One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Friday 15 June 2018

One of Us is Lying is a difficult one to review as while I did like it… I also didn’t. The plot was compelling. But it was also predictable and problematic. The characters were well written. But they were also stereotypical and there was an imbalance between their perspectives. It was good. But it wasn’t great.

I wouldn’t say that I found this thriller particularly thrilling – there were no real, heart pounding, suspenseful scenes – but it definitely got me thinking about just what exactly had happened. Throughout the book I was constantly piecing clues together and looking into things to try and guess the culprit. And I did. Way before it was actually revealed. By sixty percent through the book I had nearly everything worked out: Cooper’s secret, who the killer was, how it had been orchestrated. It was only the accomplice that managed to evade me, but even then I wasn’t far off. Predictability aside, though, I was gripped right up until the epilogue and still enjoyed what I read.

My real problem, however, was with Simon’s death and the reasoning and planning for it. Without giving too much away, it’s poorly handled and does not portray mental health in a positive or realistic way. Things are glamorised and sensationalised in what is – potentially – a very harmful way. Simon was not a character to be admired or sympathised with, and I’ll leave it at that.

The other characters, however… Were an interesting bunch. There’s a clear focus on Bronwyn and Nate, which I personally found annoying as they were my least favourites of the Bayview Four. Bronwyn for the fact that her personality just didn’t click with me, and Nate because I didn’t really care about any of his relationships and found a lot of his choices to be stupid. Cooper, despite being a huge cliché, was my favourite from the start, and Addy grew on me as she developed and took charge of her life. Yes, she was frustrating at the beginning of the book, but by the end of it she’s totally different and yet still herself, just not held back by anyone which I really enjoyed and admired. Cooper, too, has moments of growth, but I don’t feel like I can say the same for Bronwyn and Nate.

Problems aside, I was still hooked enough to continue reading. This was a testament to McManus’ skill as a writer, as even though I didn’t really like half of the character, guessed most of the major plot points, and overall didn’t like the ending, I still wanted to finish the book. Which I did, I just didn’t think it quite lived up to the hype surrounding it.


  1. I definitely agree on most of your points! While I actually loved Bronwyn and Nate, I definitely found the book quite predictable and cliche, and of course, the death was quite poorly handled. However it was addicting, I’m pretty sure I finished the book in less than 6 hours.

    1. Yeah I think I read it quite quickly too as it just had that kind of pacing, even with the issues I had!

  2. I honestly can't see a review of this without quietly simmering that North America has decided that Bronwyn is a feminine form of that name.

    The feminine is Bronwen. The neutral (though people don't tend to use the neutral) would be Bronwynne.

    If you're not Welsh, don't f**k with one of the few gendered parts of the entire millennia-old language! Argh! *goes away to calm down a bit* (Lol.)

    1. That's actually really interesting to know as I wasn't aware Bronwyn comes rom a Welsh name!

    2. Yep, it's actually a boy's name. Like I said, Bronwen is the girl's version. :)


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