One More Lie/ The Innocent Wife – Amy Lloyd – Audible Book Review by Pat Viale
Read by Joe Gaminara and Tamaryn Payne
As tense and unsettling as her previous novel, The Innocent Wife, young British author Amy Lloyd’s latest book, One More Lie, a disturbing psychological thriller, tells the story of Charlotte and Sean, recently released from a secure institution for a crime, similar to the horrific murder of James Bulger in 1993, which they committed when they were children. Convicted when she was 10, Charlotte finds herself now, 18 years later, isolated and struggling to survive in a world that she doesn’t recognize. Forbidden any contact with Sean, her closest childhood friend, she now has a new name and new identity, living in a half-way house under police surveillance with an ankle monitor.
Her parole officer has found her a menial job in a department store but even here she finds it difficult to fit in and soon a petty crime she commits leaves her vulnerable and dependent on a predatory store detective. However, it is when Sean manages to trace her and make contact that her life starts to unravel. Her only friend, the psychiatrist who followed her case from the beginning and has supported her throughout, seems preoccupied with her own situation and, for the first time ever, Charlotte finds herself completely alone.
Much of the story is told in flashback which helps us understand how her dysfunctional family background has influenced so much of Charlotte’s life. The adult Charlotte has suffered a partial amnesia and cannot remember the details of her crime and is torn between the need to know and the fear of what she might discover. Tamaryn Payne’s reading captures both the innocence of the young girl and the confused adult she becomes. She has a great vocal range and is able to suggest a character for whom we care in spite of the terrible crime she has been found guilty of. Joe Gaminara’s smooth, manipulative Sean seems initially to confirm all our suspicions that he was the ringleader chiefly responsible for the crime but the reader’s subtle change of tone creates a doubt and suggest depths of character not immediately apparent. This is an unusual and engaging novel and excellently read in this release by Audible. It lasts 8hrs 52 mins.
Lloyd’s first novel, The Innocent Wife, is also available from Audible. Equally original, it tells the story of Samantha, a young British teacher, who starts corresponding with a condemned prisoner on death row in an American prison. She becomes obsessed with his case and leaves her job and old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release. However, when Dennis is freed, she begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all. Read by Christina Cole and, one of Audible’s most popular reader, Lorelei King, this is an edge-of-your-seat listen that will keep you tuned in long after bedtime. It lasts 8hr 20 mins.
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