Published by Thomas & Mercer on September 26th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
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FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
E.C. Diskin’s Depth of Lies is a gripping, fast-paced thriller that will not only keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you’re reading, but it will also make you question how much you really know about the people that you consider yourself closest to.
The story opens with a mysterious death. Shea Walker, a happy, easy going mom, who is beloved by all around her, is found dead in a bathtub at a B&B. An empty pill bottle is found in her room so everyone believes that she has unexpectedly ended her own life. All of Shea’s friends are of course distraught because they have lost their friend and because they simply cannot fathom how Shea could have possibly killed herself without any of them realizing she was at such a low point in her life.
One of Shea’s oldest and closest friends, Kat Burrows, takes it a step further. She absolutely refuses to believe that Shea killed herself and suspects foul play. She decides to do a little amateur sleuthing on her own, along with their mutual friend Tori. Kat is also wracked with guilt because on the night she died, Shea had tried to call Kat but Kat chose not to answer the phone.
Once Kat starts digging, she begins to uncover lie after lie, and seemingly endless secrets and betrayals. More and more details emerge that make Kat realize she didn’t know Shea nearly as well as she thought she did. Nor did she really know anyone in their circle of friends, for that matter. What she finds not only makes her question the truth about what happened to Shea that night, but it also makes her take a hard look at everyone around her.
The aptly named Depth of Lies explores the questions of not only what really happened to Shea Walker but also the thought provoking question of ‘Do we ever really know everything about anyone?’
I thought the author very effectively used the structure of the novel to unravel the mystery of what happened to Shea. The story is presented to the reader in alternating chapters from the point of view of both Shea and Kat. We get to follow the last few months of Shea’s life and see what is really going on with her, while at the same time, we follow Kat as she is investigating Shea’s death. The two storylines parallel each other until they ultimately merge into one as both Kat and the reader learn the truth about Shea’s death.
I also thought the pacing was fantastic. I got hooked immediately and with each clue Kat and her friend uncovered, the suspense just kept building and building. I also liked the added tension of having Kat’s spouse as well as all of her friends start to get agitated because she keeps asking so many questions and won’t let anything go. Wanting to know if any of them were hiding anything made the story that much more compelling for me and I devoured the novel in less than two days because I just had to know the truth.
Not only is Depth of Lies a well-crafted mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, but it also does a wonderfully realistic job of portraying the different relationships between the characters. We get to see all of the lingering guilt between the friends because they feel like they weren’t there for Shea, but then on top of it, the more the friends talk after her death, the more we start to see little bits of resentment and anger toward Shea come to the surface. They might be mourning her loss, but a few of them clearly have emotional baggage when it comes to the impact Shea had on their lives.
I also found the relationships realistic in terms of the novel’s central question of how well we really know someone. I found this idea especially believable and relatable. Don’t we all tend to keep certain things to ourselves? I know as much as I love my friends and family, I still don’t tell them everything. I think it’s normal to keep secrets, especially if those secrets are things that could be really embarrassing if they were to become known. This aspect of the novel left me with a lot to think about in terms of my own little secrets and in terms of what my friends and loved ones might be keeping from me.
The only real issue I had with Depth of Lies was that I would have liked to have felt more connected to the main characters. I was glued to the book to find out the truth about Shea and whether or not Kat would alienate her entire friend group because she just wouldn’t let it go, but otherwise, I didn’t really feel all that attached to any of the characters. I usually like to feel some kind of connection to at least one character but instead I just felt like an outsider observing the lives of these women and their spouses. It definitely didn’t impede my enjoyment of the story, which I thought was fantastic, but I think that’s what makes it a 4 star instead of a 5 star read for me.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller that will keep you guessing until the end, I’d definitely recommend Depth of Lies. I enjoyed it so much that I can’t wait to read more from E.C. Diskin.
When Shea Walker, a sunny, easygoing mom, is found dead in a bathtub with a stomach full of booze and pills, the shocking discovery shatters the complacency of her comfortable suburban community.
Kat Burrows, Shea’s longtime friend and former neighbor, is hit hardest. How could a woman she thought she knew so well come to such a sordid end? What could lead happy, well-adjusted, responsible Shea to accidentally overdose on alcohol and narcotics? Or, worse, drive her to suicide?
Compelled to uncover the truth of Shea’s final months, Kat delves beneath the orderly surface of her familiar world to discover a web of thwarted desire, shameful secrets, and shocking betrayal that suggests a scarier explanation for what happened to Shea. As her carefully constructed reality begins to crumble, Kat must question every reassuring assumption her life is built upon to solve the mystery…and summon the courage and resourcefulness to survive it.