Category Archives: The Lying Room

Review: The Lying Room by Nicci French

Title: The Lying Room by Nicci French
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 407 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In this thrilling standalone from the internationally bestselling author of the Frieda Klein series, a married woman’s affair with her boss spirals into a dangerous game of chess with the police when she discovers he’s been murdered and she clears the crime scene of all evidence.

One little secret between a married woman, her lover, and a killer.

It should have been just a mid-life fling. A guilty indiscretion that Neve Connolly could have weathered. An escape from twenty years of routine marriage to her overworked husband, and from her increasingly distant children. But when Neve pays a morning-after visit to her lover, Saul, and finds him brutally murdered, their pied-à-terre still heady with her perfume, all the lies she has so painstakingly stitched together threaten to unravel.

After scrubbing clean every trace of her existence from Saul’s life—and death—Neve believes she can return to normal, shaken but intact. But she can’t get out of her head the one tormenting question: what was she forgetting?

An investigation into the slaying could provide the answer. It’s brought Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching, and Neve’s worst fears, to her door. But with every new lie, every new misdirection to save herself, Neve descends further into the darkness of her betrayal—and into more danger than she ever imagined. Because Hitching isn’t the only one watching Neve. So is a determined killer who’s about to make the next terrifying move in a deadly affair….


The Lying Room by Nicci French is an engrossing, suspenseful mystery.

Neve Connolly is a married mum of three who is the main breadwinner in the family. Her husband Fletcher works sporadically while he works on his art. Their sons Rory and Connor are delightful boys but their oldest daughter Mabel’s teen years were quite tumultuous. Although still a bit moody and uncommunicative, Mabel is about to leave home for university.

In the midst of all of the family chaos, Neve unexpectedly embarks on an affair with Saul Stevenson, who is also married.  Having spent the night before with Saul, she is rather surprised to receive a text from him asking her to meet him at his pied-à-terre.  Upon her arrival, Neve is shocked to discover his lifeless body and she soon determines he has been murdered. At first planning to call 999, she reconsiders once she realizes how devastating it will be on her family if her affair is revealed. Quickly working to erase all evidence she was ever in Saul’s flat, she leaves without notifying authorities.  She has a nagging feeling she left something undone at Saul’s and she wakes in the middle of night with the horrifying realization of exactly what she left something behind.  Will Neve recover her personal property before the police discover Saul’s body?

Neve tries to return to her normal life but she is terrified of becoming the prime suspect in Saul’s murder.  With the murder investigation underway, Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching begins turning up at unexpected and inconvenient times. Neve nonetheless stays the course as she answers his questions with half-truths and outright lies. With so much to lose, she is walking a tricky path as she juggles family life, unanticipated  houseguests, the grieving widow and her friends’ secrets. On edge, Neve knows the only way to save herself is to try to uncover the identity of Saul’s killer. With a surprisingly long list of suspects, will she be able to figure out who murdered him and more importantly,why?

The Lying Room is a brilliantly plotted and well executed domestic mystery. The characters are engaging and well-developed and the storyline is quite clever. With a plethora of suspects,  Nicci French expertly ratchets the tension to a fever pitch before bringing this diabolically twisted mystery to an absolutely stunning conclusion. I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this fast-paced novel to fans of the genre.

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