Maria Foukara has it all. A beautiful home, a fulfilling job, a son she loves – and since a little while back, a perfect new husband. And a teenage stepdaughter named Yasmin. But one cold December night, Maria’s idyllic existence cracks. Yasmin has disappeared and the police initially fear she has taken her own life.
Maria has conflicting emotions about Yasmin’s disappearance. Her stepdaughter wasn’t the easiest girl to deal with and they often argued, but she was a wonderful big sister to Maria’s son Vincent, who loved Yasmin dearly. Vincent is only ten years old and has Down’s syndrome, and while Maria is upset, she wants to protect Vincent from knowing the truth. Then there’s Samir, Maria’s French bohemian doctor of a husband, who is distraught. As Yasmin’s body hasn’t been found, Samir lives on the hope of finding her alive, and goes out searching for her at night.
But suddenly Maria’s world is shaken again, when Samir is arrested on suspicion of having killed his own daughter. The police go by the theory that Yasmin has been the victim of an honor killing, due to Samir’s Muslim background. Maria is left dumbfounded; though he has roots in Marocco, Samir is far from a practicing Muslim – how can they even think that? But when ransacking herself, Maria draws to mind some strange instances that in hindsight might have been more than heated arguments. Yasmin’s mother and sister had died in a car accident many years ago, and the two only had each other before Maria and Vincent entered their lives. Is there a pattern here that Maria is missing?
As Maria learns that there are witness accounts that say Yasmin showed signs of having been subject to physical abuse, she starts to doubt how well she really knows her husband. Is Samir in fact a controlling and violent father, furious that his daughter was dating a Swedish boy? Furious enough to kill?
Staying true to form, award-winning writer Camilla Grebe has penned yet another impeccable suspense novel, this time directing the spotlight on a family in free fall. Told in multiple narratives, The Lies We Tell follows the inner workings of different family members, and portrays how seemingly harmless lies quickly snowball into disaster. Who can you trust – if not those closest to you? Belonging to the absolute upper echelon of Scandinavian crime writers, Grebe pulls you into her darkness, and with a tight grip keeps you at the edge of your seat until the last page has been turned.
“Camilla Grebe skillfully portrays how doubt and suspicion can break a person completely, and how hard it is to change our preconceived notions about other people. […] Camilla Grebe continues to prove that she’s one of the very best writers of the genre.”
Norra Västerbotten (SE)
“A psychological thriller that is just as much an incredibly suspenseful relationship novel. Grebe is excellent at portraying human relationships, and I like how this is about so much more than just a crime. […] She’s brilliant at building suspense and you’re constantly unsure of what’s to come. […] She digs deep into the human psyche and brings forth our best and worst sides. Who are we really, and who are we trying to pass ourselves off as?”
SVT Go’kväll (SE)
“After She’s Gone (2017) and The Shadow Hunter (2019) were both named Best Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy. I read both and stressed that Grebe belongs to the top tier of Swedish crime writers. Now, she’s written what might be her best novel about not one, but several crimes. The setup is brilliant; each of the main characters tell their own version of what happened, and then the different narratives are superbly tied together. […] I eagerly devoured this book over two evenings and half a night. I think that pretty much says it all…”
“The Lies We Tell is an incredibly thrilling suspense novel with depth, where human destinies and relationships are equally as important as the murder mystery, thanks to the superbly portrayed characters. Despite the many jumps in time and perspectives, the story flows seamlessly and is propelled forward with confidence. Timely and well-written by an experienced writer.”
BTJ, 4/5 Stars (SE)
“Camilla Grebe begins the novel with an old saying: ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you’. It is safe to say that it does not apply to characters in this thrilling crime drama.”
“Camilla Grebe is becoming increasingly skilled at complex, surprising intrigues where the perspectives shift and where people are just as complex as they are in reality.”
Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter (SE)
“A nail-biting crime novel about a family that is told from different perspectives, constantly forcing the reader to reevaluate the truth. Guaranteed to be devoured in one sitting.”
“Camilla Grebe keeps the suspense alive throughout the book where new pieces of the puzzle emerge to tell the story of a family whose world is shattered. A guaranteed page turner!”
“Language, characters, storytelling, suspense – everything is at the highest level – and in addition, this stellar author offers us more gifts as a bonus. […] A fantastic and winding story with many unexpected twists in search of answers. A wonderful and suspenseful read with so much more to offer.”
“A captivating whodunnit that cunningly plays on prejudices about honor killings and with a title that is fitting.”
“The Lies We Tell is a story full of lies and deceit, as the title suggests. […] Everything is so ingeniously structured and thrilling. It keeps me constantly on edge, and I revel in devouring this book from cover to cover. […] This is by far the most suspenseful and well-written novel I’ve read this year, even longer than that. The real strength lies in the fact that the spotlight is on ordinary people, and that their stories are important. The characters are carefully carved and with a lot of depth. It’s also insanely exciting. I never want it to end. But it does, and everything that has been a question mark is cleverly tied together in the end. The Lies We Tell is a story that will stay with me for a long time.”
Dagens Bok, 10/10 (SE)
“Complex family relationships have been Camilla Grebe’s speciality through a series of suspense novels that have managed to combined huge popularity with critical praise. […] [The Lies We Tell] is told over a long period of time, and it especially well portrays the complicated family relationships where no one is purely good.”
“Camilla Grebe’s crime novel The Lies We Tell as just been launched in Denmark – and thank you so much for that – what a ray of light of a book! […] It’s like making a dive through painful chain reactions and fateful choices, straight towards the abyss. Camilla Grebe is not one to stick to the surface. She digs deep and constantly holds the reader in an iron grip along the way. […] And wow, how it works! Because The Lies We Tell both tickles your stomach and causes it to contract, and inner tears emerge as sweat on the forehead. These physical reactions are not least due to the fortunate fact that Camilla Grebe operates with carefully thought-out pacing across the narrative thread, giving various narrators exactly the right amount of space to tell their version of what really happened. […] Rarely have I missed the protagonists from a book I’ve just finished reading as I have missed the main characters from The Lies We Tell.”
“Sweden’s master of crime once again succeeds in writing a detective story that is so much more than that.”
“Skilfully told through multiple perspectives, the story reveals what happened little by little, and there are plenty of surprising twists until the very last page. Do we truly know those who we call our beloved and who we love more than anything in the world?”
Savon Sanomat (FI)
“Grebe knows how to spin multiple threads to follow through the perspectives of different characters. The intrigue lasts to the very end. Keeping the investigator as a secondary character is a smart solution that brings something new to the genre, which Grebe has successfully done with earlier works as well.”