Title: The Day the Lies Began
Author: Kylie Kaden
Published: August 19th 2019
Publisher: Pantera Press
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
“It seemed simple at first – folding one lie over the next. She had become expert at feathering over the cracks to ensure her life appeared the same. But inside, it didn’t feel fixed.”
It happened the day of the Moon Festival. It could have been left behind, they all could have moved on with their lives. But secrets have a habit of rising to the surface, especially in small towns.
Two couples, four ironclad friendships, the perfect coastal holiday town. With salt-stung houses perched like lifeguards overlooking the shore, Lago Point is the scene of postcards, not crime scenes. Wife and mother Abbi, town cop Blake, schoolteacher Hannah and local doctor Will are caught in their own tangled webs of deceit.
When the truth washes in to their beachside community, so do the judgements: victim, or vigilante, who will forgive, who will betray?
Not all relationships survive. Nor do all residents.
It has been awhile since we heard from Kylie Kaden, the author of two novels I have rated highly, Missing You and Losing Kate. The Day the Lies Began heralds Kylie Kaden’s return to the literary scene, and her first domestic noir release, a sub genre that is really gaining momentum, both in Australia and overseas. As the title suggests, The Day the Lies Began is a twisted and tangled tale full of truths that have been withheld for various reasons. I was very much taken by this slow burn domestic fiction title.
Revolving around the Moon Festival, a pinnacle event on the calendar of all residents of the small coastal Queensland town of Lago Point, The Day the Lies Began concerns itself with the relationships, friendships and dark truths of a group of individuals residing in this small town locale. This is also the story of a tragic and defining event, the cover-up, acts of deceit, the protective lens and the power secrets have to transform lives. The Day the Lies Began is defined by a crime, striking at the heart of the lives of key members of the Lago Point community, with the town’s police officer, doctor and teacher among this crowd. Kylie Kaden’s third novel considers the slippery slope of lies, deceit and the impact of withholding the truth. When a secret can no longer stay buried, it forces the group to consider where their loyalties lie.
The domestic noir sub genre is really on the rise and it is a category of fiction that I personally enjoy very much. When I discovered that Kylie Kaden, the author of The Day the Lies Began was launching into the domestic noir market with this novel, I was very pleased. The Day the Lies Began is a slow burn style novel from this genre, it left me hanging and it afforded plenty of opportunities to speculate about the core secret that runs through the course of this book.
Kaden devotes plenty of air time in the first half of this novel to foreshadowing. The atmosphere is intense, tight, swirling, complicated and convoluted. I really appreciated the small town setting and the world building Kaden conducted to help orientate her reader in the upcoming events of her story. Lago Point, the central locale of this novel, is vividly portrayed. Thanks to Kaden’s involving prose, I often felt like just another resident of this town the entire time I spent with the book. Kaden’s descriptions of this setting are a joy to immerse yourself in. I also got the strong feeling that this was a close knit town, where it would be impossible to keep secrets and withhold information. It adds another level of complication to this already complex and morally polarising novel.
Kaden’s character development is impressive, despite that fact that a number of the key characters in this story will earn the reader’s ire. I didn’t particularly warm to any of this cast, nor did I feel sympathy for them. I questioned their decisions and intentions. It did seem like I was overly critical of their actions, but they seemed to take the wrong path, or the complicated road to solving a problem. I apologise if this is an evasive approach to discussing the plot, but I am mindful of retaining this information for the reader to discover themselves.
I appreciated the structure of The Day the Lies Began, the pacing was reduced in the first half and then by the second half it really it ramps up. The adrenalin rushes through you as you reach the bitter end of this surprising story. The drip feed style approach to the narrative and the central mystery worked well to hold my interest. The events of The Day the Lies Began pivots around the town’s local festival showcase, the Moon Festival, where something big occurs. I enjoyed being thrown again and again into the series of happenings around this festival, it was a great approach. It sure sucked me in and I was more than a little surprised by the final curtain call.
There are some weighty themes in this novel, which may be a struggle for some readers. I appreciated the way these issues were tackled by the author and with the central focus on lies, I found this to be a book I couldn’t resist reading in a couple of short bursts.
If domestic noir is you preferred genre, The Day the Lies Began will definitely satisfy your reading preferences. I look forward to another foray in this field from an author I have come to admire very much.
The Day the Lies Began by Kylie Kaden was published on 19th August 2019 by Pantera Press. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Day the Lies Began, Kylie Kaden, visit here.
*Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty & Lace and Pantera Press. To read the original review on the Beauty & Lace website please visit here.
The Day the Lies Began is book #115 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge