Hamad, Freya and Paul have been friends since university. Years later, Freya and Paul’s marriage is on the rocks and Hamad is desperate to help them both. When Hamad buys his girlfriend; Racine, three riads in Marrakech – it’s the perfect opportunity to bring his two friends over to make a new life.
Culture runs through this book like a river with its multiple estuaries and the Jinns are the spirits of the past. When events displease the Jinns, bad things begin to happen, and when the balance is restored allowing the spirits to settle, the people and their lives are able to flourish like beautiful flowers with a plentiful supply of natural water.
Whilst cultural ways root the way in which things should be done, the older generation are the ones that are able to provide perspective and wisdom to the younger characters. Edith; Hamad’s grandmother, brings such guidance to this tale – I LOVED her – not only is she full of ‘sass’, she’s also incredibly canny and her input on the events in this tale have a momentous impact on the ending.
This is a story centred around the dynamics of friendships. How long can a person hide the truth from their friends? How long will it take for the friends to sense something is going on? And when the lie comes out into the open, how many others will surface?
Thorpe sets the scene with an unusual prologue and loops back to this around two thirds of the way through the book, I loved that moment when the familiar text repeated itself and my brain went “of course!!! I already knew this”. It always seeks to amaze me how you can be so focussed in the first 50 pages of a book trying to find out what the prologue meant, but then you get sucked into the intricacies of the plot and forget that important ‘first message’, right up until the moment it’s under your nose again! This is just one small example of Thorpe’s fantastic writing technique – this is a well structured and well thought out plot that centres around the truth coming out. As the reader, you are aware of many of the lies that are being hidden, and you’re itching to find out when the others will find out – such a page turner!
My only slight bit of advice to bookworms wanting to read this: don’t get sucked in by the book bio/description on Amazon – I noticed the word ‘psychological’ thrown about – and noticed some people seemed to have gone down the route, that this book MUST be a psychological thriller, it’s NOT! It DOES look at the psychology surrounding long friendships and the effect that lies bring to the table, which I agree – does bring a dark nature to the overall plot, but if you’re thinking this is going to be a psychological thriller similar to The Last Mrs Parrish, The Confession, Obsession, etc – it’s not. I would hate people to be disappointed in this book because it’s not their favourite genre, because this book deserves to be celebrated for what it is – in my view it falls into the dark women’s fiction category, and in this category it shines!
*Thank you Olivia over at Quercus for providing me with a proof copy, this honest review is my way of saying thanks!!*
What Lies Within is available now in paperback.
Check out the other posts on this tour:
Until next time, Chloé x