“And when the memories lie, sometimes it’s best to let the truth stay hidden.”
Twenty-five years ago, Olivia Tate’s best friend Katie left their Dorset village, never to be heard from again.
Olivia Tate, her husband Ethan, and her twelve-year-old daughter Anna, live in a barn conversion on the outskirts of a small Dorset village. Olivia loves her family, her house, and her life. Her father-in-law, a builder, converted the barn twenty-five years before. Now, sadly, Tom has Alzheimer’s and is living in a nearby care home.
Olivia and the rest of the family visit Tom regularly. One day when visiting, Tom tells Olivia that he has killed someone. Shocked, but wary that perhaps this is just a delusion brought about by his condition, Olivia eventually goes to the police – who dismiss her concerns.
When Olivia begins to suspect that Tom is talking about her old friend, Katie, she does some amateur investigating. She learns that Katie had a horrible home life, possibly being abused by her parents. Olivia feels that she has let Katie down, not doing enough to help her escape her plight. She feels guilt that she has thought less and less about Katie over the past two decades.
“I think again about how far I’d go to protect my daughter, my family. The lies I’d tell. And I convince myself again that not all lies are the same.”
When, in one of his more lucid moments, Tom tells Olivia where the body is buried, she returns to the police… The results of her actions turn her loving family against her. Each family member reacting to the discovery of the body in different ways. Each unraveling the fabric of their once happy family. Trust is eroded, suspicion mounts.
“Everything we do, every event in our lives has a domino effect.”
“Love could be a viscous and destructive thing sometimes.”
Told exclusively from Olivia’s point of view, the story reveals Olivia’s strong moral character and how she deals with one seemingly insurmountable moral dilemma. Because of this, the story was very easy to follow and the descriptions brought the novel to life.
I really enjoy novels about family secrets and the repercussions that come about when they are revealed.
This is the first novel I’ve read by Sibel Hodge and I would definitely read more of her work. She held my interest and I became invested in the plight of the Tate family. A must-read for fans of Whodunit mystery fiction.
I’m grateful to Thomas & Mercer (via NetGalley) for providing me with a digital copy of this novel for review purposes.
Sibel Hodge is the author of No. 1 Bestseller Look Behind You and most recently, Into the Darkness. Her books are International Bestsellers in UK, USA, Australia, and Germany. She writes an eclectic mix of genres, and she’s a passionate human and animal rights advocate.
Her work has been recognized by several literary awards.
Follow Sibel Hodge on Twitter.