⇒ Blog Tour | With the eccentricity of Fargo and the intensity of Sadie, THIS IS HOW I LIED by Heather Gudenkauf is a timely and gripping thriller about careless violence we can inflict on those we love, and the lengths we will go to make it right, even 25 years later. –This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf ⇐
**Many thanks to Park Row Books and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
(4.27 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense
Publication Date: May 12, 2020, by Park Row Books
Pages: 336 (Kindle version)
#ThisIsHowILied #HeatherGudenkauf #ParkRowBooks #NetGalley
Dark places made it so much easier to be cruel, to exact revenge.
Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of...
We’ve all heard that popular little nursery rhyme touting the sweet attributes of precious little girls. But This is How I Lied is a murder mystery, not a nursery rhyme, so perhaps the more appropriate lyrics for this particular book would be those from Donna Summer (it’s disco, look it up)…
Toot toot, hey, beep beep You bad girl, you sad girl You're such a naughty bad girl Beep beep, uh huh
You’ve gotta love a book with a really bad girl in it (or two). I think I first learned to appreciate the novelty of the female villain by watching Disney movies; Maleficent (the original animated version) and Ursula the Sea Witch are legit frighteningly evil characters! Later, I loved reading about diabolical female serial killer Gretchen Lowell in Chelsea Cain’s HeartSick series. Bad girls just draw us in! What motivates them? Why are they so damaged? Why aren’t they sugar and spice and everything nice?
That’s what captivates us – the bad boys are bad, but the bad girls are better! But before we get too far ahead, let’s check out the blurb…
Tough as nails and seven months pregnant, Detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe of Grotto PD, is dreading going on desk duty before having the baby her and her husband so badly want. But when new evidence is found in the 25-year-old cold case of her best friend’s murder that requires the work of a desk jockey, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to be the one who finally puts Eve Knox’s case to rest.
Maggie has her work cut out for her. Everyone close to Eve is a suspect. There’s Nola, Eve’s little sister who’s always been a little… off; Nick, Eve’s ex-boyfriend with a vicious temper; a Schwinn riding drifter who blew in and out of Grotto; even Maggie’s husband Sean, who may have known more about Eve’s last day than he’s letting on. As Maggie continues to investigate, the case comes closer and closer to home, forcing her to confront her own demons before she can find justice for Eve.
People get what they deserve.
All is not right in the small town of Grotto, Iowa. Fifteen-year-old Eve is dead and the police can’t pin down the murderer. In any crime mystery worth its salt, you have a healthy lineup of credible suspects. If you only have one or two, it’s too easy for the mystery to fall flat. This is How I Lied goes full tilt on the suspects.
We’ve got an angry, violent ex-boyfriend, a creepy neighbor who’s a little too interested in young girls, a handsy drifter, a secretive husband, and then there’s Nola – Eve’s little sister who the whole town describes as a weird, crazy, evil genius. An evil genius who did not get along with Eve (or anyone else for that matter).
If you don’t understand how things die how can you understand how they live?
We’re conditioned to immediately point the finger at the ex-boyfriend, the shady stranger, or the man who’s keeping secrets because, after all, frogs and snails and puppy dog’s tails – that’s what little boys are made of. Right? But the way Gudenkauf writes Nola Knox, you can’t take your eyes off of her on the page. Her devil-may-care attitude, her reclusive lifestyle, her many many secrets. Readers love characters like her, you love to hate her.
So… whodunit? Unh, unh. I’m not telling! You won’t get any spoilers here. Plus, the truth behind all the lies is so unexpected and teeter-tottery that you’ll devour the last few chapters all while holding your breath!
This is a fast-paced, engaging read by an experienced author who knows how to play on our emotions. I love the multiple POV, the bouncy timeline, and the unreliable narrators. There are specific triggers that might offend sensitive readers (including domestic/physical abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, animal abuse, and abuse of a senior), so be warned.
This is my first Gudenkauf novel, so I can’t compare This is How I Lied to any of her other book, but if this one is at all representative of her work, then count me as a fan!
This is How I Lied is available now at any of the following retailers:
Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many books, including The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running.