The opening lines of The Truth-Teller’s Lie are in the form of a letter to a survivor’s website, signed NJ.
We soon learn that the writer is Naomi Jenkins, and some time before, she was raped in a particularly cruel way. And she never reported it.
But now her life is all about a man named Robert Haworth, whom she met a while after the rape, and whom she didn’t tell about her experience. But he meets her every Thursday in a motel where they went the first time they were together. He is obsessive, loves his routines, and talks about leaving his wife.
But then one Thursday he doesn’t show up, and because of his habits, Naomi is convinced that something has happened to him. When she reports his “missing” status to the police, she can tell they won’t make the search for him a priority. So she tells a lie. One that will guarantee action on their part.
Our favorite detectives from the previous novel, Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, are on the case, especially now due to the lie. And the truth of what happened to Robert, and many more hidden truths, will cause everything to unravel.
I loved the multiple narrators, beginning with Naomi, in her first person voice, and with her quirky tendency to address Robert as “you,” when voicing her thoughts. In the third person perspective, we learn what several of the other characters are thinking and feeling, from Charlie, Simon, Olivia (Charlie’s sister), to Juliet, Robert’s wife.
The complexity of the plot kept me fully engaged, and like most books by this author, there are plenty of creepy aspects, as well as the usual twists and turns that take us to interesting places.
I also enjoyed learning more about sundials, which Naomi creates. This book was also sold under the title “Hurting Distance,” which has significance for some of the characters. 4.5 stars.