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Suspense novel set mainly in Brighton/Hove

25th September 2020

All My Lies Are True by Dorothy Koomson, suspense novel set mainly in Brighton/Hove.

Suspense novel set mainly in Brighton/Hove

Have you read any novels by Dorothy Koomson before? If you have, you know that what I am about to write is going to be really positive. And if you haven’t, then maybe it’s time to pick up one of her books!

All My Lies Are True is billed as a sequel to The Ice Cream Girls, the story of Poppy and Serena who, in their mid teens, were charged with the murder of their teacher. Poppy was found guilty and was given a lengthy prison sentence. Serena got off scot free (or, as free as anyone can be with the cloud of suspicion like this hanging over them). Now, Serena appears to have it all, a marriage to a doctor, a great house, a daughter….

No individual can go through such trauma without consequences, and the nearest and dearest similarly have pieces to pick up. The ripple effect of being associated with a violent crime is actually phenomenal. Poppy’s brother Logan never really gets back on track and early in the book he is intent on getting Serena to own up to the crime. He has become obsessed with the notion, and with obsession comes warped thinking – he sets his sights on Serena’s daughter, Verity.

The author builds in all kinds of facets that make this a well thought out read. Imagine the notion that Marcus, the dead teacher, markedly resembled Logan – that could certainly be a psychological can of worms. There is also considerable dark human behaviour and it is clear that one person’s ‘truth’ is not automatically the same truth for another person (and that of course is why we have the courts of law!).

It is in many ways a brutal story but it is also a story of people and life…..

Do you need to read the prequel The Ice Cream Girls? This book is fine if you don’t know the story in the original book because the author fills in the gaps, so that this works as a stand alone novel. However, I do think that reading The Ice Cream Girls first will make reading this novel a richer experience.

I listened to this on Audio. I am a great fan of audiobooks because certainly during lockdown stories have accompanied me on lengthy walks and that has been a true pleasure. I am not altogether sure that this book – which comes in at around 450 pages and 15 hours of listening time – is quite the ideal choice. I got really confused as the characters (albeit with different voices) all jostled for position at the beginning and it was quite hard to keep track.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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Hurry, hurry! Our 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition entries close on 15th November...

750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

Top judges to decide the winners

Cash prizes totalling £500 / $600 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 15th November 2020