One of Us is Lying

Karen M.McManus
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again. He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Five high school students – a geek, a jock, a criminal and a gossip – walk into detention…only four leave. After the sudden death of Simon, the creator of an infamous gossip blog, the four other students see themselves pursued in a relentless police investigation -thrust into the position of murder suspects as it comes to light that Simon was only 24 hours away from posting their deepest secrets online. This YA psychological thriller follows the twists and turns of this murder investigation, examining the role of the media, the evolving relationships of the suspects and the repercussions of this shocking murder on this small American town.

From the very first line McManus captures the readers attention, as we delve deeper and deeper into the story line. We see such vast evolvement of plot with multiple character point of views, creating a three dimensional insight into the investigation, whilst providing many layers of perspective that contribute to the overall suspense and pace of the novel.

The reader comes to question the involvement of all the characters at different points in the novel, serving to add a great sense of suspense and suspicion that overall makes the book vey addictive! Although at times predictable, McManus constructs subtle plot twists, in such a way in which their significance only comes to light later in the story, in doing so the reader enjoys a vast and relatively complex plot line.

Whilst examining the police investigation and changing attitudes of the public; in a similar vein to Breakfast Club, McManus looks at the interaction between social circles. We see great evolvement in the relationships of these characters, who would other wise never interact, but have been uniquely bonded by the experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the aspects of friendship in this book as we see both the deterioration of relationships and the formation of new ones, as the investigation deepens.

The book also has a romantic subplot, which whilst at sometimes subtracted from the overall plot, served to add a sense of anticipation and excitement, of which overall effectively contributed to the development of character in the book.

I found the ending to be relatively predictable, yet the author still managed to retain a sense of satisfaction as the outcome is skilfully weaved throughout the plot. Furthermore, McManus effectively injected the right about of action and pace along side psychological suspense, creating an ending that kept me thinking about the book days after I finished it.

Verdict: Overall “One of Us is Lying” is a fast paced and vastly enjoyable read, that has been skilfully constructed in order to maintain constant suspicion and anticipation. I would most definitely recommend this for lovers of murder mysteries and would be especially perfect for lovers of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough, Running Girl by Simon Mason and fans of the Breakfast Club.

Reviewed by Evie (15)

Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date:June 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages:360
Genre: Thriller
Age: YA
Reviewer: Evie (15)
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Debut Author
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