Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review of THE WEIGHT OF LIES: Emily Carpenter

Mystery / Thriller
Date Published: June 6, 2017



Wicked Suspense with a Masterful Touch of Horror

Meg Ashley’s young life has been overshadowed by domineering mother Frances. Flamboyant, charismatic, and thoroughly self-absorbed, Frances Ashley’s claim to fame is having authored the iconic 70s horror novel KITTEN. Categorized as fiction, dark rumors started by her legion of fans allege it to be more fact than imagination. Rumors ascribe the book’s plot to be based on an actual murder that took place on Bonny Island many years ago. When Meg is given a chance to get out from under her mother’s thumb by writing a tell-all book about life with the illustrious celebrity, it includes returning to the remote island and discovering what she can about the decades old killing. Although warned to stay away, an intrepid spirit and need for revenge for a miserable childhood burn brightly in her heart. They combine to override the very real possibility of the murderer still being alive and willing to do anything to keep the secret from being exposed.

THE WEIGHT OF LIES by Emily Carpenter is a fantastically entertaining read! Ms. Carpenter is a sharpshooter of a wordsmith and terrific storyteller to boot. She weaves a tale that you will pull you into the maelstrom of this sinister world of lies and deceit, and you’ll love her for including you in it.

The central idea is brilliant, and made more so by the way Ms. Carpenter has chosen to let the story unfold. The chapters are written in tandem so we are treated to tastes of the fictional best-selling KITTEN in between vibrant throbbing slices of Meg Ashley’s sojourn into the past. The clashes between mother and daughter reek of desperation and isolation from the most important person in their lives. The supporting characters are exceptionally well-defined, as is the chief suspect Doro Kitchens. Doro is the person that Frances’ cultish fans have pegged as Kitten, and finding out exactly how much she’s like the fictional character is half the fun.

There’s nothing I like better than a spidery dollop of the macabre with my mysteries, and that’s what happens here. I was screaming for Meg to get off that island from the moment she set foot on it, but luckily Ms. Carpenter didn’t listen and kept right on writing! The result is a story that’s rich, complex, and designed to let you simmer in the juices of intrigue. I sped through, turning pages as fast as I could process the clues, and guessing right along with Meg as to who did what to whom. What happens is made worthwhile by a slam bang of an ending that comes out of the cleverly crafted tale and slaps you silly.

Five stars to Ms. Carpenter and THE WEIGHT OF LIES! Wait, does that make ten? Well, it should! I highly recommend picking this one up and sinking into a remarkably original story. Now all Ms. Carpenter need do is finish writing KITTEN! I would love to purchase such a companion piece and keep them on my bookshelf as a matched set! Seeing her in a red wig and winging it in a Frances-type pose on the back cover would be too much!

In keeping with the rules of full disclosure, I received an ARC copy of this novel on NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.



EMILY CARPENTER, a former actor, producer, screenwriter, and behind-the-scenes soap opera assistant, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, she now lives in Georgia with her family. BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS is her first novel. You can visit Emily online at emilycarpenterauthor.com.