Review: Dark and Shallow Lies

I was so, so hyped for Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain from the second I read the synopsis. Therefore, I am incredibly grateful to Electric Monkey for sending me such a special gift package and review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

When seventeen-year-old Grey makes her annual visit to La Cachette, Louisiana – the tiny bayou town that proclaims to be the “Psychic Capital of the World” – she knows it will be different from past years: her childhood best friend Elora went missing several months earlier and no one is telling the truth about the night she disappears.

Grey can’t believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychics knows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something – her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.

When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou – a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history – Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. She doesn’t know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent – and La Cachette’s dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.

Publication Date: 2nd September

TW: death, murder, child death, abuse, fire, arson, drowning, physical abuse

Goodreads | Waterstones

My Thoughts:

Dark and Shallow Lies is the type of book that you just can’t get out of your head. This is an incredibly bingeable, brilliant book that thrives on its atmosphere of dread, darkness and death.

Sain did not hesitate. She grabs you by the throat with that incredible opening and from then on, you are at her mercy. This is a spectacularly paced book that gives you moments to breathe, but those breaths are tinged with suspense and fear all the while. They’re shallow breaths in between sprints towards the dark danger at the heart of the story. This is an absolutely riveting mystery, packed with so many excellent twists and turns. I genuinely wasn’t sure what was going to happen next and I remember being shocked as revelation after revelation unfolded. 

Grey and her friends provide such an excellent cast of characters. I loved how they were all hiding something in their own way, but also that La Cachette itself held much darker secrets. Grey is so fiercely loyal and protective, but is also trying to find herself and her place in this tangled web. The relationships between them are strained by the whispers of the past and it is only by diving deeper into that murky land that you will find out the truth. I also really loved all the different abilities of the characters. The way Sain weaves in the touch of the unknown in the abilities and those psychic flashes are so intriguing. I just wanted to know more about it all and how these abilities all worked. That gleam of mystery really worked with the incredible atmosphere and tension Sain creates here.

La Cachette is this enclosed town, where the people are cut off by geography, their abilities and their secrets. Essentially, this means the claustrophobic shiver down your spine only grows more and more intense as the monstrous forces of nature and humans combine to provide a fantastic finale. Sain weaves that smokey atmosphere around you until you can feel that close heat of the bayou. I don’t think I can overestimate how much this book thrives on its perfectly written atmosphere and tension.

Dark and Shallow Lies is a knockout YA mystery, with Sain delivering a masterclass in creating atmosphere and tension.

6 thoughts on “Review: Dark and Shallow Lies

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