Fiction Book Reviews

Psychological Thriller | Behind the Lie | Amanda James

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Having enjoyed Amanda James’ previous novels, I was delighted to be asked to read her most recent novel.  I didn’t realise Behind the Lie was a psychological thriller (you may have noticed I don’t read many psychological thrillers) which is a good thing as I would have missed a fast paced and tense read!

Book cover Behind the Lie Amanda James

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 775 KB

Print Length: 208 pages

Publisher: HQ Digital (21 April 2017)

Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Language: English


Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.

Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.

Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.


The cesarean scene in the prologue is poignant, hooking in my emotions and getting me 100% behind Holly before getting to know anything about her past or her relationship with Simon.

5 weeks before the birth, best friend Demi visits.  They haven’t seen each other for a while as Demi has been travelling.  The atmosphere between them vibrates with things left unsaid and gave me a distinctly uneasy feeling! Simon is lonely in London while Holly is staying at their house on the beach in Cornwall.  Things might not be as bright and lovely as Holly thinks they are …

3 weeks after the birth and Holly’s emotional pain became mine.  Nobody is talking about the death of Ruan but she can’t talk about her own feelings either.  Inside she’s screaming.  She can feel Ruan close to her and dreams that he’s still alive.  Simon collects her and baby Iona to take them back to London and while Simon is at work, Holly is given an anonymous letter which changes everything.  She’s determined to investigate herself having told only Demi what her plans are.  What follows is so tense and nail biting with images that will take me a long time to forget!

Holly’s narration is in the first person and Simon’s the third.  I find when that when I know something that the other main character/characters don’t, it makes for a tense read.  In Behind the Lie I was urging the other person to see what I could and shouting at them when I knew that what they were about to do was the wrong thing!

Demi, Simon and her mum think Holly is losing her mind so she is ALWAYS questioning her own sanity, especially reflecting on her past life before she met Simon.  I loved the analogies between the coastal environment and Holly’s own mental wellbeing.  There is one person who believes in her though and that’s Jowan.  Jowan brings an interesting mix to the conflict and I have to say I loved how Amanda James ends the story (before the epilogue).

Although I did guess, there are some fabulous red herrings thrown at us.  It made me question what I believed!  Such fabulous characterisations.  Mark Jenson scared the life out of me, so cold and calculating …  There are more than a couple of scenes that had my stomach churning in apprehension and fear.  The final crises is spectacular.  So tense!

Behind the Lie is a keeper for me.  Highly recommended.

Connect with Amanda James

Website/blog | Twitter @akjames61 | Facebook MandyJamesAuthorPage

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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