“Lies” by T. M. Logan is his debut psychological thriller. From page one readers will be riveted to the storyline and it never lets up. The plot focuses on what can happen to someone’s normal life when, in one moment, it comes crashing down with the main culprit, lies and betrayals.
The plot begins with Joseph Lynch and his 4-year-old son, William, navigating North London traffic when William spots his mother’s car exiting the highway. A spur-of-the-moment detour leads to disaster. Mel, Joe’s wife and William’s mother, is spotted at the Premier Inn bar arguing with her best friend’s husband, tech millionaire Ben Delaney. After Mel leaves, Joe confronts Ben with a civil conversation, but it quickly develops into a confrontation.
Words lead to shoving and Joe pushes Ben a little too hard where he falls and bangs his head. At the same time, he must help his son who is having a major asthma attack, leaving Ben unattended. Unfortunately, when he goes back later Ben is missing and so is Joe’s phone. Later that night Mel is confronted and delivers her first lie — saying it is only a business meeting. Eventually, she admits to an affair that begins a downward spiral for Joe’s life.
The more he tries to unravel the lies, the more deception he discovers. As the lies gain momentum, he realizes he can trust no one and must mount a personal investigation to find the truth. Accused of having something to do with Ben’s disappearance, Joe must find Ben to prove his innocence.
The storyline raises some valid and important issues about technology and social media. Joe realizes that someone is manipulating his text messages, the home PC, his Facebook account, photos and anything else they can get their hands on. It becomes clear the crime and the technology were going hand-in-hand.
Because social media is an antagonist, “I wrote this quote, ‘I was struck by what a strange view you could get of someone’s life from looking at his or her Facebook profile,’” Logan said. “I do not think Facebook reflects someone’s real life. No one is as happy as they appear on Facebook nor as angry as they appear on Twitter. I once read about an academic study by Birmingham City University that showed how Facebook was involved in 40 to 50 murders. People had a dispute and became antagonistic, some pretended to be others, luring people into dangerous situations, or to make it appear someone was alive when they actually were not.”
It is interesting to have a story written from the male point of view. Joe is an average, contented, trusting man, happily married man, a daunting father and a respected teacher with a wife he loves and a son he worships. But he is also very naïve, lying to himself as he tries to persuade himself that he was not betrayed. He is the kind of character a reader can root for.
“Joe is similar to me. I am a father like Joe,” the author said. “What he says about William, his 4-year-old, is what I would say. William is based on my son at that age, including his traits, games and challenges. Both Joe and I are family oriented. Just like William, my son was obsessed with cars and one of his first words was the car company Audi. The scene in the book is true, where we would sit in traffic, calling out car names. My son matched up the shapes of his toy cars with the real cars owned by myself, my wife and my parents. He is righteous, every man, an average man, a good father and a loving husband. In the beginning of the book, he is optimistic, kind, steady, and honest. It takes him a while to figure out bad things can happen to good people. He wants to see the best in someone, which leads them to take advantage of him. People manipulate him because they could predict what he would do and how he would react.”
This gripping psychological thriller is a twisted page-turner that will keep readers guessing with an unexpected turn. There are layers of lies, secrets, and betrayals.