A Lovely Lie, a review by Sherry

posted in: 5 star read, Sherry | 0

A Lovely Lie
Jamie Lynn Hendricks

Penzler Publishers – Scarlet
pubilshed May 28, 2024

Amazon | Goodreads

I kept hearing about this author, but I never seemed to read her so I jumped at the chance to read this one. And the title does say it all. A domestic suspense built around secrets and lies.

This one comes down to would you rather know the ugly truth or a lovely lie? Scarlet and Vince, high school classmates, are married with a son. Scarlet and Pepper, Vince’s high school girlfriend, know something about an accident that happened all those years ago. Told in the present and on that fateful night, the story slowly shows what happened all those years ago and exposes all those lovely lies. And everyone in the story has their share of them.

I spent much of the book trying to guess what might have happened all those years ago. The book is interspersed with calls, conversations and police interrogations surrounding the accident that help the reader piece together the full picture. And it takes until the last chapter to get to that truth. Every time I thought I had it all together, there was a wicked twist that changed my mind.

So many unlikable characters had me wondering if any of them were trustworthy. I binged this one. It definitely lived up to the hype and I can’t wait to read another one of the author’s books.

About the book

Is it better to believe a lovely lie or know the horrible truth?

1999: The night of their senior picnic, Scarlett Russo and her best friend Pepper were involved in a car accident that left two of their classmates dead. Afterward, they lied to the police, protecting each other from the consequences. Then Pepper left town and Scarlett never heard from her again…

Now: Twenty-two years later, Scarlett has buried that deadly incident deep in her mind and built a comfortable life for herself, working in a hotel on the west coast of Florida and raising her teenage son with her husband Vince. Her peace is disrupted, however, when Pepper’s daughter shows up with news of Pepper’s death. Zoey is twenty-one and studying to be an investigative journalist. She has a cryptic letter from Pepper addressed to Scarlett that alludes to the events of that fateful night and Pepper’s initial intentions to get an abortion. Now Zoey wants answers about her mother’s past. Who is Zoey’s father? And what really happened after the senior picnic? As Zoey continues to dig into the past, all of Scarlett’s buried secrets threaten to rise to the surface.


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