The blurb of Half The Lies You Tell Are True really caught me – when I was approached by the novel’s publisher Paddy’s Daddy Publishing to read and review I thought yes, I want to read this book.
The subject matter is dark and disturbing. Dougie Black, a long-serving high school teacher is viciously stabbed by a pupil right in front of class. There seems to be no motive to the brutal attack. As Dougie fights for life and the police investigate, news breaks of the attack on social media.
The social media posts show shock, outrage and sadness. Many ask why the stabbing happened, with some casting doubt on Dougie’s character and history as a teacher. What actually happened to make a placid 16 year-old boy stab a teacher so violently? These doubts seep into mainstream media.
The strength of this novel is the characterisation of its main characters; and I do love a good character driven story. As a reader you get a good insight into Dougie’s back story, as well as the back story of Harry, his attacker. For me, this and how the character of Frankie, Dougie’s colleague is developed and evoked my empathy for all the central characters.
The plot of Half The Lies You Tell is definitely thought-provoking and does contain important messages for us. Especially around social media; how we use and consume it. However for me it lost momentum and I feel that the messages the author C.P Wilson was communicating could have been stronger. I did not find this novel as shocking or as gripping as it could have been. I found it fairly predictable with Wilson easily giving away strong clues as to the outcome/moral message of the novel early on. For me, there were no real twists in the novel.
A thing I really struggled with in this novel is how it depicts the disability cerebral palsy. This is only a small element of the novel, but as a person with personal experience of cerebral palsy, I was shocked, confused and upset how the disability is portrayed. I think other people will be too and I do question this depiction.
Thank you Paddy’s Daddy Publishing for sending me an advanced copy of Half The Lies You Tell Are True in return for an honest review. Thank you also for inviting Novel Delights to take part in the blog tour.
Half The Lies You Tell Are True is available from Amazon now if you wish to read it for yourself.
Publication date: 3 July 2018