Elizabeth Kay’s debut, Seven Lies, examines just how far a woman would go to maintain her oldest and closest friendship. June tells her story in seven parts, one part for each of the seven lies she tells her best friend, Marnie. It starts small, with the reassurance that, yes, of course Jane likes Marnie’s boyfriend, Charles. But after Charles and Marnie marry, the lies quickly grow out of control, leading to Charles’ death and throwing Jane’s own relationship with Marnie into jeopardy. The only way Jane sees to save herself is with still more lies, each one drawing her closer to losing not only her friend, but also her secret.
Seven Lies is a heart-pounding portrait of a sociopath committed to maintaining control of a friendship. What makes the novel remarkable is not that Jane is a sociopath—it’s how badly you want to like her anyway. Jane has gone through trauma and has lost people, and she is trying to hold on to the one thing in her life that has always been steady. As a reader, you begin to excuse some of the small lies, some of the little inconsistencies. It isn’t too big of a stretch to then start buying into the bigger lies, the bigger indiscretions. Kay uses the gentle cadence of her main character’s voice to pull readers down the slippery slope of rooting for the bad guy.
Full of uneasy suspense, Seven Lies may leave you wishing that just this once, the villain could get away with it. Be ready to wince, shudder and—above all else—exist for several hours at the edge of whatever seat you happen to be occupying.