Review: The Lies I Never Told You

I am a huge believer in the fact that reading books is a lot like being in a relationship; there are those which are fickle and you forget them the very next day and then there are those which will linger on your mind for a while, long after they are over. Reading The Lies I Never Told You, felt a lot like the latter.


Based in the city of Paris, Pax is a struggling actor, doing bit roles; he also keeps a day job to get by and pay his bills. And then one day, he has an opportunity of a lifetime presented to him, which means in the flow of the moment, he will choose to ignore the very alarming noises coming from the apartment upstairs.

This split-second decision comes back to haunt him and has devastating consequences on his life and of those that he loves so dearly.

What I loved:

Right from page one, I was completely taken in by the gripping narrative and the plot of this book. The author wastes no time in setting the tone and introducing the key characters to the story.

It is easy to see that the author has spent a lot of time working out the character profiles of each of the protagonists; Emi, Pax and Alex are all very real and flawed characters with multiple layers. They exist in the middle spectrum of black and white, with their secrets and redeeming qualities, which make them extremely relatable.

They will stay with me for a very long time, as I revisit them to analyse their nature, their motives and their intertwining destinies.

I think it is hard to classify this book into a particular genre like ‘crime’ or ‘ thriller’ solely because of the way the author has, so seamlessly, interwoven suspense, thrill and crime with themes of family and romance.

What could have been better:

The one thing that was slightly off-putting: being a translation from French to English, I found the flow of the book to be slightly disjointed. It seemed due to lack of a better way to express the authors originally intended emotions, some parts of the book did come across as a little mechanical.

Final Thoughts:

Valerie Tong Coung writes prose like poetry and ends up crafting a hauntingly beautiful story, one that makes you sigh at the end and stare into the distance in the company of your thoughts.

Read this book carefully, to the last page, to the very last word. Chances are, like me, you’ll probably want to read the book again.

Disclaimer: This was an advance readers copy by Hodder & Stoughton. The Lies I Never Told You is now available to purchase as a Paperback, Audio Book and e-book on Amazon.

I am not a member of the Amazon Associates Programme.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s