Released: July 2015
Acclaimed mystery author Sharon Bolton is dedicated to giving her readers a fright, and she does exactly that with her latest novel Little Black Lies. This hooking thriller is set in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Everyone in Stanley knows everybody else’s business, and most of the residents have spent their entire lives there. When the third little boy in three years vanishes, nobody wants to admit the perpetrator could be one of their fellow townsfolk; they remain adamant that visiting tourists are behind this.
The story is told by three characters, all of which are suspects at some point. Catrin Quinn has been battling with depression since her best friend Rachel left her car unattended, subsequently killing Catrin’s two young sons. The third anniversary of their deaths is approaching, and she is consumed by hatred for Rachel, vowing to get revenge. Her point of view is particularly unnerving, especially when she writes in her diary, “I have no difficulty in killing. I’m actually rather good at it.” Much of Catrin’s behaviour is suspicious to the police, resulting in her becoming the prime suspect.
Callum Murray is an ex-soldier and endures flashbacks from his experiences in the Falklands War. He is in love with Catrin despite their affair ending three years ago; he can’t stand seeing her live in pain and wants them both to move forward with their lives. Callum’s increased stress causes him to black out, making him unable to remember some of his actions. He has killed people before and lives with the emotional turmoil everyday, but does he have it in him to harm defenceless children?
Rachel Grimwood’s life has also been miserable since she caused the deaths of her best friend’s children. She is weighed down with guilt every time she is around her own perfectly healthy sons, as they are a daily reminder of what she has snatched away from Catrin. Rachel is capable of killing, but the deaths she is responsible for were purely accidental. Is she able to destroy innocent families on purpose?
Bolton’s writing is engrossing; she swiftly moves on to the next character’s perspective when it seems like something exciting is about to be divulged, keeping readers guessing who is behind the disappearances. She reveals the deepest, darkest thoughts of her characters, showing the vulnerability of human beings and the lengths people will go to in times of desperation. By expertly creating suspense throughout, she slowly builds up to a brilliantly shocking ending. Little Black Lies is an immensely enjoyable book to read and will undoubtedly leave readers stunned.