I’ve really enjoyed Colette McBeth’s writing in the past, in particular An Act of Silence which I thought was brilliant. Call Me A Liar has a different feel to it, probably due to the subject matter, but it’s still a great read.
Joe and Libby met at university and soon formed a relationship. On looking for a position post-studies, Libby stumbles across a newspaper advertisement which simply asks candidates to crack a code. Whatever the job is, it requires the best, young, technical minds. Joe and Libby fit the bill, along with three others, Tess, Will and Asha. They are sent to a remote house for a retreat and it’s there that things start to really go awry, especially when one of the gang goes missing.
The big strength of Call Me A Liar is the fact that it’s never clear which character can be trusted. There are three sections and each one turned what I thought onto its head. It’s very cleverly plotted to achieve this, to put the reader on the back foot. It’s also full of sinister undertones, with these technical minds doing all kinds of computer wizardry that may or may not be completely ethical, and dangerous people keeping an eye on them doing so.
This is not a book full of easy to like characters but what was interesting was that ultimately I think everyone ended up where they should be, got what they deserved.
This is a complex and twisty read, and a dark one at that. It highlights how much is going on behind the scenes that we have no idea about. I do think the first section was quite slow as we are introduced to the characters and what they have let themselves in for, but the second and third sections really pick up the pace and got me really interested in (a) what was going on here and (b) what was going to happen next and how would it be resolved.
Call Me A Liar doesn’t beat An Act of Silence for me, but it’s an accomplished story of deceit, morals, fear, and the dynamics between family and colleagues.
Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes, 4/4
Call Me A Liar by Colette McBeth
Headline 9781472226761 pbk Jun 2019