The Lying Room is the perfect domestic thriller to snuggle up with before Halloween


In a market full of thrillers about marital affairs that end in murder, The Lying Room stands on its own — and that’s exactly why you should pick it up this October.

The market for domestic thrillers has become a bit saturated over the years, with so many novels covering affairs that result in murder lining the shelves of bookstores. It’s rare you find one that stands apart from the rest, but Nicci French’s The Lying Room does just that. If you’re looking for a cozy thriller to snuggle up with leading up to Halloween, this book is the perfect pick for you.

The Lying Room opens when our POV character, Neve, gets a text from her boss — the one she’s been having an affair with — telling her to meet him at his flat. It comes as a surprise, given that he’s supposed to be heading off to a conference, but Neve happily abides his wishes. And it changes everything for her.

When she arrives at the flat, Neve finds Saul’s dead body there, along with the hammer that rendered him this way. Her first instinct is to call the politce, but she stops when she realizes how this will affect her marriage. Instead, Neve decides to do away with all the evidence of their affair, cleaning everything in the apartment except for the body and murder weapon.

As you might guess, Neve’s decision comes back to bite her — especially when someone else tampers with the rest of the crime scene, making both of them look guilty in the eye of the law. And though the reader knows Neve didn’t commit the crime, the choices she makes have us following her on a journey

French captures the gamut of emotions Neve is forced to go through during this novel in a way that’s stunningly vivid. Even as you’re shaking your head at Neve’s repeated bad decisions, you still feel for her — because you know just how hard this is for her and that she didn’t do anything horrible enough to warrant going to jail.

The people around Neve are a different story. As the story unfolds, we learn more about Neve’s family, friends, and acquaintances — and it seems that any of them could have murdered Saul. The other question that haunts Neve goes back to the text she received from him that morning: Was someone trying to lure her there to murder her instead? Or was she simply being framed?

As the details unravel, it becomes equally as likely that anyone in Neve’s life could have committed the crime. And that’s part of what makes The Lying Room such an enjoyable ride: It’s genuinely unclear who will be revealed as the murderer throughout the entire story. You’ll go back and forth between suspects, and when the big reveal finally happens, you’ll be surprised — because it really could have been anyone.

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Do you think you’ll pick up Nicci French’s The Lying Room this month?