All Your Little Lies is a twisty story focused around the disappearance of a 12 year old girl from the small town where Annie Marwood lives. However, this is not your typical missing persons storyline, where it’s the investigation that takes centre stage. This is very much Annie’s story. She’s living a quiet life, keeping her head down, but Chloe Hills’ disappearance has her pushing herself into situations she would never normally venture into.

From the outset Annie is such an intriguing character. She’s socially awkward and doesn’t seem to realise it. I cringed many times at things that she said. But I could also see that there is a vulnerability about her and the reason for this, and for her placing herself centre stage in a high profile case, becomes clear as the book progresses. It wasn’t really a surprise when all was revealed but I enjoyed the bringing together of the past and the present to give a greater understanding of Annie’s strange behaviour as she digs herself deeper and deeper into a hole.

This is a character driven novel that builds up slowly, leaving the reader wondering what is going to happen and what Annie will do next. It’s an atmospheric story of skulking in corners, eavesdropping and hiding. I thought the author plotted the story well and has written a fantastic and complex character in Annie. I really enjoyed reading about her in this intense and absorbing book.

Review by Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes

Agora Books, November 19th 2020
ISBN-13 : 978-1913099695