It’s a pleasure to take part in Blogtour The Ugly Truth by L.C. North.
About the Author
L.C. North studied psychology at university before pursuing a career in Public Relations. Her first book club thriller – The Ugly Truth – combines her love of psychology and her fascination with the celebrities in the public eye. L.C. North is currently working on her second novel, and when she’s not writing, she co-hosts the crime thriller podcast, In Suspense. L.C. North lives on the Suffolk borders with her family. L.C. North is the pen name of Lauren North.
Follow her on Twitter @Lauren_C_North and @lauren_c_north on Instagram
About the book
Everyone’s telling a different story. Who do you believe? Melanie Lange has disappeared. Her father, Sir Peter Lange, says she is a danger to herself and has been admitted to a private mental health clinic.
Her ex-husband, Finn, and best friend, Nell, say she has been kidnapped. The media will say whichever gets them the most views. But whose side are you on? #SaveMelanie #HelpPeter
‘Told exclusively through interviews, transcripts and diary entries, The Ugly Truth is a gripping, original and smart thriller. It explores the influence of the press and social media on public opinion and in private lives; from conservatorship to the lack of mental health support for reality TV stars, the news cycle is full of stories about the often tragic consequences of media attention. L.C. North cleverly weaves these themes into a tense and compulsive thriller, perfect for book clubs. This thought-provoking and conversation-starting novel reminds us of the people behind the headlines, and how difficult it can be to separate fact from fiction.’
I think this dark psychological domestic thriller echoes a manifestation of the negative attributes of social media, the media overall, and how we all have front seats to the actions and emotions of our fellow humans on a daily basis. Whilst the above comes with plenty of positives, such as information sharing at high-speed, which is especially important in countries and situations that would and are usually shrouded in a cloud of information suppression, connecting all of us via threads of virtual communication can often come at a costly price.
The question is whether the positive outweighs the negative. Keeping in mind that media is now opinion sharing and no longer fact based reporting, which brings disinformation, misinformation, propaganda, and both troll and bot farm driven information. It’s also important to remember that our media companies are run by wealthy private individuals and big companies who drive their own political, social and personal agendas via these forums.
The above, and indeed the ability to influence a worldwide audience, is at the core of the story. It doesn’t matter what the truth is – only how many people you can convince that your narrative is the truth.
This is actually more than just a psychological thriller, it’s also simultaneously a poignant reminder of the way society is wrapped up in technology and the trickle down changes in the younger generations we are seeing. Opinion is fact, rumours are facts, truth is a blurred narrative with a lack of boundaries. Imagine being a victim or someone falsely accused in that ever expanding vacuum of opinions and reactions. Real life consequences and real time damage. Imagine, if you will, the power this allows the liar to wield.
Kudos to the author for the ending that leaves us with more questions than answers. Is that in itself a product of the above. That no matter what kind of factual proof a person convinced by a hydra of mixed messages receives they will stand on their hill and defend it blindly, despite the damage they leave in their wake. It’s a great read. I wonder – are you team Melanie or team Peter?
Buy The Ugly Truth at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bantam Press; pub date 16th March 2023 Hardback | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.