Told through the voices of the three main characters, Catrin, Callum and Rachel, Little Black Lies tells the story of the disappearance and search of a missing boy over the span of five days. But more than this, it is the story of three emotionally broken individuals, struggling with overwhelming sadness, grief and vengeance; three people desperately seeking atonement and forgiveness for their past actions.
Catrin, struggles with the grief of losing her two children in a car accident three years ago and spends her days planning revenge on her once best friend Rachel. With only a few days before the anniversary of her sons’ deaths a little boy disappears. This is the third child that has gone missing in as many years and Catrin joins the search, hoping that somehow this will bring her back to herself, bring back the caring woman she once was.
Callum, a Scotsman who fought as a young soldier during the Falkland War 12 years previous, returned to the islands to make a new life for himself. Working as a reporter for the local newspaper, he is consumed with nightmares and flashbacks from his time as a soldier during the War, unable to cope with the atrocious acts he was forced to commit.
Rachel, responsible for the deaths of Catrin’s sons, is wracked with the guilt of this event and longs to break free of the rejection, shame and humiliation she feels on a daily basis from the small and tight knit community of the island.
By choosing the Falkland Islands as the setting for Little Black Lies, Sharon Bolton has created the perfect backdrop for this chillingly dark psychological thriller. The barren windswept landscape, the isolation, and war history are described so vividly and together help to accentuate the emotional scars of the main characters but also adds to the all-around dark, desperate and sinister feel of the story.
The twists are shocking and breathtaking, and just kept me entirely immersed and enthralled with this story and the characters. As Catrin, Callum and Rachel recount their movements over the five days, secrets are revealed and the intensity grows to an almost unbearable point. The last few pages are like a whirlwind, unexpected and explosive and will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page and closed the book cover.
This was my very first book by Sharon Bolton (who has also published under S.J. Bolton) but it definitely will not be my last. Here are some of her other works if you would like to check them out.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and Bantam Press for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.