In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty-year-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies. Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir. Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother. Soon Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.
First of all, I need to say that I read and enjoyed Burying The Honeysuckle Girls last year. It was one of my firsts approvals ever on Netgalley and for that, I’ll always be grateful. However, as much as I enjoyed that first book, I think The Weight Of Lies is much better and it just proves that Emily Carpenter is a fantastic storyteller. I can’t wait to read what she writes next! Although both books are southern gothic tales, they couldn’t be more different. The first was more of a slow-burning mystery, this one is all suspense and action. It’s addictive, compelling and the last few chapters were completely crazy. I loved all of it.
The Weight Of Lies tells the story of a young socialite called Megan Ashley, daughter of famous best-selling author Frances Ashley. The relationship between the two of them has never been easy, so no one is surprised when Megan decides to write a memoir about her childhood and goes on to investigate the real crime that inspired her mother’s most famous book: Kitten.
This is a book within a book, so we get to read one chapter from the actual story and then a Kitten excerpt. I must say that structure works really well and this way, you know what the characters are talking about when they describe the Kitten phenomenon. And Kitten was surely gripping (at least, that’s how I feel about the parts we got to read), but the present story was the real gem here.
The setting was my favorite part: Bonny Island, Georgia. I could feel like I was there with the characters, and the hotel made for a really good book location. Emily Carpenter has written a complex and fascinating mystery with plenty of red-herrings and moments where characters say things like: “You have no idea of what’s going on here” (I honestly felt my heart racing at that moment) and scenes where there is so much tension that you need to breathe in and out to relax.
I was never sure about my suspicions and I kept changing my theories with every new chapter. In conclusion, even though the last chapter felt a bit rushed, I finished the book with a big smile on my face. I knew this would be one of the best books of the month. And not that it needed it, but there was a nice twist that I never even considered (although once you start thinking about it, it makes total sense).
Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing, 2017