It’s been twenty-five years and the only thing any of them know for sure is that Tessa died that day. But reunions have a way of digging up old memories. Emma hardly even thinks about it anymore. However, when her marriage suddenly ends, she moves and discovers a graphic picture of Tessa that changes everything. Maybe her death wasn’t an accident. Her former classmates Marlee and Clementine are hardly different—they’ve tried putting that horrible day out of their minds as well. As Emma probes the case, though, stories start to slip, and she soon realizes some of her classmates would rather their secrets remain forgotten.
Author Sarah Clutton opens with Emma responding to a class reunion email by using the ‘reply all’ function rather than addressing her best friend, Marlee, directly. It’s a simple mistake, but it spirals into a series of complications. Clutton carefully maneuvers this opening, dropping tantalizing bits that all might not be as it seems. Emma, in outwardly questioning such a traumatic moment, opens wounds in her classmates. And yet, with even the most minimum of probing, it’s obvious that something is amiss in the original story of Tessa’s death. But what? Well, it’s deliciously complicated.
While the mystery and the investigation are compelling, what makes everything click is Clutton’s attention to character. These are multidimensional women, each with their own complicated lives, and Clutton expertly explores these avenues. Emma navigates the break-up of her marriage. Marlee juggles a new architecture job with a new relationship. Clementine, a now famous artist, is thrust back into life with her mother. Perhaps above them all looms Harriet, Clementine’s mother and the woman always tasked with holding everything together. Their relationships with each other are sometimes tenuous in the way that former classmates often are, but Clutton weaves them together as real people dependent on each other because of a past they’d rather avoid.
With the alternating viewpoints of the four women, Clutton teases out clues as to the real truth before settling on an explosive finish. She combines tight dialogue with some beautiful prose and the result is a fully-realized world—one that just happens to have a mysterious death at the center of it. Somehow both quiet and pulse-pounding, Clutton has tapped into the perfect formula for a page-turner.
Title: Good Little Liars
Author: Sarah Clutton
Publication Date: October 02, 2019
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.