cover image Seven Lies

Seven Lies

Elizabeth Kay. Viking/Dorman, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-98487971-4

There are unreliable narrators and then there’s Jane Baxter, the self-proclaimed prevaricator who anchors the pseudonymous Kay’s debut, an electrifying psychological thriller. Speaking with eerie calm to a listener whose identity will only be revealed in the chilling penultimate twist, Jane spins the story of how the friendship she forged at 11 with polar opposite Marnie Gregory—“She is light where I am dark”—mutates over two decades into an obsessive, jealously defended lifeline she would do anything to preserve. Just how dark the perennially anxious young woman is capable of being becomes apparent as she charts the course of the pair’s relationship from halcyon post-university days sharing a South London flat through the point where their trajectories start to diverge. Blindsided by tragedy, Jane finds her world shrinking at the same time Marnie is succeeding as a food blogger and cooking video star. And then there’s Marnie’s romance with a wealthy, self-important man Jane instantly loathes. But she doesn’t dare tell Marnie how she feels for fear of destroying the friendship she craves more desperately than ever, instead taking the first step onto the slippery slope of deceit. Even readers who suspect where the story is heading should brace themselves for a wild and surprising ride. Kay, a British publishing professional, is off to an impressive start. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary. (June)