Lies That Bind Usby Andrew Hart Published 01 Jun 2018
|Lies That Bind Us.pdf|
|Publisher||Lake Union Publishing|
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From a prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author comes a chilling novel of deception under the sun…
Jan needs this. She’s flying to Crete to reunite with friends she met there five years ago and relive an idyllic vacation. Basking in the warmth of the sun, the azure sea, and the aura of antiquity, she can once again pretend—for a little while—that she belongs. Her ex-boyfriend Marcus will be among them, but even he doesn’t know the secrets she keeps hidden behind a veil of lies. None of them really know her, and that’s only part of the problem.
Then again, how well does she know them?
When Jan awakens in utter darkness, chained to a wall, a manacle around her wrist, her echoing screams only give her a sense of how small her cell is. As she desperately tries to reconstruct what happened and determine who is holding her prisoner, dread covers despair like a hand clamped over her mouth. Because, like the Minotaur in the labyrinth in Greek myth, her captor will be coming back for her, and all the lies will catch up to her…
"Lies That Bind Us" Reviews
3.5 Stars— “Lies That Bind Us” by Andrew Hart was a Kindle First selection that I put off reading because the premise of the book sounded weak. Despite the fact that “Lies” starts off ridiculously slow, my opinion of the book changed about halfway in as I found myself fully consumed by the very well drawn characters whose phony outer shells come off to reveal damaged, interesting people. The book is told from the perspective of Jan (another unreliable, compulsive liar narrator) who goes to Greece for a reunion of sorts with 4 friends and an ex-boyfriend who all met while she and her ex were on vacation there 5 years prior. The awkwardness and tension begin when Jan arrives and finds out one of the other characters invites her female friend to come along as a potential romantic match for Jan’s ex-boyfriend. The plot and mystery which the book is centered around is weak at best but the author’s ability to draw such distinctive characters who speak with such different voices drew me in. One of the other friends, Brad, is such an obnoxious, know-it-all, he will remind you of the type of person that you try to avoid but get stuck listening too at a dinner party for 3 hours straight. The book comes to a neat conclusion, and I admit as weak as I thought the book was at times, I could not put it down for the final 80 pages. I definitely liked it better than a lot of reviewers and would definitely give the author another try in the future.
A riveting thriller that sees our protagonist, Jan, travelling to Crete for a holiday reunion with friends she met there 5 years before. After a few days of catching up, including some heavy drinking and partying, Jan finds herself waking up in a dark cell, chained to a wall, with no idea why. The novel is told in alternate chapters, going between Jan's imprisonment and the events of the reunion holiday leading up to it. Which of her glamorous friends is behind her incarceration? What did she see or do 5 years ago to be such a threat? And even more ominously, what part of Jan's flawed character is hiding secrets of her own, even from herself? Even though I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable I found myself racing through this book, trying to figure out what had gone wrong when a fun filled holiday turns sinister. It seems everyone is hiding something, and though I did figure out some minor details, the big picture was slowly revealed, to it's surprising conclusion. Well worth the read.
I’m going to be brief here, because this tale is not worth a lengthy exposition. As another reviewer pointed out, the decision to remove the sample pages feature most assuredly increases the chances of finding oneself staring in dismay at a literary pig in a poke. Such is the case here, for me.
The first chapter is overwrought and overwritten, full of italics and angst, and failed to show me the alleged panic and terror this woman—we assume she is a female—feels chained in a cell in the dark. And that is the problem: I don’t see this; I am told it is happening. That sort of amateurish writing jerks the literary rug from beneath any novel, especially one billed as “suspense.”
The second chapter, by contrast, is an amazingly pedestrian account of the main character’s promotion, her repeated thoughts of uncertainty about handling her “team leader” status, and then the muddled decision by her group of nondescript friends to celebrate their long friendship by a vacation on Crete. The presentation of the characters, including What’s-er-Name, the intended damsel in distress, was as exciting as cardboard, and about as developed. I rolled my eyes, and plowed on, not caring much about these people.
And then here we are, back to the italics and the telling panic—pun intended—as the damsel in distress continues to wonder what exactly got her into her present pickle. I laughed at the prose, and plowed on.
Let’s end this now, shall we? I skimmed the last two-thirds of this book because that was the best I could do besides deleting it without finishing. I admit to a certain faint fascination, a slight curiosity to see if it got better, or if the plot veered off onto the road less traveled. But alas. The tale did not improve, the writing remained in stasis between purple and dull, and the plot remained true to a trope that has almost been done to death. In more skilled hands, perhaps I might have been inclined to offer a better opinion of this book.
"Award-winning author?" Really? As far as I can see, just another overhyped scribbler wo fails to deliver much at all.
My Kindle First Read choice for May- it is listed as Suspense, but I think it's more of a psychological thriller. The story took a totally different turn than I was expecting, very good read- entertaining.
Tedious, superfluous, terrible characters
Really couldn’t stand this book. Disliked even the main character, in addition to all the characters. The story was just so overdone, the ending completely ridiculous and unbelievable. I wanted to put it down a hundred times and I should have.
Well, I gave it a day or so before reviewing and it still isn't much easier. I tortured myself over whether it was a 3 or 4 star book, in the end I rounded down to 3 stars, but it was marginal.
The plot is good and fairly novel. There are twists, but to be honest I could see the outline of the climax and pretty much guessed the culprits from a little over halfway through. Some of the lesser twists were a bit of a surprise, but that predictability (for me at least - maybe I've read too many mysteries and psychological thrillers) is the main reason I rounded down instead of up.
The characters....hmmm. I actually like the main protagonist, Jan. Perversely, I like the fact that she is inherently unlikable, a compulsive liar who sabotages her own life and those around her with her fabrications. I like her despite that because of her self awareness, the fact she hates herself for it and wishes she were different. I feel the other characters, though, are a little thin; not exactly two dimensional, but not really fleshed out enough to form an attachment, even Marcus, the closest Jan has to a co-conspirator. Some of the characters are decidedly unlikable, but that's how the author wants them to be. Maybe a little overdone in some cases, but that's okay, I get it. Gretchen, I could do without and really don't see the point in her. I just found her irritating from start to finish.
Some reviewers have complained that the book verges on a mythology history lesson at times, but I don't mind that, and while not integral to the plot, it does at least give some character to the setting and plays into the psychological mindset of some characters in their ordeals.
Overall, I'm probably making this a 3.49 star book. So nearly 4 stars but not quite. I did enjoy it, and I would read more from the author for sure. I could see it being a great holiday read, sitting by the pool (though maybe not in Crete!). Just a couple of minor frailties keeping it fractionally south of the border for me.