Book Review | This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf

Thank you to Harlequin Trade for my spot on this blog tour.

Book Description

Author: Heather Gudenkauf
ISBN: 9780778309703
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Park Row Books

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With the eccentricity of Fargo and the intensity of Sadie, THIS IS HOW I LIED by Heather Gudenkauf (Park Row Books; May 12, 2020; $17.99) 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.

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. 

Please enjoy the following excerpt:

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

This is How I Lied is one of those books that pulled me in from page one and didn’t let go until close to the end. I happily put aside things I had to do so that I could enjoy the delightfully dark and intense mystery that unraveled as each page turned.

The novel is more plot-driven than character-driven, but when everyone is lying to cover up their guilt, wrong-doings, and crimes, how could it not be. Usually, I love when characters are well-developed, enjoying the ability to feel as if I know them as well as I know my friends and neighbors, and though I did not experience that in this story, I understood why. How can you understand a person if they are holding on to a secret so tightly that they have closed off part of themselves? Though I didn’t feel like I knew Maggie and the rest of the characters, I did find them utterly intriguing and was quickly carried away by their story from 25 years ago.

I did guess the killer and why, but then I guessed all of the main characters and determined motives for them as well. So, in actuality, I don’t think my guessing correct is valid in this situation. It was cheating at the mystery game. But that is part of the fun. You can guess plausible murders and the reasons they would want to murder Eve, but not which one did it. You have to read it to find that out!

I loved the way descriptions of people, places, and actions read in an almost poetic way. These small nuances set a scene that I could envelop myself in and allow the story to carry me away.

The only thing I wish is that the ending had been a bit different. I hesitate even to put this in my review because I don’t have anything constructive to offer as in how I needed it to be changed. I only know that the special something that held me enthralled from page one diminished before the last page and that I lost it somewhere during the final scene in the cave.

This is How I Lied is a compelling psychological thriller that you will happily put off doing other things just so you can spend the time enjoying the story.

About the Author – Heather Gudenkauf

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.

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6 Replies to “Book Review | This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf”

  1. I loved character driven fiction, but every now and then a mystery will come along that is more plot driven that sucks me in. Sounds like this one. Sorry about the ending, but it seems overall, you found this a compelling read, well worth your time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most definitely. I think that the ending problem was just that I realized one of the crazy people wouldn’t cross a certain line, and that lowered the suspense but overall I loved the book!

      Liked by 1 person

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