Having adored Jo Spain’s Six Wicked Reasons which I reviewed here, I was thrilled to receive a copy of Jo’s latest book The Perfect Lie from Milly Reid at Quercus in return for an honest review.
Published by Quercus on 13th May 2021, The Perfect Lie is available for purchase through these links.
The Perfect Lie
He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder.
Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning, it’s the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death.
Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect.
But it was all built on the perfect lie.
My Review of The Perfect Lie
Erin’s life is about to change.
What an absolute treat of an author Jo Spain is. I absolutely loved The Perfect Lie because I had no idea how it would be resolved and it captivated me from the very first word to the final full stop. The quality of plotting is magnificent. After a very dramatic opening there are unexpected moments that make for such an exciting and bewitching book that I simply couldn’t tear myself away from The Perfect Lie. It was one of those reads where I was pondering it all the time I wasn’t actually reading it. The different timescales weave together smoothly and convincingly and it’s an absolute masterclass as Jo Spain creates a kind of narrative DNA helix of twisting and exciting events. Initially I had no idea how the threads would come together and to say more would spoil the story for others but The Perfect Lie is a corker of a story.
The characters are deftly defined and Jo Spain explores magnificently the manner in which we all hide part of our essential selves to ensure the reader is never entirely sure whom to believe or trust. I loved the way that Danny is the catalyst for action so that whilst he isn’t present directly, he drives the story forward. Erin’s first person account is so clever because there’s a permanent frisson of intrigue and danger about her story that really elevated my pulse as I read. Erin is a flawed character, being occasionally reckless, stubborn and always slightly an outsider – from her family and her place in American society – so that I found her gripping and convincing.
Not only is The Perfect Lie hugely entertaining but the themes that weave throughout the story give it an added dimension that makes it feel fresh and maturely presented. Identity is key and Jo Spain explores how we present ourselves to others, and indeed to ourselves, with absolute precision. I found this aspect fascinating. Add in themes of corruption at so many levels, family and relationships, professionalism, grief, trust and healing and The Perfect Lie resounds with aspects with which any reader can find resonance in their own lives.
Jo Spain is a brilliant writer and The Perfect Lie is an equally brilliant book. I loved it.
About Jo Spain
Jo Spain is a full-time writer and screenwriter. Her first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and her first psychological thriller, The Confession, was a number one bestseller in Ireland. Jo co-wrote the ground-breaking RTE television series Taken Down, which first broadcast in Ireland in 2018. She’s now working on multiple European television projects. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.