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"Lies, Lies, Lies is the gripping novel about a 'perfect family' I couldn't put down."

HQ Fiction
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Tell me you’ve never told a lie in your life and I’ll call you… a liar.

Despite our best intentions or moral compasses, I’d hazard a guess almost everyone has told someone they love a white lie, or even a big lie, at one point or another.

It’s for this reason I inhaled the new novel Lies, Lies, Lies by Adele Parks on a four-hour flight. Because as the title suggests, this book tells the gripping story of how one little lie can grow and fester until there’s nothing left but darkness and resentment.

Lies, Lies, Lies is a compelling drama about an ordinary married couple living an ordinary life in London that slowly but surely is turned upside down by one, big, all-consuming lie.

It’s part Big Little Lies, part Marian Keyes, and brilliantly nails the irony of how seemingly “perfect families” are far from it when you get a good look up close. British author Parks has form in this department – she’s a Sunday Times bestselling author with 19 titles to her name, and fans including Australian author Sally Hepworth and Irish novelist Marian Keyes herself.

This book is frustratingly good. Frustrating because, much like the popcorn I buy at the movies, I finished what was meant to be my holiday book before the holiday had even begun.

adele-parks-lies-lies-lies
When you get through the book that's meant to get you through a five-day holiday before you've even landed. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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In the first few chapters of Lies, Lies, Lies, we’re introduced to the Barnes family:

Daisy Barnes, a perfectly respectable primary school teacher, excellent sister and devoted friend, Simon Barnes, a creative interior architect who is the life of the party and a wonderful father, and Millie Barnes, their six-year-old miracle daughter conceived by IVF.

Like every family, the Barnes family has had their struggles. After years of feeling like the ugly duckling of her sparkling friends, Daisy found love with Simon. They quickly got married and started trying for a baby, a years-long slog that nearly broke them.

But then, they got Millie and completed their perfect family of three.

However, it's not perfect. You see, Simon drinks. Not just a beer after work to unwind or a nightly scotch. He’s a functioning alcoholic whose breath always gives away the nip of brandy discreetly poured into his morning coffee.

And still, Daisy tells herself after every night spent dragging her intoxicated husband up the stairs to bed or hosing him down when he vomits on himself, that Simon is a brilliant father.

Then, one night at a party, a split-second decision shatters their perfect family beyond repair. The fallout is swift and far-reaching, involving everyone and everything in Daisy and Simon’s lives.

All that’s left to do is to pick up the pieces and try and stitch them back together. But can things ever go back to the way they were?

I’ll admit, Lies, Lies, Lies does start off a tad slow, but in hindsight, that’s part of Parks’ storytelling genius because it sets the scene for the unputdownable plot. Told through the perspectives of Daisy and Simon, their story twists and turns and winds back around itself, artfully pulling pieces of the puzzle together like remembering details of a hazy night out. While I never saw any of the twists coming, each one made so much sense.

Lies, Lies, Lies is the very definition of a suburban page-turner. You won’t know whose side you’re on right up until the 432nd page.

Adele Parks’ Lies, Lies, Lies is available to buy now at all good bookstores, as well as online at Booktopia and Apple Books.

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