Never Tell a Lie by Gail Schimmel

Posted June 2, 2022 by elzaread in Book Review / 2 Comments

Never Tell a Lie by Gail SchimmelNever Tell a Lie by Gail Schimmel
Published by Lake Union Publishing on November 30th, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 349
Format: Paperback
Source: Pan Macmillan SA
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From the author of The Aftermath comes the story of a whirlwind friendship―and the dark secrets lurking beneath it.

After a tumultuous marriage, Mary Wilson is happy in her uncomplicated life, focusing on her twelve-year-old son. She’s always been content with her little family―but then she finds an old postcard that throws her whole past into question…

When an invitation arrives for her high school reunion, Mary jumps at the chance of a distraction from the shock discovery, and meeting her old classmate April feels like a gift. Despite barely remembering April, Mary throws herself into the new friendship and finds her previously quiet social life reinvigorated.

But as the bonds between them are forged, Mary finds herself drawn further and further into April’s life and marriage, increasingly fearing that everything is not as perfect as it seems. Is her own painful past clouding her judgement, or is Mary right to suspect that the people she trusts most are the ones with the most to hide?

“The whole business of organizing school reunions is for those people whose lives peaked at High School and have gone nowhere since.”

First of all, I can’t believe how long it’s taking me to write a review for this brilliant read. But with a hectic school schedule, an unplanned wonderful vacation and load shedding during the hours set out for blogging and reviewing, it’s quite understandable (or excusable).

All these typical South African excuses, are one of the biggest reasons that I loved this book so much. I t was a brilliant decision by Tandem Collective to choose a book by a South African author, set in South Africa, for their first readalong with South African readers and bloggers. The setting is Johannesburg and the language, the bring-and-braai, the malls, the school dynamics and friendships, are as South African as you can get.

High School reunions is a tried and tested plot for a number of thriller/suspense authors. Books like Nighttime is my Time by Mary Higgins Clark, are long time favorites. What a thrill to be adding a South African read to this list. I’ve never been to any of my high school reunions, so I can’t really say if there is always a shadowy figure lurking in the wings, or that one person at your table you just can’t remember from school. Or even worst, you can remember the person, but not the lurking secret…

When Mary Wilson attends her 20 year High School reunion, she reunites with an old acquaintance with whom se forms a whirlwind friendship. While battling with a couple of secrets on the home front, it initially takes Mary some time to discover that the picture perfect life that April resides in, has a few serious cracks in. As these things tend to go, Mary soon finds herself slam dunk the middle of questionable domestic drama and suspected abuse. But whose story do you believe and who can you trust with the truth?

Never Tell a Lie was the perfect choice for a readalong. It kept me on my seat and I couldn’t wait to jump onto our Instagram group to chat about the latest chapters read. With thought provoking cue cards added to our copies and inquisitive comments by my fellow readers, this book lingered in my mind 24/7 for the week of the readalong.

If Domestic Thrillers and suspenseful plots are your cup of tea, do take a tea break with this one.

A huge thank you to Tandem Collective UK and Pan Macmillian SA for providing me with a copy of Never Tell a Lie and for inviting me to take part in the readalong. It’s been a once in a lifetime experience and I will gladly do it again.

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2 responses to “Never Tell a Lie by Gail Schimmel