Tuesday, 3 August 2021

The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames

Today on my stop on the blog tour for The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames I'm resharing my review from last year, before Joel joined Spellbound Books. Many thanks to ZoĆ© at Zooloo Book Tours for the invitation. 

The Blurb


From the bestselling author of Dead North, a tense, claustrophobic psychological thriller perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Claire McGowan and Clare Mackintosh.

Meet Polly.
Meet Emily.
Meet Belinda.

They're all me.

My name is Lisa and I’m an identity thief. If I’m not inside your system stealing your money, I’ve probably already stolen it. I’m your friend. I’m a thief. I’m gone. I’m in control.

Only now, the tables have been turned. I’m in danger. My son is in danger. And I don’t know where that danger’s coming from.

Any friend.
Any enemy.
Any stranger.

Anyone from the past I’ve been trying to outrun for years.


The Lies I Tell is published by Spellbound Books.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08THZRDRW
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Tell-Know-Whos-Watching-ebook/dp/B08THZRDRW

My Review

The Lies I Tell focuses on single mother Lisa, who isn't only Lisa but a host of other people - mainly online but sometimes in person. In fact, she's not even Lisa. Being an identity thief is a complicated business! After preying on countless people, Lisa now finds herself a victim has she is targeted by an unknown person who seems to know her every secret, even the darkest ones. Lisa fears for herself, but mostly for young son Simon.

Being an identity thief looks exhausting! And incredibly complex. Lisa has so many balls to juggle at the same time, trying never to let one fall. And almost succeeding. Hames has clearly done his research into the kind of work required for this kind of scheme, all the magic techy stuff, as the details feel authentic.

I wanted to hate Lisa, but it was impossible to do anything but like her. I was rooting for her. Her story is told over a dual timeline, swapping between the present day (2016) and her growing up. The tales of her early childhood tugged at my heartstrings, and I felt so much for her as I watched her struggle, and these events shape her life. Now I thought I was someone who catastrophised, but I have nothing on Lisa! In every situation she finds herself, every single worst case scenario runs through her head. I can't imagine how wearing that is, but Hames describes it so well.

So many characters in this book are versions of Lisa herself I imagine the author had fun creating them. But I must mention Billy and Ida, two very different characters but both of whom I loved.

This is a very different cat and mouse chase as the hacker pursues Lisa and Simon, and Lisa tries to discover who it is that wants to do her harm. We see her vulnerabilities. Much of the action in this book is computer based but that doesn't stop it being exciting. The tension increases as Lisa and her tormentor edge closer together and towards a denouement which is exciting, shocking, sad and unexpectedly bloody.

The Lies I Tell is very apt for the current time when so many of us are active on social media and conduct much of our day to day business online. It's a warning for us to look at what we're doing, what information we share, who we let into our lives. It's a tense, exciting story, with an interesting, engaging central character, which I really enjoyed.

The Author

A Londoner in exile, Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire with his wife and two daughters.

His works of fiction include the bestselling Sam Williams trilogy Dead North, No One Will Hear and The Cold Years, and the standalone psychological thriller The Lies I Tell.

When not writing or spending time with his family, Joel likes to eat, cook, play the piano, and make up excuses to avoid walking the dog. There’s the MMA thing, too, but he doesn’t like to show off.

You can find out more about Joel and sign up to his mailing list through social media or his very own website. The links are below.

Author Social Media Links

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/joelhamesauthor/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/joel_hames
Website: http://www.joelhamesauthor.com