Top Tier (4 to 5 stars)

Behind The Lie, by Emilya Naymark

4 out of 5 stars. A gripping mystery, well told, and two strong female leads.

5 stars

Read the interview with Emilya Naymark!

I like me a good Mystery book, so it was rather a pity that the last two I’ve read weren’t so great. So I was simply happy when I started reading the prologue of Behind The Lie and was thrown right into the action. No explanation, just stuff happening (during a block party) that immediately hooked me, because after this intro, I just want to find out what happened!

The intro gave me the urge to take a closer look into what happened.

The story then continues to alternate between two timelines, Holly a few months in the past, and her best friend Laney in the present. This is actually done quite well, because the past events will fuel your imagination about how they were leading to current events. (At around 60 % the past timeline catches up with the present and you’ll know what happened right before the prologue.)

Both women – Laney and Holly – are strong female leads, their characters are well written, they’re easy to sympathize with and their actions are relatable. To me, that’s an important part to mysteries.

It’s also means this novel is a two-pronged tale in more then one sense, a tale of two women, of family and love, loyalty and betrayal, hope and despair, new problems and old guilt. About the way we judge (and misjudge) people.

Some characters in this book seemed mighty shady from the start. And for a reason.

Laney is a former police detective turned private eye, and naturally she is the one trying to make sense of what happened. While she’s busy trying to unearth the truth, things are going from bad to worse. It doesn’t look good for her best friend or her son either, neither for her when she finds out her gun was stolen.

Holly’s story is different. She’s a good Samaritan – up to the point of self neglect. While reading her story, you can see exactly the moment she made the wrong decision, but you can’t really fault her for that. The way her character is described, her actions make absolutely sense. Up to a certain point. And then it seems she just reached a point of no return.

Betrayal happens for a lot of different reasons. Do the end justify the means?

There’s a part of this story that seems a little far fetched for me. I won’t be going into details – no spoilers – but there is a certain cold war flavour to it, mixed with industrial espionage. It’s an elemental plot part, and it does work, but I think it’s a tad too much. It doesn’t really vibe with the suburbia aspect of it’s surroundings and the rest of the characters.

But luckily, there’s Laney, slowly bringing order to the chaos.

In the end, the picture of what happened will be laid bare for you.

This is a good Mystery book, hooking it’s grips into you with the psychological parts. It’s becoming a little slow after it’s fast start, but the end is satisfactory. Especially the fact that there is a whole different layer of what’s happening behind the scenes.

I’ll give this 5 out of 5 stars. A great read with a few lengths in the middle, but that’s criticism on a high level.

Disclaimer: I’ve received a free Advanced Reader’s Copy and are leaving this review voluntarily.

By Stefan

father of two, not enough time to read everything I want to read

8 replies on “Behind The Lie, by Emilya Naymark”

Thank you! And many thanks to you and your publisher for allowing me to read that galley.

I really loved what you did with the two alternating timelines. For me, this was a great way to invest me into Holly’s well being.

I’m curious what you have in stock next for Laney. I just realized this was her second adventure. I’m expecting more to come! 😁


In that case, I’ll be waiting eagerly 😃

Let me know if I can help any way. Proofreading and such. I loved your style!


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