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All booksThrillerLies She Told
Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

Lies She Told

by Cate Holahan

Quick take

"When bodies begin to appear on the pages of her book as well as in Liza’s 'real’ life, will she be able to distinguish between what is actual reality and what is fiction?"

Why I love it

Stacey Armand
"You Be the Judge" Winner

Great authors "write what they know.'" But when an author writes about murder, things can get a bit squirrely. In Lies She Told, the protagonist seeks to revive her literary career by writing a hot new thriller. But as the plot she writes begins to blur with her own life, the reader is left to sort out what’s true, and what are lies. After all, who doesn’t love a "book within a book"—especially when they’re both thrillers.

It has been years since Liza Cole has known success in the literary world, and her publisher has given her one more shot at redemption. Meanwhile, Liza’s personal life is also falling apart. After multiple failed fertility treatments, she and her husband David find themselves cracking from the emotional strain. David’s answer is to drown himself in his work at the law firm while Liza puts her last hope for a baby on a controversial hormone experiment. With her book deadline looming and the hormone treatment causing alarming side effects, Liza starts to slowly unravel.

Lies She Told is also an interesting examination of a writer and her craft. Holahan delves into the writing process and explores where author inspiration comes from and how creating a story can often take on a life all its own. I absolutely loved the dynamic between Liza and her protagonist, and how both their stories are packed with crazy plot twists. The writing is smart, and the way the stories blend together is a testament to Holahan’s own skill as an author. Liza’s notion that to be a writer is to be a "con artist" and "a life thief" was never far from my mind as I began to wonder how much of her story was indeed a con and how much was truth.

Pour a glass of wine and immerse yourself in the parallel worlds of Liza and Beth. Pay attention, dear reader, as the two stories merge into one. When bodies begin to appear on the pages of her book as well as in Liza’s "real" life, will she be able to distinguish between what is actual reality and what is fiction? Will you?

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From the publisher:

Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same river and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

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Member thoughts

All (3162)
All (3162)
Love (1349)
Like (1631)
Dislike (182)
3274 ratings
  • 41% Love
  • 50% Like
  • 6% Dislike
  • New York City, NY

    I loved this book because it keeps you guessing, and the line between “reality” and “fiction” becomes blurred. Ending seems plausible in our modern society, so I enjoyed everything!

  • Edmonds, WA

    A great suspense thriller with unreliable narration. This book kept me guessing throughout. A quick read, with chapters alternating from the narrator’s real life and the novel she’s currently writing.

  • Jacksonville, IL

    A unique thriller with two stories in one, sort of. Liza is a woman struggling to have a family & struggling to write another best-selling novel. The chapters alternate between Liza‘s life and book.

  • Austin, TX

    I love how the book was a combination of the characters real life and the book she was writing in the story. They intertwined so well I would confuse the two stories. Then again...that was the purpose

  • Alexandria, VA

    The change is perspective was sometimes hard to follow, which further engrossed me into the story. The fact that you're led to the twist, but not confirmed until the very end made for a thrilling read

  • Holbrook, NY

    Loved it. The telling of two sides of a similar story. One side from the authors life and the other from the life of the book she’s writing. Very clever and even though there were lots of parallels.

  • Southaven , MS

    This was a great book!!! I am going to be buying for my best friend to read too. I couldn't put it down and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved that it was like two books in one. Awesome !!!

  • Dallas, TX

    To say I was not sure the outcome until the last page is an understatement. Great pacing and suspense. Cate Holahan could have dragged this book out, but it was a quick, compact read that I devoured.

  • Beavercreek , OH

    I really enjoyed it. It was twisty & turny and deeply layered. I love the multi dimensional approach, it was fun to dig for clues. Highly recommend this to anyone who likes psychological thrillers.

  • Muncie, IN

    By far one of the better books I have read in a long time! I read it in one night because I just could not put it down! Somewhat predictable, but still fascinating. Love with the story within a story.

  • bloomington, CA

    WOW! Loved this book the whole way through. I really loved that it was "2 stories in 1". And the constant surprises at the end were incredible I thought I had this book figured out but i was wrong

  • Port St Lucie, FL

    What a story! The author takes you along and before you know it you are consumed and completely involved. plot twists and unexpected endings will have you on the edge of your seat all the way throug.

  • Kearney, NE

    When the lines of reality & literature get blurred & you get so sucked into a storyline that you can't even think straight ... You begin to question your own reality from the book you just binge read.

  • Junction City, OR

    I loved this book! I finished it in 3 sittings. I really wish they would have went just a bit farther then they where the story left off but overall I was completely hooked throughout the whole book.

  • Lake Charles, LA

    Loved piecing together the puzzle. The blur between reality and fiction so perfectly twisted keeps you guessing. You feel yourself pulled with the characters momentum. Art often mimics life or does it

  • Brooklyn, NY

    This book had me going through all sorts of emotions. Being able to relate to the unfaithfulness of a spouse is heartbreaking. However, learning that the other person was of opposite sex was insane!!

  • Monterey Park, CA

    Although you think you get a strong sense of who the murderer is, this book explores multiple possibilities and you don't get the answer until the very end, at least for me. I wanted to keep reading!

  • Silver Spring, MD

    While I figured out what I thought was going to happen about 2/3rds of the way in, I still couldn't put it down until I finished! Found myself confusing what was real and what was her book character!

  • Kennett, MO

    So good I couldn't put it down!!! It's a real page turner!! One of my favorite BOTMs so far! How the author tied together the life of the main character and the book she was writing was mind blowing!

  • Manchester , CT

    Great read. Just when you thought you had the ending figured out, something would throw you off. Holahan writes beautifully and keeps the reader engaged even through the pages of small details. Love!

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