Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

I’ve been wondering if I have what it takes to kill. Whether I can look a living creature in the eye and take the one irreversible action that ends a life. Asked and answered, I suppose. I have no difficulty in killing. I’m actually rather good at it.

Little Black Lies 2Catrin Quinn – a woman whose life was destroyed three years ago – has plans to bring things to a permanent end. Her former best friend Rachel – a shadow of her former self – seeks forgiveness from the one person who will never grant it. Callum Murray – a veteran of the Falklands conflict suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – is haunted by things that he may or may not have done. Three lost souls circling each other – but their orbits are thrown into chaos when a child disappears.

The Falkland Islands is a close community but spread over a wide area. The missing child is the third to vanish in three years – could a killer be stalking the islands? And is that killer someone nobody would ever suspect?

My US readers are luckier than my UK readers. They only have until the 19th May to get hold of the new book by Sharon Bolton. Team GB need to wait until July, unless they get a review copy from Minotaur press via Netgalley – thanks for that.

Sharon Bolton (the artist formerly known as SJ Bolton) has written four books in the Lacey Flint series – don’t believe Wikipedia, Lost and Like This, For Ever are the same book – and three standalone novels. I’ve read the series books – I stumbled over the first one by a very happy accident – but not the standalones. This is her fourth standalone novel and I figured I’d give it a go.

Blooming heck (sorry, this is a family blog) but this is good. I’ve described novels as page-turners before, but this one barely left my hand. I read it in two solid sessions and it was only that necessity known as sleep that made me take a break. This is a truly outstanding piece of work.

Little Black LiesThe story twists and turns, backwards and forwards, with three unreliable narrators. They are some outstanding sequences, in particular the scene on the beach (no spoilers but it is breathtaking) and an exceptional paced conclusion. The narrative puts you right into the heads of three damaged (but very different) individuals and as you see their sides of certain events, it forms a bigger, deeper picture.

Hardly a traditional whodunit, but as with Sharon’s other books, there is still an important mystery element to the plot – partly simply to find the truth behind the events, both in the past and in the present, but there is more to it than that. But it’s impossible to read it without being swept up in the lives of the central characters.

I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers – I think the reader should go into this book knowing as little as possible about it. A thunderingly impressive piece of work, probably the best book that I’ve read this year (including Chef Maurice, and I loved that one to bits too). A truly stunning read, rest assured my fellow UK readers, it’ll be worth the wait.

Other Sharon Bolton reviews:


  1. I have NOW YOU SEE ME on my shelf but, in error, ordererd a large print hardback that weighs in at 600 pages so is not good for the morning commute! Oh, and I;ve amended the Wikipedia entry for you 🙂


  2. “My US readers are luckier than my UK readers. They only have until the 19th May to get hold of the new book by Sharon Bolton. Team GB need to wait until July…”
    A bit strange, considering that the author lives in UK !


  3. So looking forward to reading this one – I am a huge fan of Sharon Bolton because of the way she weaves so many different threads of a story so that there is so much to enjoy. Great review!


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