Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 5 July 2016
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Greece, Travel
Source: Purchased Book
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It starts with a lie. The kind we've all told - to a former acquaintance we can't quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home. And the next thing you know, you're having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday - swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of. Which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you're trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you - by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be, it's the lies that cause the real damage, well, by then, it could just be too late.
Lie With Me is a story of comeuppance, unrequited love, and pain. The protagonist, Paul thinks he is God’s gift to women. He treats them abhorrently, wham, bam, and thank you, ma’am, is his life’s motto. He doesn’t think about how his actions affect the women he uses and only thinks about how they can help him. They aid his fragile ego and then he’s gone. He views himself as a big-shot author, but truth be told, he hasn’t published anything since turning 21. His agent is on the verge of dropping him, he is homeless and has no money to find anywhere. When he is invited to a dinner party and meets widowed Alice, he sees his meal ticket. Oh and he can’t stop lying to her.
If I’m completely honest none of the characters were particularly likable. Paul the user and abuser, Alice although you were meant to like her she came off snobbish and married to her career. I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters because essentially they were all upper class, judgemental individuals. Paul and his lies have a purpose – to him. It allows him to be vainer, more egocentric, and above all to make him look more successful than he is.
“The selfish response to events was so much more straightforward than the morally correct.”
Ten years ago, Paul was in Pyros, Greece. It was a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons. Paul and drink do not mix. So after meeting Alice, who by the way is not his usual type. She is mature, the mother of teenage children has financial responsibilities that I dare say Paul wouldn’t cope well with and she has a successful career as a lawyer. So when she mentions that they are heading out to Greece again as a last hurrah, he does everything to convince her to invite him also. It is a trip that will alter his life indefinitely.
His arrival in Greece is marred with more lies. He arrives on a much cheaper but longer flight. He spends the night visiting bars. He plans to head to Alice’s holiday home in the morning. Upon arrival, he is vexed that there is no welcoming party, no special spread. The heat is all-consuming, the insects are everywhere, there is a dog that will just not quit barking and the construction work through the day is headache-inducing. Along with Alice, her friend Andrew, his wife, and children. The holiday is marred with a terrible event, the young Geordie lass he met on the bus has been raped and they are trying to find the assailant. Paul wonders why he saw Alice and Andrew pulling her son out of her car, comatose with the drink. Why are Alice and Andrew being so evasive about it?