Thursday, July 14, 2022

Book Review: We Lie Here, by Rachel Howzell Hall

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Overnight, rain had fallen, and now the world smells new and crisp. Some of the dust has washed off my car, and the black paint looks fashionably matte instead of flat-our filthy. Dominique slides into the front passenger seat of Mom’s Cherokee, and I pop into the back seat with my purse and foil-wrapped bacon-and-egg breakfast sandwich. Like the Camaro, the SUV’s interior smells of cigarettes smoked yesterday and one hundred years before, and instead of Clinque’s Happy, there’s a hint of rose and jasmine from Mom’s current perfume as well as heavier notes of running shoes, discarded athletic tape, and sweat.

Dominique drops her traveling mug into a cup holder, then pops down the visor mirror to add more shine to her bright-red lips and tighten her two French braids. Mom looks like our older sister in her black Vans and Thrasher tank top. I wish I could’ve kept on my pajama bottoms and hoodie and stayed in bed.

My eyes skip around our neighborhood. Who could’ve sent that postcard? Where is the man in the green Mazda? Has this Nissan Pathfinder parked here before? Who’s hiding behind that hedge?

When nothing is as it seems, wouldn’t it be nice to at least trust your own recollections? Yara knew she didn’t want to visit her hometown, but the longer she’s there, the more reasons she has to leave ASAP.

Official synopsis:
We Lie Here book review, Rachel Howzell Hall
TV writer Yara Gibson’s hometown of Palmdale, California, isn’t her first choice for a vacation. But she’s back to host her parents’ twentieth-anniversary party and find the perfect family mementos for the celebration. Everything is going to plan until Yara receives a disturbing text: I have information that will change your life.

The message is from Felicia Campbell, who claims to be a childhood friend of Yara’s mother. But they’ve been estranged for years—drama best ignored and forgotten. But Yara can’t forget Felicia, who keeps texting, insisting that Yara talk to her “before it’s too late.”

But the next day is already too late for Felicia, whose body is found floating in Lake Palmdale. Before she died, Felicia left Yara a key to a remote lakeside cabin. In the basement are files related to a mysterious tragedy, unsolved since 1998. What secrets was Felicia hiding? How much of what Yara 
knows about her family has been true?

The deeper Yara digs for answers, the more she fears that Felicia was right. Uncovering the truth about what happened at the cabin all those years ago will change Yara’s life—or end it.
 
When Yara goes back to her hometown to oversee the last week of planning and putting on the biggest party the community has ever seen for her popular parents’ anniversary, she thinks that dealing with her mother will be the most stressful aspect. Within the first day, she finds so much more to worry about. 
 
An old friend of her mother insists she has secrets about her family that Yara needs to know, but she acts pretty sketchy the whole time she tries to convince Yara to meet her to learn more. Yara doesn’t have to worry whether or not to trust the friend when the friend turns up dead soon after talking to Yara. 
 
Yara should just be dealing with the party, but instead she has her severe asthma, threats with absolutely no clue where they’re coming from, and an apparent murderer on the loose. While some of it was guessable part way through, how it all fit together wasn’t revealed until the end of the book. Overall, I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars. The book was an interesting combination of an unreliable narrator, with an unexpected mystery.
 
{click here to purchase - currently FREE for Kindle Unlimited}
 
Becki Bayley is a wife, mom, and investigator who loves to find out how things really work. Check out her cozy reading spot and other fun snapshots on Instagram, where she posts as PoshBecki

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