Let’s set the scene…
Pacing back and forth in her study on a call with her assistant Jeannie notices she’s being watched to her relief it is only the gardener.
Waving politely and finishing her conversation she hangs up daydreaming about the husband she dearly loves and misses. As she’s reminiscing over a recent present and making herself a cup of tea she remembers he’ll be home in 2 days, anticipating the new surprise he will have for her.
He’s the perfect man—complex, fascinating, largely unpredictable, and with a penchant for the kind of games that keeps her on her toes.
After making the cup of tea, she turns around finally spotting the note. It’s surprising she hadn’t heard anyone come in but that isn’t uncommon.
She pours the tea down the drain and collects the things she will need letting herself out quietly, and then she vanishes…
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Domestic Fiction
This opens 12 days after Jeannie disappears, a wealthy publisher with a reputation for being one that is tough and will cut you off at the drop of a hat. She is taking a phone call with her assistant on January 6, 2021. When she spots someone outside her comfortable manor, the landscaper, Neil Roberts, a man that was responsible for transforming her sprawling grounds, turned friend.
She receives a mysterious note, and she decides to leave her home to meet whoever left it for her. That departure creates a mystery that pushes the book from page one. Twelve days later a new investigator, Cara, is assigned to look into Jeannie’s disappearance. She had been referred to the police by Andee, an ex-detective. And Andee had been contacted by Jeannie’s husband Guy, a dashing surgeon, who has been increasingly worried about his wife since he showed up at their second home.
As Cara is introduced to the case, she is made aware that Jeannie has a history of playing games in order to worry her husband with short-term disappearances not telling anyone of her departure. Since Jeannie has played this game before, Guy was not initially concerned that his wife was not home when he returned from London. Clues start to pile up, her car is missing, and that shouldn’t be the case, as they are in the middle of another lockdown due to the virus.
As Cara and Andee investigate the disappearance of the woman, the rather convoluted relationships in the community, as everyone is involved with everyone, relationships, and possible motives start to come under scrutiny, even when there is uncertainty that a crime has even taken place. You start to wonder who’s lying.
Extended Thoughts on Who’s Lying Now?
The story is written from several points of view, including the killer’s voice. This adds to the whodunnit aspect of the novel, creating a captivating story. You never know who’s lying. Each person seems to have something to hide, and they hide it well. What actually happens becomes overwhelming for every character in this book, not only Cara. Adding a sense of realness to the story. The novel is set in the final weeks of 2020 and the early months of 2021. When the actual lockdowns and restrictions of the world were happening allowing you to feel like the story is that much more verifiable.
It is an enthralling novel, that is full of drama. The characters are developed well with some being incredibly unlikeable. In some parts, it is like they are forcing a character to be a suspect instead of actually doing the work. DS Rundle insinuates on multiple occasions that Neil is the killer so everyone draws that conclusion. Ultimately being on her side. It makes her very unlikeable (like the real police). The story itself is quite fleshed out. There are threads drawing each character together, with those same threads tearing them apart piece by piece. You won’t be able to tell who actually is the killer until the very end!