You know, sometimes I wonder why I, as a self-published writer, take so much trouble over the feasibility of my plots, the motivations of my characters. In best selling (and, I imagine, traditionally published) The Lie of You, London architectural magazine editor Kathy - ie, an intelligent, professional, educated and presumably switched on sort of woman - gets pregnant by and marries Finnish architect Markus, despite the fact that he refuses to provide any details about his life before they met, and I'm talking absolutely zero; he might as well have just appeared one day from the ether, and none of his family or friends came to the wedding. Kathy has no friends, family or even sympathetic colleagues who encourage her to perhaps give this a bit of consideration; aside from their work, the couple lives in unexplained isolation.
I mean, seriously?
The whole plot hinges on characters keeping secrets about themselves and no-one else thinking this is a bit weird and bothering to investigate. Had the author's editor said to her, "sorry, luv, this isn't feasible", as indeed he/she should have done, Ms Lythell would have had to re-write the whole novel. Kathy mentions that Markus is a man of mystery, and gets ratty if she asks him anything about himself, as if it is a cause of minor irritation only. Like, just one of his quirks, right? But wouldn't she have at least looked him up on Google just to make sure he wasn't a serial killer? She is irritatingly eager, wholesome, lacking in confidence and desperately, schoolgirlishly cheerful, to the extent that one wonders why the sexy Markus hasn't serial killed her after a month in her company, anyway. I would have done. That might have just been the narrator, though.
I won't even get started on Heja, the Finnish ice queen colleague who stalks Kathy. Wonder what her connection is with the mysterious and also Finnish Markus, eh? I'll give you a clue - the tag line on the cover gives it away.
3/4 stars for the Heja narrator, 2 stars for Kathy, who sounded more like a 1950s hockey teacher.