Grief. Regret. Secrets. Bolton explores the effects of these experiences and more in her new stand-alone novel set in the Falkland Islands. Beautifully written, she immerses the reader in the stark beauty of the island and its sea life; in the tangled relationships of love and friendship that have endured devastating blows; in the atmosphere of a small community that knows everything and nothing about you; and in the dismaying and very human proclivity to rush to judgment.
The novel is compelling in so many ways. There is a mystery--over a two year period, two children have disappeared. When a third goes missing, the community must face the possibility that one of their own is responsible. There are the psychological aspects--the loss of a child, the effects of the Falklands War, the betrayal of a deep friendship, and the way one event damages people in different ways. There is a sociological examination of an isolated community of people who have family histories going back generations. And there is the fascinating ecology of the islands with emphasis on marine life which Bolton describes with such eloquent detail.
The narrative is in three parts, giving three perspective of events. Unlike most mysteries that give you some sign posts about where you are going, Bolton's novel has the curious feeling that sometimes the sign posts have been moved, turned and are pointing in the wrong direction. You won't know exactly where you are until you get there...and the path is a crooked one with unexpected crossroads that leave the reader in a dilemma about which direction to take.
Little Black Lies is completely different from Bolton's previous books and by far the best. Highly recommended!
"About 60% of Falklanders are native born, some tracing their ancestry back six or more generations. Today more than 80% of the 3140 Falklanders (sometimes called ‘Kelpers’) live in Stanley, and about 1200 British military live at Mt Pleasant base. The rest of the islanders live in ‘Camp,’ the name given to all of the Falklands outside Stanley." Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/falkland-islands#ixzz3ZSMJHmSx).Read in April; blog post scheduled for May 7.
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books
Psychological Mystery. May 19, 2015. Print length: 368 pages.