Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane. If you’re a fan of domestic noir, you’ll want to be reading this novel!
What causes a woman to murder her whole family?
Jo’s idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until one day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to unravel her dark past.
Ellie is a devoted wife… until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about.
Party-girl Shayla knows how to hide her demons. But when she’s confronted with a life-shattering choice, it will cost her everything.
June knows suffering intimately, though the smile she wears keeps it hidden.
Soon the lives of these four women intersect and one of them is about to snap…
From USA TODAY best-selling author Pamela Crane comes “a thought-provoking domestic noir novel perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and B.A. Paris … A chilling look at the secrets mothers will hide for the sake of their families, and the gruesome reality of what can break an everyday woman.”
Sometimes, when reading domestic noir, I find it’s much of the same, the same recycled story over and over again. But Pretty Ugly Lies was a breath of fresh air. I loved the multiple viewpoints of the four women (Jo, Ellie, Shayla and June), I was interested in each drama, making this an engaging read throughout.
While each of our leading ladies didn’t necessarily have a distinct personality, it didn’t matter too much, what was key here was the scenario each lady was in, and that was easy to distinguish. So, despite the fact that I couldn’t always remember who belonged to which drama, I was fully invested in the drama. It’s like when you watch TV shows such as Desperate Housewives, or reality shows such as Love and Hip Hop – there’s always plenty of drama and it’s thoroughly entertaining. And amongst all the drama, you get the thread of emotion, the parts you really care about – in Pretty Ugly Lies, you care about how the children are impacted by each scenario, and wow, are there some intense moments featuring the children.
And when one of these women snap, they snap, like what in the holy hell kind of craziness is this – and I mean that in the best possible way, the shock of the event that occurred ensured I’d stayed thinking about this one.
While this is an entertaining read, it is also a thought-provoking one, because once you strip back the layers of drama, you see the suffering. The pain of living a life you didn’t imagine, second guessing the decisions you made, those scary moments when you feel trapped in your own life… Crane doesn’t hold back, she makes these women honest in their feelings – they voice what, perhaps, many mothers are afraid too, the fleeting thoughts that can enter a mind. Everything has a darker side, and motherhood is no different!
This was my first time reading a novel by Crane, and I shall be seeking out more of her books because I found this one so engaging and entertaining with enough emotion to make me care. I absolutely recommend this novel to fans of domestic noir.
*My thanks to the publisher (Bloodhound Books) for providing me with a copy of this title and inviting me to participate in the blog tour*
Pamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him) and she writes on the edge. Writing murder mysteries is her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and she bases her characters on real people, so be warned! She is a USA Today best-selling author of several award-winning thrillers, which you can find on her website at www.pamelacrane.com.
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