Seven Lies By Elizabeth Kay
The Best part of this whole dumpster fire is that apparently, and someone correct me if I am wrong. Apparently, Elizabeth Kay is a pen name for an international publicist who decided to write Seven Lies. In fact, I believe (but again someone clarify if I’m wrong), one of the marketing points was that she knows the business and would do anything to succeed. That is how Seven Lies, Elizabeth Kay’s debut book, came into the world. Unfortunately, since I didn’t bring it into the world, I cannot take Seven Lies, out of the world
Since this is going to the land of salt licks, and it is an Adult Psychological Thriller, I feel the need to be very thorough in my defense of what makes it so. Sometimes it is easier to do than others, depending on the narrative structure of the book. Seven Lies is not one of those books. For that reason, this will be one of the rare times I provide the summary. I hope this will assure you that my vagueness is not an attempt out of ducking the defense of my opinion, (Seven Lies doesn’t release until 6/16) nor am I spoiling anything. Those who have read my site long enough know that I don’t deal in spoilers unless there is a very clear warning.
Thank you to Pamela Dorman Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay Summary:
It all started with just one little lie. But we all know that it never ends there. Because, of course, one lie leads to another…
Growing up, Jane and Marnie shared everything. They knew the other’s deepest secrets. They wouldn’t have had it any other way. But when Marnie falls in love, things begin to change. Because Jane has a secret: she loathes Marnie’s wealthy, priggish husband.
So, when Marnie asks if she likes him, Jane tells her first lie. After all, even best friends keep some things to themselves. If she had been honest, then perhaps her best friend’s husband might still be alive today… For, of course, it’s not the last lie. In fact, it’s only the beginning… Seven Lies is Jane’s confession of the truth—her truth
What I liked
- …Oh, it was set in London
- …Oh, Jane’s husband seemed really awesome
- Damn it. He gets killed by a drunk driver… and that isn’t a spoiler because it happens in like the first 8% of the book and the foreshadowing of it in the first 4-5%
- So yeah. Actually, that sucked.
I almost feel like Kay sat down and legit thought that if she took a bunch of despicable characters, and threw them into a horrific plot that had a horrible ending, everyone would love it. And reading that sentence, I can see how that could possibly work. This is not that book. This is not those characters and this is not that plot. What you have here is a bunch of despicable characters that are miserable, sad, delusional, pompous, co-dependent, passive-aggressive, completely selfish and/or a mix of these lovely traits. Then throw into the blender, a plot that is barely meh, until it isn’t (I’ll get to that in a minute). Finally, an ending so vile, horrific, disgusting and stupid that I was literally dumb stricken.
And here is my big problem with such a stupid ending. If you are going to write a vile, horrific and disgusting ending. Don’t waste it on something so inane. At least make the ending twisty, juicy and brilliant. One that readers feel guilty for relishing in because of its horrid and grotesque nature. Or better yet, make the entire book worthy of it.
Half The Lies You Tell Ain’t True
There is this amazing song by Stereophonics called Half the Lies You Tell Ain’t True. I mention this not because of the story, itself but because of the structure and mess of it.
I wouldn’t even call it plot holes. Although there are a number of convenient incidents that allow essential events to take place. If this was an incredible book, I might mention, them but it wouldn’t kill it for me. So, that isn’t what I mean by Half the Lies You Tell Ain’t True. Nope. What I mean is that a great Psychological Thriller
like no, wait. Let me back up a second. This is actually two separate issues.
- I am a sucker for the unreliable narrator or anything that falls within that scope. So, nothing in this section is a criticism of that type of narration. Although, to be fair to the unreliable narrator, as a point of view/structure. I am not even sure that is what Seven Lies is aiming for. I don’t know what the hell it was aiming for. A memoir, a confessional, I don’t think Jane is particularly unreliable in telling it. In fact, she actually seems very aware of every action, motive, and the exact feeling she has for doing them. So, if this is supposed to be an unreliable narrator? Then this is a whole new twist called the very reliable narrator who is a psychopathic bitch… but … I don’t even know. That’s just how bad it all is. Either way, per the summary, it is very much a confessional. But HOW STUPID THAT EVEN IS, IN AND OF ITSELF… But spoilers so let me stop.
- OK. Back to the point I started to make. A great Psychological Thriller makes you want to beat the author, so to speak. You want to figure out the big reveals. Sometimes you are sure you have and then they come, and the author is like FOOLED YOU. And then you beat your head against the floor because when you go back through the book, you see everything you missed. It is RIGHT THERE. That is brilliant work. Or, like when I read The Split? It got to a point where I was literally taking notes. I was determined to beat Bolton. I did not beat Bolton.
I’m not sure exactly at what point this happens in a Psychological Thriller. Not too far in. With Seven Lies, it was around the 30% mark that clues started to drop, obvious clues. They weren’t even well embedded. It was set-up in a very obvious way that just didn’t add up. When the first one popped-up, my interest piqued, of course. Then the second one came, and I sat and thought for quite a bit. Then I caught the third one and I was really baffled. But, not in the good way. I was just sitting there thinking, this makes NO SENSE on any level of reality.
I don’t know who she is confessing to (and that isn’t a spoiler either because it is just like Ruth Ware’s Turn of the Key– but not at all like Turn of the Key because that book was PHENOMENAL) but you know from the beginning that Jane is confessing to SOMEONE. She promised them the truth and she is giving it to them. However, the clues don’t add-up in the context of the characters in the story and who it could possibly be, in the end.
I never actually wanted to DNF it. Although, looking back, I’m not sure why. I did, on many occasions just want to jump to the end and find out who Jane was talking to because it was driving me insane. My gut was screaming that this was going to be stupid ridiculous. And it was even worse than that. I think I figured if I quelled my curiosity, maybe I could enjoy the rest of the book. That would not have worked.
There isn’t much more to say about it. It is, as we would say in Brooklyn Italian/Southern Italian slang, Stunod. On top of that, it is gross, disgusting and vile. Even if you liked the rest of the book, the ending would have, I believe, killed it for you. Speaking of Brooklyn Italian/Southern Italian slang. It gave me ajita (a feeling of agitation or stomach upset or heartburn).
Oh and: Stunod is Southern Italian dialect for “stupid” or having one’s head in the clouds and not paying attention, from the Italian “stonato” which means, “out of tune”.
I figured if nothing else, you should get something out of this review other than not to read Seven Lies because there are many phenomenal Adult Psychological Thrillers that have or will be coming out this spring/summer. Keep up with them in the Spring/Summer Fling 2020. This way I can save you this kind of pain.