A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.
Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.
Nothing can shake her happiness - until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.
Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?
As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…
A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Before I Let You In will be captivated.
What readers are saying about Barbara Copperthwaite
‘Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed. Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact’ Sunday Mirror
‘Totally gripping and scarily believably characters’ Bella
‘Enthralling, tense and moving’ Real People
‘Quietly brilliant’ By the Letter Book Reviews
‘Totally and utterly convincing’ Postcard Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was hooked in the first chapter. This is the second book by this author and I enjoyed this one even more than the first. I like how she tells stories from different points of view. The mother in indescribable agony the evil in the killers mind heart wrenching and scary.
So where do I start with this review. I have had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ the author on social media and I was lucky enough to win a competition where *I* was written as a character into her next book. Well this is it, the anticipation, excitement and nerves all culminated in a wonderful book. I had no idea previously if I would be a goodie or a baddie, all I knew was it would be a psychological thriller! The title gives you an inkling of what is to come .. The Darkest Lies .. nothing good ever comes from telling fibs and this book certainly portrays the disastrous consequences when one lie escalates into another. Melanie and Jacob are living the perceived perfect life along with young teenage daughter Beth and a fluffy mutt. They are a close family and as Melanie states, bad things don’t happen to people like us. Yet after a regular night spent with her BFF it soon becomes apparent that Beth is missing. Why would she not tell her parents where she was going? What happens to her? This is every parents nightmare and the writing sucks you into that black hole of despair. Beth was an animal lover and would spend hours on the bleak Lincolnshire marshes observing wildlife .. is that where she might be? I could sense the desolation, feel the wind biting my skin, the eerie bleakness of the area it was all described so vividly. Jacob like any father is so protective of his little girl but complies with the police in their search not only for Beth but later her attacker. Mel on the other hand becomes a woman possessed and goes on the rampage in the small community trying to unearth some clues. She rapidly turns folk against her. She drove me mad at times with her insistence on knowing best but then as a mother I, god forbid would probably react the same. When Mel’s old school chum returns to the village he makes a bee line for her and offers his support where Jacob doesn’t seem able to. The whole story explores what happens when a family unit is torn apart by a tragic event. How any action or remark can cause an avalanche of pain. The thoughts and feelings of the parents when other characters encroach on personal space. It definitely made me think about how I would deal with it, the fine line between giving kids their independence or wrapping in cotton wool, the cloying guilt if something goes terribly wrong. It keeps you guessing all the way through, when I thought I had it figured out another twist would jump at me. Barbara isn’t afraid to deal with unpleasant circumstances or take the reader on a difficult journey. Once you begin this it soon becomes imperative that the ‘real’ world stops so the book can be read in peace with out interrupting the flow. I found it incredibly hard to put it down and found myself abandoning my family just to finish it! I think the most scary thing of all is, this could potentially happen, sometimes it’s easier to read about ghosts or vampires to let the imagination run riot but this story felt SO real. The whole package is a marvellous mix of tense, atmospheric, chilling, emotional thrills! I loved the saying Mel used for Beth .. ‘love you to bits then whole again’ that gives such an innocent insight into their relationship. What did I think of my alter ego Alison ? … well she played quite a large part in the story, it was a really weird sensation living vicariously in that situation but without doubt I thoroughly enjoyed her antics and realising I didn’t have to deal with the outcome was a bonus!
I really, really liked this book. However, I did have a few issues with it. Melanie, the mother, drove me crazy when she would go to the police on every little hint of something that happened with her daughter. Or, when she would go to the townspeople specifically to accuse them. I understood her frustration. It was a small town. Things don't happen there that someone doesn't know anything about. Also, my stomach kind of turned when I suspected Melanie's new friend had something to do with Beth's disappearance. The thought that she is riding around with him? All of that put aside, the book is so good that you can overlook this crazy woman who berates most of the town insinuating they know something about her missing daughter. And the ending, definitely classic and I even did a major fist pump after reading it. A great read that I just could not put down as there were so many suspects and so many clues, I was so perplexed, I just had to know! Huge thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for approving and allowing me to read and review this thriller.
This is the first book I've read by Barbara Copperthwaite but will definitely check out another thriller by her. I loved how this story was told even though I see some readers that didn't. The mother, Melanie, is telling the story to her daughter, Beth. Beth has been attacked and we see how things are developed through what Mel is telling her. We also see what happened to Beth through snippets through her eyes. Melanie is grieving and feels the police aren't doing enough to find the attacker so she starts investigating on her own. Since she's not completely stable because of her grief, she's seems to be attacking everyone in the village with her accusations. She is a little naive in who she trusts but when you aren't thinking clearly, I can see where mistakes could be made. I enjoyed this mystery. It kept me hooked from the beginning, I loved the writing style, and I couldn't wait for everything to come together. **Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.