Saturday, February 22, 2020

Review: Truth Be Told by Kathleen Barber

Title: Truth Be Told
Author: Kathleen Barber
Published: November 2019, Gallery Books
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Source: Publisher

* This was first published in August 2017 under the title, Are You Sleeping

Soon to be a major TV series from Apple TV+ and produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine!

Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller—formerly titled Are You Sleeping—about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a megahit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, questioning whether the wrong person may be behind bars, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.

My thoughts:  Somehow, I missed this book when it first came out, but luckily I was offered the chance to review it under it's new name. I'm not quite sure why the name change came out - if it has to do with the upcoming TV series or if the publishers decided on it, but either way, I'm glad I finally read it because I really enjoyed this book.

I love when authors use other elements to help tell their story and that is exactly what Kathleen Barber does here in her story. I've just gotten into podcasts myself and loved that the author uses this in her book. While this isn't the first time I've come across this in a book - the other being Gilly Macmillan's I Know You Know - at that time I wasn't listening to them myself. Now that I do listen, I can really appreciate just how addictive a podcast can be and why Poppy's podcast had such an appeal to it.

I loved the characters in this book. They are all well-developed and quite honestly, not all entirely likeable and I love that. I found myself questioning whether I could trust them. They are all dysfunctional to some degree but yet I found myself wanting to see them all find some happiness in the end...I was rooting for them. There are the twins who have been dealing with the death of their father and their mother goes off to join a cult. These twins could not be any more different and yet you feel the angst and unhappiness drip off the pages. They clearly have not dealt with all that has happened to them in their life. Then there is the journalist, Poppy. She is out to prove herself and feels this cold case is going to be the one. Even though she rubbed me the wrong way a feel times, she really is quite brilliant at her job.

I flew through this book...I just couldn't get enough and between the excerpts from the podcasts, the twitter interactions and facebook chats, it really made the book come alive. This was such an addictive, thrilling read and I cannot wait to read more from Kathleen Barber. Her next book, Follow Me, comes out later this month and I will be reading it very soon!


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