If you haven’t read anything by Sharon Bolton yet then I would encourage you to pick up one of her books the next time you’re looking for something to read.
She weaves her tale with historical fact, extensive geographical and environmental knowledge and a great depth of emotion. In Little Black Lies she hits on quite a few important topics, which she does by mixing them subtly into the folds of a crime story. Post-traumatic Stress disorder, postpartum depression, the plight of beached whales, grief and the mentality of islanders.
The book is split into three voices or narrators and culminates with the three of them coming together for an unexpected ending.
The story starts with Catrin, although to be fair the reader doesn’t know who it is or that she is a woman until a few pages in. Catrin is woman shrouded in intense pain and grief. The grief has manifested itself and she has almost channelled it into an intense feeling of rage. In turn the rage is now focused on vengeance. She is building herself up to take revenge on the person who took her children from her.
The story continues with Callum, an ex-soldier with an eye on Catrin. Callum is suffering from PTSD, caused by the events he experienced as a soldier during the Falklands War. He is sometimes overcome by flashbacks, which causes blackouts and violent outbursts. He finds himself losing time and fears he is a danger to those around him.
Then there is Rachel, mother of three, best friend to Catrin and the accidental killer of two young boys. She has been in limbo since the traumatic incident. On top of that she has trouble bonding with her youngest child, perhaps she even resents his presence.
Their complicated situation comes to a head when a young boy gets lost on the island, the third child to go missing in the last few years. Catrin and Callum work together to find him, but inadvertently find the spotlight on themselves when yet another child goes missing.
It is an excellent blend of menacing dark thoughts, moments of heartbreak, frenzied mass hysteria and lynch mobs, and in the midst of it all the simplicity of relationships that have broken down.
I really enjoyed the read. It was such an interesting mixture of crime, passion and emotional torture. The pace is consistent and steady with plenty of twists and turns, and it had a really unexpected turn of events towards the end. Bolton is definitely one to watch out for in the future.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.