A Lovely Lie

Scarlet. May 2024. 312p. ISBN 9781613165188. $26.95. SUSPENSE
In 1999, Scarlett Russo and her friend Pepper are involved in a horrible accident on the night of their senior picnic, leaving two classmates dead. To protect themselves, both Scarlett and Pepper tell the police they weren’t around when the accident happened, and then shortly afterwards, they go their separate ways in life and never speak to each other again. Twenty-two years later, Scarlett is living in Florida with her husband and teenage son when Zoey, Pepper’s 21-year-old daughter, appears at Scarlett’s workplace with questions. Her mother is now dead, but she left a letter addressed to Scarlett. Zoey wants to know what accident her mother’s letter is referring to and who her own father is. Flustered by this surprise visit, Scarlett worries that all of the buried secrets from her past are about to resurface and destroy her already-complicated life. Hendricks has created a convoluted plot filled with high-school drama and relationships, along with some very intriguing characters, including a narcissistic antagonist. How all of the other characters react to this person’s behavior is authentic and brings a satisfying conclusion.
VERDICT Hendricks (I Didn’t Do It) is definitely on the rise; hand this book to fans of Karin Slaughter’s The Good Daughter.
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