A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

Never Lie: A Convoluted Truth Unveiled

Never+Lie%3A+A+Convoluted+Truth+Unveiled
Jordan Tsao

Never Lie by Freida Mcfadden is an easy-to-read psychological thriller that will instantly demand your attention. The book follows Tricia and Ethan, newlyweds who are in search of a house to settle down in. The young couple travels to visit an isolated estate but gets trapped inside by a treacherous snowstorm. The estate belonged to Dr. Adrienne Hale, a famous psychologist and author who had gone missing four years prior. With no way out of the manor, Tricia finds a secret room full of cassette tapes of recordings between Adrienne Hale and her clients. As Tricia listens to the tapes, the perspective of Adrienne Hale is revealed, leading to a web of lies uncovered as well as murders confessed. 

Mcfadden has an engaging writing style that keeps the plot fast paced and the reader on their toes. She does this through the use of short chapters that alternate between the past and present and by evoking curiosity in the reader through her intriguing and mysterious use of language. Moreover, her clear and simple writing makes it easy for the reader to follow along the plot. The elements of suspense and imagery are cleverly used without long, tedious descriptions that books of this genre tend to have. McFadden also does a very good job of evoking emotion, whether positive or negative. The suspense and uncertainty that she creates makes the reader feel very anxious and tense. However, feelings of excitement are also evoked, with anticipation.

While entertaining, Never Lie has several shortcomings. First, parts of the storyline are illogical and unrealistic. There are several inconsistencies within the plot with some events that would never happen in real life, causing an ingenuine feel to the novel. Furthermore, similar to many other murder mysteries, the element of a plot twist completely came out of left field and seemed very forced, as no clues were provided in the book that would have led to this turn of events. This plot twist may have worked if the storyline was in third person; however, it was written from the first person’s perspective, which made the plot twist nonsensical. Additionally, the author builds up a red herring all throughout the novel through repetitive use of certain phrases and ideas, but the red herring becomes blatantly obvious at some point in the novel. 

 Other than an unrealistic storyline and poorly developed plot twist, the character development was almost non-existent. Many of the characters in the book were very vanilla and  non-endearing, and the few characters that I found engaging were unfortunately killed off. Furthermore, Never Lie is a typical example of the main character of a book seemingly untouchable. Tricia, the protagonist, is invincible to almost every obstacle thrown her way. Tricia gets away with everything that she does, which in my opinion, negatively shapes the narrative. I think it would have been interesting for the author to strip away the armor that Tricia has and show the consequences of her actions. This would have caused it to be less surface level and more nuanced, as well as cause the reader to empathize with the characters more. 

All in all, Never Lie is a flawed but interesting read, especially for fans of The Housemaid or A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. I recommend it to anyone who is not bothered by an under-developed storyline and is just looking for a quick read that is compelling and suspenseful. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Classic Critic

Your donation will support the student journalists of Townsend Harris High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Classic Critic

Comments (0)

All The Classic Critic Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *