Books & Literature

Book Review: The Day the Lies Began, by Kylie Kaden

With its salt-stung houses and tight community, Lago Point is the scene of postcards, not crime scenes, until the truth washes up on the shore.

When the truth washes in to a beachside community, a lifetime of lies flood their perfect little town.

The Day the Lies Began is the third book by Australian author Kylie Kaden. It marks her debut into the domestic thriller genre and focuses on the theme of why good people do bad things.

Set in the small holiday coastal town of Lago Point, the story follows four of the town’s residents: Abbi, her husband Will, foster brother Blake, and childhood bestie Hannah.

The town is swamped with tourists, all enjoying their summer holidays and celebrating the annual Moon Festival. During the Festival, Abbi and Will’s daughter goes missing, setting off a chain of events and a web of lies that threaten their perfect lives.

The holiday season has ended and the autumn rain has set in. The town is at peace again, that is until a body part washes up onshore. Now the lies told on the night of the Festival are unravelling, bringing with them the secrets kept over the past decade. Who will forgive, who will betray?

The story is written in third person, which gives a good insight into the mind of each character as the story covers each point of view. Kylie is thorough in the development of her characters, giving the reader a clear understanding of the reasons behind their thoughts and actions. In saying this, I struggled to relate or empathize with any of the main characters.

Switching between the night of the Moon Festival, present-day, and past events could easily have become a confusing exercise. However, the chapters are titled and set out in a way that makes the story easy to follow.

While I enjoyed the engaging visual descriptions, I often found there wasn’t enough content moving the story forward. This is a slow-paced thriller and the constant hinting at secrets kept by the characters can be frustrating. Once the characters began to reveal their secrets and what happened on the night of the Festival, the story becomes more engaging, but would have benefited from some earlier reveals.

It was easy to imagine the story taking place in any Australian coastal town, both in the visual description and the language used by the characters. I did find myself Googling a couple of the terms used, but for the most part, it did help set the scene for the unfolding events.

It was a somewhat satisfying end to the book with all questions answered and a seemingly happy ending. However, I did find some of the relationship problems were tied up a little too easily and somewhat unrealistically.

Content warning: This book contains references to paedophilia and self-harm.

Reviewed by Jessica Incoll
Twitter: @littlejadventur

Distributed by: Pantera Press
Released: August 2019
RRP: $29.99

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