Book Review: The Lie of You by Jane Lythell & author interview

untitled (3)What it’s about:

To the outside world, Kathy is the very picture of a happy and fulfilled modern woman. She has a beautiful baby boy, a clever, handsome husband and a glamorous, high-powered job.

But not everybody is fooled. Her employee, Heja, knows the truth: the cracks in Kathy’s marriage, her self-doubt, her fear of failure at work. Heja is perfectly placed to destroy Kathy’s life. And if she succeeds, she can claim the one thing she wants most…

This is a chilling psychological thriller about obsession, jealousy, and lying to those you love.

CharlooDivider

Review:

Firstly, I’d like to thank Becci Sharpe from Head of Zeus for sending me a lovely and unexpected copy of this book. It’s set to be published in paperback on 16th January 2014 but is already out in Kindle format under the title ‘I Will Have What Is Mine’. This book is based around the lives of two very different women – Kathy and Heja. To the outside world, Kathy looks like she has the perfect life. She is the editor of a very successful architectural magazine, has a beautiful baby boy and a handsome husband but colleague, Heja, can see through the cracks in Kathy’s otherwise perfect façade and begins to sneakily medal in Kathy’s life. Lies begin to surface and Heja’s very private past starts to catch up with them because Kathy has the one thing that Heja wants the most and she will do everything in her power to get it. This gripping, psychological thriller that covers jealousy and obsession, rivalry and deceit and how women pit themselves against one another.

The first thing I noticed about this book was that the chapters are very short and I’m not a huge fan of long chapters so that sat very well with me. I tend to get through books a lot quicker if their chapters are short and sweet. This book is written is 1st person with 2 points of view – Kathy and Heja and you can tell the difference between the two women in the narrative. I very much enjoy books which are from multiple view points but I do find all the points of view are written very similarly – even though they are from entirely different characters however this wasn’t the case at all with this book. From the very first chapter I didn’t get a very good vibe from Heja, just from the way she is putting herself across to the readers. It is a massive contrast to Kathy’s chapters and on the authors behalf, I think that is a very talented thing to be able to do. I felt this book was well paced. About halfway through it did start to slow slightly but then all of a sudden, without any warning, the secret that the story revolves around (which I won’t disclose) comes to surface in Kathy’s life and the pace is instantly picked up again. From that page on, events from the past kept unravelling and you begin to get a more clearer image of what actually went on.

This book was very well written and in touches on some subjects I feel a large majority of women will be able to relate to. Being 21, some aspects of the book were quite mature for me and I also found that there were no younger characters I could really relate to. The other characters are all very well developed and the story delves into their past experiences which is essential considering the nature of the book but they were all extremely mature and knowledgeable and they find pleasure in things such as architecture, art and gourmet food which I know absolutely squat about so that element of the story did go over the top of my head a bit! However, that doesn’t take away the fact that this was an exceptionally gripping, chilling and page-turning read which I think will appeal to a very wide audience.

A well-deserved 4 cupcakes

4 cupcakes

CharlooDividerInterview:

1. Hi Jane – thank you for answering some questions today. Firstly, can you tell us what The Lie of You is about?

THE LIE OF YOU examines the question: can you have sympathy for a woman who is trying to destroy another woman?  I wanted to see how far I could push it in creating a character who does horrible things and yet somehow you end up having sympathy for her.

2. The Lie of You was a pretty ambitious debut novel and delves into some quite dark territory. How did you come up with the idea and were any characters/events based on real life?

I once had a horrible experience at work where a woman colleague was trying to undermine me. It made me realise how miserable this can make you feel and that maybe this would make a good subject for a novel. And I extended the idea to include Kathy’s personal life too.

3. What was your journey to getting traditionally published like? Was it easier or harder than you thought it would be?

When I finally had the time to focus full time on writing it was a quicker and easier process than I expected. But I think I’ve been very lucky.  I found a literary agent who loved the early draft of THE LIE OF YOU.  This is the key – you need to find an agent who loves your work and who will fight for it. My brilliant agent, from Sheil Land,  approached a number of publishers and Head of Zeus were quick to say they wanted to publish it. They are a terrific publisher for a debut writer like me.  So supportive.

4. Have you always wanted to be an author/writer?

Yes! I wrote my first story when I was eight.  My heroine was called Sally Dumpling.  She was a plump fairy who lived in a yellow rose and her best friend was a robin. But to write you need empty time. I had a daughter and a hefty mortgage and  I worked full time until May 2011. I was then in a position to write full time for the first time. It was wonderful.

5. Do you think you will always stick with psychological thrillers or venture off and experiment with other genres?

I am very interested in what makes people tick. I love to explore the psychology of my characters.  But I like other genres too and think I will try them out while retaining the focus on psychological disturbance.

6. As I mentioned in my review, the characters are quite keyed up on topics such as architecture and art. Are these subjects you personally know a lot about or was there research involved?

There was research involved. I’m interested in architecture but a complete amateur.  I had to research the World Heritage Sites.  I also researched the favourite dishes in Finland and Portugal as you will have noticed the emphasis on food in the novel!

7. Parts of the book are also set in different countries – have you travelled to any of these places? For research purposes or pleasure?

I worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for seven years, until 2006. My job entailed a lot of travel and I became interested in the cultural differences between North and South Europeans.

8. Which 4 famous people would you invite to your dream dinner party? (Dead or alive)

Two writers I love: J. R. R. Tolkien and Stephen King because I’d love to hear their discussion on Lord of the Rings versus The Stand. Also Bruce Springsteen because I think he’s a great singer and sexy and Bette Davis because she’s quite a dame. Who can ever forget her performances in All About Eve and Jezebel.

9. Which piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

Focus on your characters. We love to read and learn about other people.  Let the plot come out of the characters’ personalities – how they would react in a particular situation,  rather than letting the plot dominate as something that happens to them externally.

10. Lastly, what can we expect from you in the future? Are you working on anything new that you’re able to tell us anything about?

Head of Zeus gave me a two book deal and I’m well into my second novel.  It’s different from THE LIE OF YOU in that it’s more of an adventure thriller but it still has a strong psychological angle. I’ll be sending Head of Zeus the completed manuscript in early 2014.

CharlooDivideruntitled (4)About Jane Lythell

Jane Lythell worked as a television producer and commissioning editor before becoming Deputy Director of the BFI and Chief Executive of BAFTA. She now writes full time.

You can find Jane on Twitter

Follow Jane’s fiction blog

Or purchase The Lie if You in eBook format (I Will Have What Is Mine) on Amazon

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