Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 384 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 30 minutes
First Published: 2021
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
When Abi disappears from a teenage party, the police in her insular Colorado mountain town assume she ran away. As Emma investigates her best friend’s disappearance, she begins to learn that she didn’t know Abi as well as she thought. Although the premise has all the hallmarks of a great summer thriller, Where the Truth Lies was all cliches and stereotypes of small-town American life, possibly because the author is British. The bigotry, homophobia, misogyny, and domestic abuse were all overplayed, lacking in even an ounce of nuance, while the culprit was the most obvious character.
The town of Whistling Ridge guards its secrets.
When seventeen-year-old Abigail goes missing, her best friend Emma, compelled by the guilt of leaving her alone at a party in the woods, sets out to discover the truth about what happened. The police initially believe Abi ran away, but Emma doesn’t believe that her friend would leave without her, and when officers find disturbing evidence in the nearby woods, the festering secrets and longstanding resentment of both Abigail’s family and the people of Whistling Ridge, Colorado begin to surface with devastating consequences.
Among those secrets: Abi’s older brother Noah’s passionate, dangerous love for the handsome Rat, a recently arrived Romanian immigrant who has recently made his home in the trailer park in town; her younger brother Jude’s feeling that he knows information he should tell the police, if only he could put it into words; Abi’s father’s mercurial, unpredictable rages and her mother’s silence. Then there is the rest of Whistling Ridge, where a charismatic preacher advocates for God’s love in language that mirrors violence, under the sway of the powerful businessman who rules the town, insular and wary of outsiders.
But Abi had secrets, too, and the closer Emma grows to unraveling the past, the farther she feels from her friend. And in a tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark—the truth of what really happened that night—to change their community forever.
About Anna Bailey
Anna Bailey is a former journalist and barista and the author of Where the Truth Lies. She currently lives in the United Kingdom.