I recently read the new novel The Lying Room by internationally bestselling author Nicci French.

I have seen many of Nicci French’s books in the library, but had never read one. I was not disappointed! Nicci French, a pseudonym for the husband-and-wife writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, is known for writing psychological suspense novels. The Lying Room was no different.

Set in present day London, the book opens to housewife, Neve. She recently went to work part time, so she could take care of her three school-aged kids, including her daughter who has had problems in the past. We soon find out that Neve is having an affair with Saul, an executive at the publishing firm that just bought out Neve’s small publishing company. But, the reader finds out about Saul because she finds him murdered in the apartment he keeps for business purposes. It seems as though Saul also uses the apartment to carry on his affair with Neve.

Instead of calling the police, Neve chooses to protect herself and her family by cleaning the apartment and clearing out everything that would link her to Saul. She leaves the apartment feeling guilty and sad, and wondering when he would be discovered. But she also feels she has done the right thing and no one will know she was in the apartment. She realizes she forgot something at the apartment, and goes back the next day to retrieve it. When she is unable to find it, she’s afraid someone knows about her affair with Saul.

As the police continue to investigate, Neve finds herself having to lie to everyone she knows in order to protect herself and her family. The police suspect Neve and her daughter know more than what they are saying, and as the evidence mounts, it seems as if the killer is framing Neve for the murder.

Like many psychological thrillers, there are many plot twists and surprises that the reader didn’t see coming. French does a good job of throwing in several of these twists, while still making the plot line easy to follow. I am not a fan of psychological thrillers, but this one is a good one! There were clues that the reader could pick up on that the main character missed, and some that I, as a reader, completely missed, making the storyline fun to read.

Neve goes through many emotions throughout the book. The authors pull in the reader, making you feel exactly what Neve is feeling; panic, exhaustion, guilt, worry, and fear. This book is a page turner all the way to the end, making me want to find out who the real killer is, if Neve will figure out who the killer is before the police arrest her, or if the killer will find Neve first.

Nicci French also writes a series about Frieda Klein, a London-based psychotherapist in her mid-30’s who is a loner that loves solving mysteries.

These titles are available at the Yankton Community Library. French also writes independent novels, several of which are available as e-books on Overdrive and Libby.