This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Tell the truth. Or face the consequences.
Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago.
One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.
But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.
Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.
Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?
Warnings: domestic violence, abusive ex, gas-lighting, suicidal ideation, physical violence (assault), revenge porn
A murder ‘mystery’ in the vein of slasher movies where a group of teens are lured into a mansion as part of a revenge plot, This Lie Will Kill You doesn’t really keep us in suspense. It is pretty predictable in its set-up, as well as the identity of both the ‘bad guys’ – the one who caused the murder and the one who is taking revenge on behalf of the victim. It, however, has a well-written character-driven story that takes us through the relationships between the five teens, the circumstances leading up to the murder and how they were maneuvered by the ex-boyfriend from hell into going just that one step too far. Told through each of the teens in third person perspective, we get to see the pieces of terrible things, and how they are being covered up.
As a bad guy, Parker is extremely infuriating. To be honest, if Brianna wouldn’t have even waited till he entered the mansion to strangle him with the rope he brought in, that too would have been fine. He is manipulative, stalkery, and obsessed with Ruby, his ex who he is abusive towards. Ruby, for her part, is still not over the death of Shane, the boy who died and who she loved; she is also a survivor of abuse (from her father) and is trying to escape from Parker’s attempts to get her back. Juniper, Ruby’s ex best friend, is a smart character who senses how shady it is, but comes to protect Ruby. Brett, meanwhile, comes with a guilty conscience already and a troubled heart. As they get going with the game, the story spills out, and yes, it is pretty much what you expect it to be. What I didn’t expect it to be was so dramatic (now I see why it has been likened to Riverdale in its synopis – some of the characters are so extra). The writing is okay, but the characters do seem exaggerated at times; even the dialogue at times felt too cheesy and metaphorical for a bunch of teens to talk in. The ending is also stretched out to give more insight into the motives and backstory of a character.
In short, this is a mystery plot that is more driven by the characters, than the twists and motive.
Is it diverse? One of the characters is gay; another is Asian.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Simon and Schuster UK Children’s, via Netgalley.
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Releases on December 11, 2018