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on 30 July 2015
I thought this book was going to be a bit like single white female but it wasn't it was far better. The whole story is told over a period months, April to October with the two main characters, Kathy and Heja , having alternate chapters. Kathy married Marcus an architect from Finland after a brief romance and becoming pregnant. They now have a beautiful baby boy Billy and she has returned to work as editor of a prestigious magazine. Heja was a famous TV presenter from Finland. She had a long relationship with Marcus in Finland, the love of her life, until one day he walked out on her. Years later Heja tracks Marcus down and moves to London only to find he is now married to Kathy. Heja wants her man back and she will do anything to make that happen. Heja goes to work at the magazine where Kathy works, she needs to know her enemy if she is going to take back what is hers.
This is a fascinating novel that unfolds in each chapter to a very moving end. It left me with the question of is this obsession or is this really the love of her life. I think the line is very thin. With each chapter Jane Lythell is able to capture the emotions of how these two women real feel and how they are viewed by each other. Very clever writing. There is a brilliant build up in this book with an emotional end for all of them. A very good psychological thriller. A definite recommend.
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on 29 April 2014
A great thriller that picks up pace after the first few chapters... It starts off feeling like it is going to be a book that might appeal to women more than men but then develops into a great psychological thriller that keeps you turning the pages. The story is also based on personal relationships that are believable, and this makes the story more exciting and compelling… I can strongly recommend this book.
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on 18 November 2013
An enormously impressive debut novel. I fell madly in love with it and read in one weekend.

Its the story of one woman stalking another. The fantastically characterised and deeply dangerous Heja is absorbed with everything about new mother Kathy - her son, her husband, her home, her job, her eating habits, her dress sense. What's enormously refreshing about this novel is its close inspection of well drawn female leads - it's not just about a bloke! It really gets under the skin of these women, how they behave and why. It reminds me of Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller in this respect. I think a lot of women can relate to that unspoken but deeply felt feeling of rivalry with certain other woman - a feeling of being pit against one another for a job or relationship. Its not a novel about bitchiness. Heja envies Kathy's happy home life and yet in turn Kathy envies Heja's cool elegance and success.

The plot rips along as we unpick the threads that drive Heja and make you want to shout at the page to Kathy, who is too trusting and caught up in her own things to realise the danger she and her family are in. It comes to a satisfying end, no easy feat for a debut thriller like this, and it stayed with me after reading. Heroine Kathy is enormously likeable but in a strange way so is Heja despite some awful and devious behaviour, she's fascinating, dangerous and keeps you guessing. Learning to understand her is what's so brilliant about this book.

I'll be getting the paperback edition, titled THE LIE OF YOU, for family and friends to try as I highly recommend this read.
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on 18 July 2014
THE LIE OF YOU is a psychological thriller about two woman - Kathy, who is married to Markus and has a baby boy, and Heja, a very cold and collected Finnish woman who works for Kathy.

The novel is told from both women's perspectives. Kathy finds Markus mysterious and cold. Heja hates Kathy and wants to ruin her life. What we don't know is why.

I found this very easy to read. I read it in a matter of hours, and I think the author does a good job of creating two very different voices for the characters. My main issues with it were that Markus was a very shallow, unbelievable character. I found him very cold and unsympathetic. I didn't believe in his choices or motivations. I also felt that the ending was wrapped up too quickly, and left me unsatisfied. I do think this is a good easy read - probably one for a holiday - but not something I plan to revisit.
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I devoured this book that I picked up from the library in a few hours, did not miss a single word and loved the journey along the way.

This suspenseful psychological thriller is very well written, the characters real and defined. We have Kathy, married to Markus, Editor of a prestigious British magazine, new baby, living the life. Then we have Heja, ex-Finnish TV Presenter, working at the same magazine as Kathy, the two ladies could not be more different, chalk and cheese.

The book switches between the POV of each woman and that's where the fun and the thrills begin. All is not as it seems with Heja, the author did a brilliant job or portraying her as the formidable ice queen I felt right at the start of the book. She has a plan, and she plans to execute that plan, no matter what. She's a determined woman. But what IS the connection between the two? If indeed there is one at all?

The book is clever, throws up assumptions, brings up loads of secrets and twists and turns into a really entertaining read. I felt like I was right there on the journey, holding my breath at times for what would happen next.

The ending I found to be brilliant, the author did a successful job of throwing all the feelings I had built up for each character around in circles until I was not sure how I felt about any of them at that point. And I thought I had them all worked out, I was really wrong.

The book has some fantastic "hold your breath" moments that I can't reveal as that would spoil it for you, but if you like a psychological twist with your novels, to dig into the dark psyche of the woman sconed, then read this one. It's a great read from start to finish.

Jane Lythell has done an outstanding job with this novel, I am looking forward to reading more of her work.
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on 28 July 2014
I enjoyed reading this book so much that I made myself read it very slowly, so the enjoyment would last as long as possible! The story is very well conceived and cleverly told. I felt by the end of the story I knew both of the main characters so well that I empathized with both of them on different levels. There is a wonderful blurring of good and bad in this story. I don't want to give any of the story away, but simply would say this is the best book I have read in a long time and can't wait for J.L. next book to be published.
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on 23 November 2013
It is true to say that Jane Lythell's book is one of the most enthralling page turners I've been lucky enough to read. The moment you begin to read a book and know that you won't stop until the final word on the final page tends to be a rare one, but I must admit I was gripped by The Lie of You from beginning to end.

Lythell's characterisations are brilliant; she writes with a clarity and simplicity that allows the reader to gain a certain curiosity about the people involved in her story. The more you read, the more you find out, and the more you find out, the more you wish to read on. I agree with Marina's review - there is a cinematic quality to Jane Lythell's book, and I can see the pages of her novel transform themselves into the pages of a film script very easily. I hope very much that this will be the case soon!

All in all, Jane Lythell's "The Lie of You" is for sure, a good and solid read. Upon finishing it, you are left to ponder the idea of good versus bad, and whether or not things can ever just be black and white. Thought provoking and entertaining.
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on 29 October 2013
One of the best experiences in the world is when a book grips you with increasing intensity as you read through it. Jane Lythell has written a psychological thriller of great power - a real page-turner.

It's set in the world of publishing; the office of an architectural magazine. Lythell writes the background details fairly flatly, and the first (short) chapter or two made me feel that I was reading chick-lit. The author gets into her stride very quickly, though, and succeeding chapters, written in the alternating voices of the two main characters, Heja and Kathy, drew me in to the developing emotional drama. I literally couldn't put the book down. I read it in two intense sessions, interrupted only by a night's sleep - where the obsessional machinations of one of the women kept running through my mind.

Jane Lythell has pulled off that rare feat of creating characters that we not only believe in and care about, but who make us change our opinions of them as the book progresses. I started off hating one of the women, but her fate at the book's climax (which is not necessarily the last page) had me in tears.

As I said at the beginning - a real page-turner. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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on 13 August 2014
A great book - I wholeheartedly recommend it. Jane Lythell captures the incredible tension of a couple who are threatened by an old lover with a devious plan to split them apart. Scary stuff, beautifully written.
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on 27 July 2014
I nearly gave up reading this book then after one particular chapter all of a got interesting. Quite a dark story line which is very long winded in some places but powerful and thought provoking.
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