The Lying Room

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Neve is a mother of three, the eldest of whom is very difficult. Her husband Fletcher is kind and thoughtful but Neve has been having an affair, That morning, she goes to her boss / lover’s house and finds him murdered. Panicking, she cleans away all evidence of their affair. For the rest of the book, she tries to get away with one lie after another whilst being the one all of her friends lean in their own crises. Who did kill Saul? Why? Is Neve safe? Will her lies be discovered? Neve somehow manages to be a sympathetic character despite her reckless behaviour. Inalso warmed to Mabel - her eldest - and all of her complexities.  
This book kept me interested throughout and I was keen to get to the resolution. It’s not a plausible story but good fun to read. Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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It's always good when a new Nicci French book comes out, so I was looking forward to reading this latest. It certainly didn't disappoint. Neve has been having an affair with a work colleague. One morning she receives a text from him asking her to meet him at his flat. When she gets there she finds him dead, having been the victim of an assault with a hammer. So.…. does she call 999 and therefore explain her involvement, or does she pretend she's never been there. This is a good, fast paced story that will keep you guessing to the end. Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
Copied to Goodreads.
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Cleverly written and intense thriller that keeps you guessing.

The book is a great demonstration of what can happen when you set out to deceive and you can really feel the tension caused.

Very good standalone thriller that kept my hooked from the start.
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It's been a good while since I've read a Niici French novel. A psychological thriller that kept the attention well throughout. The story starts with a brutal murder and the rest of the novel deals with Eve's response to discovering the body.

Eve, her friends and family all have their secrets and these are revealed step by step as the story develops. The police struggle to progress the case as each character has their own reasons for not revealing truths. Eve knows she is under suspicion and has to do whatever it takes to keep her family together, identify the real murderer and avoid becoming another victim.

This is a real page-turner with some quite tense moments, although some actions do seem rather far-fetched and the climax does stretch credibility to its limits. Nevertheless, an engaging and well written read.

(I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest unedited feedback.)
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I started reading this book but it wasn't for me. The book was different to how I thought it was going to be and I stopped reading at about 10%.

The errors throughout the book were quite off putting and I appreciate it is an advanced reader copy but it was very distracting.

Thank you for providing me with this book.
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This is not an easy review to write, as I find myself somewhat flummoxed by the story I have just read. . Is it a murder mystery? Is it a thriller? Is it a police procedural? Or is it some kind of tongue -in - cheek farce? I’ve not read any previous work from this author duo, so I have no benchmark or comparison. 

I found the characterisation to be weak, especially of Neve, who is described as a warm caring person, and everyone’s friend and confidante. However she does not come across as such, she is not likeable at all. Her actions on discovering the murdered body of her lover, and the subject of her grand passion, are  cold, clinical and unbelievable. The other characters are equally sparsely drawn, and equally unlikeable. 

The story is so implausible in so many ways - why on earth would a bunch of work colleagues and long-ago university friends, congregate in Neve’s home, and continue to stay there over a couple of days, sleeping in the family’s beds, eating their food, wearing their clothes? Very odd behaviour indeed. 

The minutae of Neve’s home life, housework, shopping, food preparation, in the midst of this crazy situation drove me to distraction. When she does occasionally show up for work, she doesn’t do anything other than ruminate endlessly about her life and her perilous situation. Unless she is being interviewed by the hapless Detective Hitching, which is also related in minute detail. 

I did read to the end if only to try to find out exactly what I had invested so much time in reading. I’m not sure I’m any the wiser now. 

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my advance copy of this book.
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Fans of other books by Nicki French are in for a treat!

I’m never sure if people like the characters in Nicki French exist in real life but I’m always fascinated by how they are brought to life in the books. The reader is drawn into the life of Neve and her family straight away but the side characters are equally interesting and their shared history helps the story reach its dramatic conclusion.

A fabulous read.
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I have read the Nicci French Freda Klein series of books which I enjoyed immensely, this is the first standalone book I have read of theirs.
A narrative of the book is set out in the blurb.  Briefly,  Neve, one of the main characters in the book is having an affair with her married boss.  She gets text asking her to meet him at his flat, upon arrival she finds his dead body.  What she does next leads her into a tangled web of lies and deceit trying to protect herself and her family and stop her guilty secret from becoming known.  However Neve is not the only one with secrets as she find out her friends and family also have secrets of their own.  DCI Hitching investigates the murder and Neve interweaves a more complicated tangle of untruths trying to protect those she loves and to stay ahead of the investigation.  Neve herself slowly comes to realise who is behind the killing and embarks on a dangerous journey to find out the truth.  A twisty taut psychological thriller with an unexpected twist. I would highly recommend the book.With thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the ARC in return for my opinion
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The Lying Game is a compelling thriller full of suspense and clever complicity to keep you guessing who the killer is and how the main suspect, although innocent, navigates her own guilty situation. Neve Connolly is a wife in her forties and mother with three children. The last number of years have been a strain with various family problems and a depressed husband. When events forged the prospect for Neve to embark on an affair with her new boss Saul Stevenson, she took the step and sought some pleasure for herself. An affair that was exhilarating, passionate and mindless was played out mainly in his apartment in the city, for which she held her own key. After having spent an evening together, Saul texts Neve early the next morning asking for one more moment together before he goes off on a business trip.

In the short time from the phone call, until Neve arrives at the apartment, Saul has been murdered, and as she looks at the dead body with the murder weapon beside him, she realises there are traces of her all over the flat. The dilemma is tantalisingly balanced – should she report the murder to the police and explain her involvement with Saul and deal with all the family repercussions that will inevitably flow. Or clean the flat to remove all traces of her and pretend she was never there or involved with him. What had started as an affair had become death and she was at the centre of it, along with an unknown killer, who may or may not know her involvement with Saul.

The plot is fabulously drawn with an intricately woven web of lies that spiral into deeper and deeper complexity that excels in this thriller. The mental rollercoaster of Neve, trying to remember what she had said previously, how she should respond to questions from her colleagues, friends and family, how she should act, and how to protect herself when information could be validated from other sources.

“She had never understood how intricate and delicate the act of communication was, how many clues and contexts there were.”

Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching leads the investigation and possesses that searching stare that implies he knows when you’re lying. The engagement with DCI Hitching is one of the clever and enthralling aspects of the story, how he doesn’t forget information and asks those seemingly guiltless questions that wrong foot a suspect. It was fascinating to observe the delicate interplay between Neve and him, how she tried to prepare her reactions and responses that don’t look fabricated.

Meanwhile, there is still the real killer out there who may be getting away with murder (literally) if Neve continues to be the main suspect and if the killer can add more compelling evidence to her lies and cover-ups, then they are clear.

While the writing has a wonderful descriptive quality it could have been cut down quite a bit to ensure a tighter momentum, as I was regularly tempted to start rushing through particular sections to keep the pace high. My only complaint!

I loved the concept of this novel and the authors really brought out all the worries, deceit and panic that this plot provided. I highly recommend this book and I'd like to thank Simon and Schuster UK and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC version in return for an honest review.
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This is such a brilliant read and my first book by Nicci French and I most impressed by both the quality of the writing and the storyline. The tension began to mount almost immediately as the main character of Neve finds the dead body of her lover in his flat, desperate to try and extricate herself from any involvement Neve just bit by bit manages to dig herself deeper and deeper into a big hole whilst also suspecting everyone around her. This is a really riveting read and I particularly loved the character of DCI Hitching and the cat and mouse discourse that went on between him and Neve you could really feel the tension it was so well portrayed. I can totally recommend this for anyone who enjoys a cracking good mystery.
 A fabulous read from start to finish it kept me guessing throughout and for me that’s all I want from a thriller.
My thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster UK for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Nicci French is a phenomenal writer and this book did not disappoint, She has talent for telling this type of story, keeping the air of mystery and suspense while she weaves a complex plot filled with characters readers can relate to.
The way she writes the lead character Neve is fabulously layered. Neve is not perfect, she's had an affair, her lover is dead, she tells lies to protect herself and remove any trace of herself from his life. She shouldn't be a likeable character but she is. thus is the talent Nicci has in telling a story like this.
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I thought this was brilliant, I really liked the writing and pace, and thought the characters were very realistic, and I was clueless as to who did what,can't ask for for more.I thought it was puzzling and read it really fast.Thanks for the ARC for and honest review.
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This starts off as an unexplained muder story with a likely culprit in the frame. Then it becomes a story harking back to university friendships and falling outs too many years ago to be likely to have the consequences described in the book. The married couples seem to be more expert in deceit and betrayal than anything else. The story has too much description including the detail of the recipes cooked for several meals by the main character in the story and her family. That is a level of detail the reader and the story do not need. For all that,the reader will want to know what happened and that is revealed rather unexpectedly.
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So for my preview copy of The Lying Room I promised a full and frank review. Here goes. Whilst on the whole I thought it was well written, and presuming that the names spelt all lower case were because it’s a pre-edited copy, I did think it was unbelievable. The premise of the story itself was good I just don’t believe that Neve could have hidden the truth from everyone around her , aside from Mabel of course. It’s complex but enjoyable.
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Very clever story of murder, long-term friendship, and deceit told mainly through the life of one key character as she lies to friends, family and the police while trying to solve the crime and save her family life.
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Neve,a wonderful mother ,wife and a friend to all. Dark days loomed as the suspicions fell on her good long time friends and colleagues. A murder ,to Neve's lover and boss,Saul. .Who could have done such a thing? Suddenly Neve came under suspicion herself but ,even more frighteningly could she also be the next victim?

Wonderful book with twists and turns  that gets you pondering ,just like Neve,who could have done such a thing and even more puzzling ,why?
Another great book by Nicci French .I have read quite a few of their books but this ,to me ranks among the best.
Loved every page .
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Neve Connelly gets a text from her lover Saul one morning to meet him at his flat. When she gets there she discovers that he has been brutally murdered. Terrified that her affair might be discovered, with the ensuing devastating effect on her children especially the somewhat unstable Mabel she eschews calling the police and instead cleans the flat to erase any trace of her ever having been there. And so begins an almost farcical series of lies to cover up what she has done.

This is a readable enough novel with lots of tension throughout. Neve goes through a stressful time not least because a whole host of friends from university land on her unexpectedly and seem to be intent on staying forever. But there are elements that just don't add up - the resolution for one. I found that most unconvincing. And the characterisation was very sketchy. Neve herself was not particularly well characterised. We are told throughout that she is a warm person to whom people are drawn but this isn't how she comes across in her actions. She doesn't seem to have warm feelings even towards her own children, two of whom she virtually ignores except to feed them. The daughter Mabel is also unconvincing being almost too difficult and unpleasant to believe. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC.
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When Neve finds her boss/lover dead, she believes her actions are what start seemingly a complex web of lies ... I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I found her style of writing to be so vivid - it almost felt like I was watching a tv show (and I think this book would make a great one!). I think the plot is ultimately nothing new, but it’s got some surprising twists and will suck you in in the end!
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This was the first Nicci French book I read. So glad I found another author that I will return to for further enjoyment. Her detailed style, twists and turns, and of course keeping you hanging on a thread are what I look for in a thriller. Highly recommended.
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A sure-fire hit, with a strong focus on family tensions in this thriller. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my views.
Firstly, it’s strange to read something by this twosome that isn’t part of a series.
We begin with Neve Connolly on her way to meet Saul, her boss, who she’s having an affair with. I have to confess that, initially, I was quite judgmental towards Neve, and couldn’t believe her actions when she arrives at the flat to discover Saul’s dead body. A man has been killed and her first thoughts are to clean the place so nobody discovers the truth of her affair! That’s the sign of a particularly strong character that I wasn’t sure what to make of.
As the story progresses we watch the investigation into Saul’s death unfold. We also learn that many people around Neve have secrets of their own, some of which are potentially more dangerous than others.
This was a story I raced through, never quite sure who was hiding what - or how significant the hidden information would be.
The final moments of the main story were fraught with tension, and I’m still rather surprised at the turn this took. Not quite sure what it says about modern policing, and my only gripe was with the final chapter that actually showed us the start of these events. It felt unnecessary as we’d already been told this.
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