All Your Little Lies by Marianne Holmes
Genre: General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers
Published: 22 Oct 2020, Agora Books
Swathi’s Rating: 4.5/5
Annie lives a quiet, contained, content life. She goes to work. She meets her friend. She’s kind of in a relationship. She’s happy. Not lonely at all.
If only more people could see how friendly she is — how eager to help and please. Then she could tick “Full Happy Life” off her list.
But no one sees that side of Annie and she can’t understand why. That all changes the night Chloe Hills disappears. And Annie is the last person to see her.
This is her chance to prove to everybody that she’s worth something. That is, until she becomes a suspect.
All Your Little Lies follows Annie Harwood who lives alone in a quiet little village, takes the tube to her normal desk job. Her life is simple. She has a best friend whom she calls and talks when she feels down. And she has an undying crush on her boss Paul at work.
One dreadful Thursday evening party with drinks destroys everything for Annie, making her angry and furious and blindly making the decision to break into Paul’s house just for the kick of it. Although she has her own reasons to justify her act, she feels terrible moments after getting out of the flat and rushes to the Train station to the safety of her home. Until next morning, her world shifts from the axis as she discovers the disappearance of a teenage girl from her neighborhood. More devastating is the fact that she might have been the last person to see the girl before she vanished.
Annie then throws herself into the search party and vigil and becomes obsessive into the case that makes her look suspicious and weird in front of the villagers. Soon they start to question her presence. Who is this bizzare female who has no relation to the missing teenager who keeps asking bizzare questions and laughing at the most inappropriate moments.
Annie is really socially awkward and is very bad when it comes to speaking to people. But she is pure at heart, helping and works very hard to find herself in the bad, bad world filled with liars and predators. Told from only the perspective of Annie, who is a clueless, utterly unreliable narrator, the reader is left with no other choice than to follow her words to unravel the mystery. Marianne Holmes’ descriptive writing made me feel so many emotions for Annie. At first, I hated her for being so awkward, rude and unreasonably inappropriate. But as the story progressed and I started knowing her better, I can only feel unbearably sad for the way life has treated her through the years and rage and anger towards the media circus that destroyed her.
There are only a few characters in the book and the setting is almost stagnant to one neighborhood. Holmes’s descriptions are dark and gloomy that plays mind games with the readers.
There is also a parallel storyline that keeps appearing in between chapters. It starts as a bizarre one with kids involved, but the it progresses to get creepy and creepier to the point of unbearable that I had to stop for a moment to take a breather.
This is my second book from the author and I completely invested myself into All Your Little Lies and enjoyed the time immensely. It is a dark, atmospheric, compulsive slowburn that approaches today’s media frenzy and online circus that willingly destroys people’s lives and creates irreversible chaos everywhere. It is astonishing and sad to see how it involves young children falling prey to the cruelty of such irresponsible goons.
Many thanks to Agora Books and Peyton for having me on the Blog Tour for this wonderful novel. I look forward to reading more from the author. All opinions are mine.
Meet the Author
Marianne Holmes was born in Cyprus to RAF parents but is now firmly based in London. After a sensible career in marketing, Marianne is now focusing on her love of language and writing.