Nicci French is actually not one writer but two – a hugely successful husband-and-wife team. As such they bring a unique insight to this excellent domestic thriller. Neve Conolly works in publishing and is married to Fletcher, an illustrator who doesn’t get much work. She’s also a mother of three, so she’s busy; a woman with many friends who is at the centre of everyone’s lives.
She’s also secretly having an affair with Saul, her new boss, and one morning at breakfast she gets a text from him asking her to ‘come as soon as you can’. She rushes to his flat to find him dead on the floor – murdered.
Terrified her family will discover her affair, she doesn’t call the police. Instead she removes all traces of her presence from the flat, wiping down surfaces, even washing sheets, and then leaves as though nothing has happened.
Neve is obviously a guilty woman – not guilty of murder, but of infidelity and perverting the course of justice by not calling the police. She’s tortured by the thought she may have left something incriminating behind – and indeed she has. What’s more, she’s convinces that whoever murdered Saul is also a danger to her, and her troubled teenage daughter, Mabel.
On the surface, Neve is the perfect wife, mother, hostess and friend. Everyone loves and trusts her; as the investigating officer DI Hitching says:’ She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one they confide in.’ Yes, everyone loves Neve, and her friends and colleagues unwittingly involve her in a complex web of personal and incriminating confessions.
The Lying Room is a compelling psychological drama. Who is lying? Is Neve actually a murderer? Is the killer a member of her family? Or one of her oldest, closest friends? This pacey, twisty thriller grabs you right up until the last page.