Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain Review

Title: Big Lies in a Small Town
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

                I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

                I have a confession to make: Before now, I haven’t read Diane Chamberlain’s work. I’ve had an ARC of The Dream Daughter, but I haven’t read it yet. When I heard about Big Lies in a Small Town through one of my book clubs I’m in on Facebook, my curiosity was such that I just had to order it at my local library. I was lucky enough to receive my library’s first copy! This is my first Chamberlain book, and I can happily tell you all that it most definitely won’t be my last! A rich, compelling mystery, I loved every dark and surprising moment of this beautiful book; it might be one of my favorites of 2020 so far. Tender, compassionate, dark and shocking, I loved Big Lies in a Small Town!

                In 2018, Morgan Christopher is sitting in a dark, tiny jail cell, stewing over the incident that may well have ruined her life, as well as that of an innocent. When a lawyer visits her, telling her that she has a way out, she jumps at the chance. But her freedom is contingent on one thing: She must restore a mural that is sixty years old by August sixth, or she will go back to prison to serve out the rest of her sentence for a crime she didn’t commit. Despite not knowing a thing about painting restoration, Morgan starts the job. But in doing so, Morgan discovers that the mural hides dark and deadly secrets, and what she uncovers will have repercussions that echo through the quaint little town’s history…

                I really, really enjoyed this book! Mysteries and thrillers can be so hit and miss with me; either I don’t see anything coming or I’ll have solved it within the first hundred pages. But this wasn’t the case with Big Lies; I was captivated, and the pacing was spot-on. A sense of suspense and dread had me constantly on edge, and I really enjoyed Morgan’s frank, honest voice. I also enjoyed the way the book went back and forth through time, from 1940 to 2018. It took a little while to get used to it, but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed it! Big Lies in a Small Town exposes the often glossed-over underbelly of a very real town in North Carolina. I also enjoyed the way that Big Lies intertwined two different but similar stories, sixty years apart. I also adored every single character in this book, but Morgan holds a special place in my heart, as does Oliver. Anna Dale, the artist who comes to Edenton as a young woman after winning an art contest was also a compelling character; I loved her growth as a character. The only thing I wish had been more fleshed out was her mother and her mental illness. Nonetheless, I loved this book; it is easily one of my favorites of the entire year so far. The bottom line: Detailed, compassionate, and surprising, I loved Big Lies in a Small Town! This may be my first Diane Chamberlain book, but I can promise you all that it definitely won’t be my last! Nothing less than a work of art! Next on deck: The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics!

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