge it!