**5 Goodreads Stars**
Wow. I did not see that ending coming! Kathryn Croft’s Silent Lies starts off as a somewhat unsuspecting thriller; there are characters who make slightly poor choices, but no one seems capable of the murder (or murders?!).
The book begins with a funeral. Mother and child are mourning the death of their dearly beloved husband and father. We quickly learn that the mother, Mia, lost her university professor husband to what is believed to be a murder suicide. The running theory is that her husband, Zach, committed suicide after killing his college student and lover, Josie.
The second narrator is Josie, Zach’s supposed college-aged lover. The book tacks back and forth between Mia and Josie’s stories. You start to sympathize with both of the narrators, both leading you to form different, and sometimes contradictory, opinions of up to the two narrators, Mia and Josie. You develop feelings for both of them despite the years separating them and the man in between them.
Josie has led a hard life. She was raised by a teenage mother who really didn’t want her. As a result, Josie was beat, starved, and taunted by her mother, Liz, to the point that she nearly died by her mother’s boyfriend’s hands (while her mother stood by watching).
I won’t spoil this book for future readers, but I would encourage readers to think about Mia’s motivations for telling her story. I tended to sympathize more with Mia, but then I started to question why she was telling me her story and the narrative conventions upon which she was relying. I’d also encourage the reader to think about Josie’s story as well. Why is she sharing it?
I really loved the shocker of an ending, and how it wrapped up so neatly.
Thank you to the author, Kathryn Croft, the publisher, Bookouture (one of my favorites!), and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Silent Lies.