Review – This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf

About the Book:

Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide…

Twenty-five years ago, the body of sixteen-year-old Eve Knox was found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa—discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and her sister, Nola. There were a handful of suspects, including her boyfriend, Nick, but without sufficient evidence the case ultimately went cold.

For decades Maggie was haunted by Eve’s death and that horrible night. Now a detective in Grotto, and seven months pregnant, she is thrust back into the past when a new piece of evidence surfaces and the case is reopened. As Maggie investigates and reexamines the clues, secrets about what really happened begin to emerge. But someone in town knows more than they’re letting on, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried deep.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                            This Is How I Lied: A Novel

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe is nearing her due date to deliver her first child, and therefore is being assigned to lighter duty in her job as a detective for the police department of Grotto, IA.  Ironically, she is assigned the twenty five year old unsolved murder of Eve Knox, who was her best friend, as well as being the case her own father could never bring to conclusion.

Maggie and Eve lived on the same street, and were best friends from the age of six through fifteen, until Eve was killed.  Things were a bit strained between the two friends near the end of Eve’s life and there was friction between them, culminating in a major fight on the very day of Eve’s death.  Eve’s boyfriend is controlling and abusive, yet she keeps returning to him, frustrating Maggie.  But Maggie is involved in a disastrous relationship of her own, and refuses to listen to Eve’s pleas to end it.  Aside from the grief of losing the friend she loved, Maggie is guilt ridden over their last hateful meeting with each other, knowing that they parted forever on such awful terms.

As Maggie begins to re-examine the evidence and re-interview the witnesses, the story alternates between the present and the past.  The tale from twenty five years ago introduces all the potential murderers, and details the toxic relationships both girls were in.  The list of suspects grows, even including Maggie, herself, her husband, Shaun, and Eve’s crazy (or, is she?) sister, Nola, among others.  Maggie is shocked to learn who her own father, now suffering memory lapses, suspected.  THIS IS HOW I LIED is a gripping story that kept me reading nonstop until I found the answers.  The alternating time periods were written very well, building the anticipation to a heart pounding climax which puts the lives of Maggie and her unborn child at peril.  I found this book enthralling and exciting, and sure to appeal to readers who enjoy the twists and turns of a well crafted thriller.    ~Rose

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