There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake, published by Bloomsbury on 1st January 2015
In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.
Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.
All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travellers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.
This was an extremely unusual book. A thriller unlike anything else I've read before. It's not my first Nick Lake book but the subject matter was extremely different to his other works. I'm actually quite torn on my feelings about it, although after a shaky start, I did end up really enjoying it.
The opening page, a prelude to the story, was mystifying but definitely make me eager to find out what was going to happen next. I really had no clue in what direction the story was going to go and that meant that I could approach the book with an open mind.
'There Will Be Lies' is literally a book of two halves. In one, the main character, Shelby Jane Cooper is on the run with her mother. She knows that she will be told two lies and then the truth but what lies she will discover and how these will impact on her, is left to Shelby and the reader to puzzle over. In the alternative chapters, Shelby is in a strange world called the Dreaming. She is guided by a mysterious coyote who takes her on an incredible journey. What happens in the Dreaming is a reflection on her own life but I have to admit that I often found these sections of the story difficult to follow. The Dreaming was quite confusing and I was not always sure what was happening. I know this is a big part of the book but personally, I was more interested in Shelby's reality than this strange other world and I was tempted at times to skip through some of these parts of the story. I'm glad I didn't, but I still felt that these sections slowed the narrative down a lot.
Shelby's story is unbelievably shocking and events didn't unfold in a predictable way. The ending in particular took me completely by surprise but I think it's a real credit to Nick Lake that you have no idea where he is going to take the story next. From chapter to chapter I was in doubt that just about anything could happen to the characters. He certainly puts Shelby through quite an ordeal!
If you are looking for something a bit different, then I think 'There Will Be Lies' may just be the book for you.