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The Shape of Lies

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Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he's back. And Anna doesn't believe in ghosts. Scott was Anna's boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets. Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she's a good liar. She made one mistake, and now she is Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he's back. And Anna doesn't believe in ghosts. Scott was Anna's boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets. Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she's a good liar. She made one mistake, and now she is having to pay for it. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past, but how can he be alive? Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she loved; the man she watched die; the man who has come back to life. She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.


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Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he's back. And Anna doesn't believe in ghosts. Scott was Anna's boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets. Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she's a good liar. She made one mistake, and now she is Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he's back. And Anna doesn't believe in ghosts. Scott was Anna's boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets. Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she's a good liar. She made one mistake, and now she is having to pay for it. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past, but how can he be alive? Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she loved; the man she watched die; the man who has come back to life. She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.

30 review for The Shape of Lies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    THE SHAPE OF LIES is a dark and gripping psychological crime thriller, by author Rachel Abbott. It is the 8th book in the DCI Tom Douglas series, but provides sufficient background information that this novel can be read as a stand-alone. I am so ashamed to admit that this is the second novel I have read by this author, (having enjoyed Come A Little Closer #7) but I have all the previous in the series to read on my Kindle. After reading this novel, I will definitely MAKE the time to read the oth THE SHAPE OF LIES is a dark and gripping psychological crime thriller, by author Rachel Abbott. It is the 8th book in the DCI Tom Douglas series, but provides sufficient background information that this novel can be read as a stand-alone. I am so ashamed to admit that this is the second novel I have read by this author, (having enjoyed Come A Little Closer #7) but I have all the previous in the series to read on my Kindle. After reading this novel, I will definitely MAKE the time to read the other books in the series. So Good! I have to admit that I was so impressed with this excellent dark psychological suspense thriller. This novel has it all, and had me gripped right from the beginning. “We all lie. To ourselves to each other…We try to justify them, whatever their shape or form, they are still lies. I lie to those closest to me every day. “ Anna Franklyn is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school, while her husband Dominic, a teacher, but now a stay-at-home dad, after an accident, looks after their two kids, Hailey and Bailey. But Anna is a very good liar. She has been lying about herself for so long. “Fourteen years ago, Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free.” But Scott is dead, Memories come flooding back, when Scott is on the radio, talking about her and their past. He plans to reveal the whole story in one week and tell her secrets. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past. How can he be alive? Then DCI Tom Douglas comes knocking at her door looking for answers. Her life is falling apart. She has one week to find him. One week to stop him. Recommended to fans of psychological thrillers with lots of twists. I really enjoyed this book! Many thanks to Black Dot Publishing via NetGalley for my digital copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram | Rachel Abbott is a great spine chilling, twisty psychological thriller author. I love her books and I need to read more of them. Each time I pick up one of her books I know I’m in for a mind blowing rocketing twisted tale. This was one of them. Lies at it’s worse. Human nature as it is, we get defensive and we are very very good at making excuses for ourselves. We lie. She lies. To what extent does this person lie? Someone whose a wife, mother, teacher. It d Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram | Rachel Abbott is a great spine chilling, twisty psychological thriller author. I love her books and I need to read more of them. Each time I pick up one of her books I know I’m in for a mind blowing rocketing twisted tale. This was one of them. Lies at it’s worse. Human nature as it is, we get defensive and we are very very good at making excuses for ourselves. We lie. She lies. To what extent does this person lie? Someone whose a wife, mother, teacher. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the series. It definitely does as a stand-alone. The ending was disturbingly GOOD!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    It’s always such a joy to be able to read a new book in the DCI Tom Douglas series. I can’t believe we’re already at book eight and I must say, this is another crime series that keeps going from strength to strength. In case the title of the book didn’t give you a clue, there are a lot of lies in this story and lies comes in all shapes and sizes. Little white lies, flagrant lies and the lies we have to keep telling in order to protect one lie from the past that could cause a whole lot of you-know It’s always such a joy to be able to read a new book in the DCI Tom Douglas series. I can’t believe we’re already at book eight and I must say, this is another crime series that keeps going from strength to strength. In case the title of the book didn’t give you a clue, there are a lot of lies in this story and lies comes in all shapes and sizes. Little white lies, flagrant lies and the lies we have to keep telling in order to protect one lie from the past that could cause a whole lot of you-know-what to hit the fan. This is what happened to Anna. But she feels quite safe in the knowledge that the only person who knows about her past is dead. Or is he? Someone is ready to share Anna’s secrets and lies with the world. She has one week to find them and to stop them before her life falls apart. Anna is a wife, a mother, a headteacher and an insanely good liar. The way the lies roll off her tongue so easily is actually quite impressive. Slowly but surely, the truth about her is revealed, going all the way back to when she was a rather naive nineteen year old girl. At university, she makes one mistake but it’s one that has a massive impact. I found Anna quite a tough character to relate to. In fact, I didn’t really like her very much. There was no hardship at all in sympathising with her during her university days but the adult Anna, with the lies and the deceit, left me rather cold. That said, you don’t always have to be able to sympathise with, trust or even like a character to be absolutely engrossed in a story and luckily Rachel Abbott knows exactly how to come up with a storyline that will keep you hooked, no matter what. Did I think I had things figured out? Of course, I did. Was I right? Well, yes and also no. Because that’s another thing this author does so extremely well. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end and if you do happen to have a theory, make you doubt yourself. The Shape of Lies is another fantastic addition to the DCI Tom Douglas series. Full of suspense and intrigue, it makes for one gripping and tense read. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Tom and Becky again and I hope to see them back again soon. In the meantime, you have time to get caught up if you haven’t done so already because this truly is a fantastic crime series that should be on everyone’s radar and Rachel Abbott is an author who should most definitely be on your bookshelf.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hans

    Tom Douglas is back in a fast-paced, engaging thriller, full of unexpected twists and turns. I was hooked from start to finish. There are developments in his private life as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Another excellent addition to the Tom Douglas series from Rachel Abbott. Will be reviewing in full for the blog tour in the New Year.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jill McGill

    THE SHAPE OF LIES is absolutely brilliant! This book is dark, twisted, and addictive with a whole lot of secrets and lies that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. I was hooked right from the start... Unputdownable!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Really enjoyed this one - it's part psychological thriller/mystery, part police procedural. I've only read one other book from the series (which I didn't like as much as this) and it works fine as a stand alone although there would be spoilers if you wanted to follow Tom Douglas's story. Really enjoyed this one - it's part psychological thriller/mystery, part police procedural. I've only read one other book from the series (which I didn't like as much as this) and it works fine as a stand alone although there would be spoilers if you wanted to follow Tom Douglas's story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    This would have been a 5⭐️ for about 50% of the book but for various reasons the last part didn’t match the first. The beginning of the book was great and drew me in effortlessly. I found myself asking loads of questions about the strange things that began happening to Anna, the main character in the book. She led a double life - a talented headteacher by day and she became another persona some nights of the week. The story went backwards and forwards from present day to about 15 years ago to fi This would have been a 5⭐️ for about 50% of the book but for various reasons the last part didn’t match the first. The beginning of the book was great and drew me in effortlessly. I found myself asking loads of questions about the strange things that began happening to Anna, the main character in the book. She led a double life - a talented headteacher by day and she became another persona some nights of the week. The story went backwards and forwards from present day to about 15 years ago to fill in the gaps of Anna’s eventful life. To say the least she was naive and dishonest with a significant number of people as she tried to cover her tracks. Given her past and her anxiety about returning to Manchester where much of what she was covering up took place whilst she was at university, I found it rather odd that she would risk having a Facebook profile and that she did not object to becoming the mouthpiece for the Academy Trust for her school. However, perhaps this was arrogance on her part and a belief that she had shed her past. Anna was definitely the main focus of the book and as this was a Tom Douglas mystery that forms part of my criticism. There were some very significant things that were taking place in Tom’s life and I felt they took somewhat of a back seat to Anna’s story. There were two characters in the book who were deeply unpleasant and I felt at times their portrayal was a bit stereotypical. There were some sections that were overlong, repetitive and a tad far fetched. All that being said, I felt this was a much better story than the last Tom Douglas and I did enjoy most of it and so I will definitely read the next one in the series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adele Shea

    Can not get enough of Rachel Abbotts books. This book wasn't one of my favourites but Tom Douglas is in it which makes it all worthwhile. 3.5* Can not get enough of Rachel Abbotts books. This book wasn't one of my favourites but Tom Douglas is in it which makes it all worthwhile. 3.5*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cleopatra Pullen

    I’m going to start by saying I’m a huge fan of Rachel Abbott’s writing and of Tom Douglas in particular. This series of books set in Manchester is now up to number eight. Now there will be some book-lovers who will say, ‘the series is already too far through, I can’t start now!’ I disagree (although don’t tell the author) as although I have read these books, eagerly, in order, the stories are all unique and so although we have DCI Tom Douglas to lead the way through the mysteries, he doesn’t hav I’m going to start by saying I’m a huge fan of Rachel Abbott’s writing and of Tom Douglas in particular. This series of books set in Manchester is now up to number eight. Now there will be some book-lovers who will say, ‘the series is already too far through, I can’t start now!’ I disagree (although don’t tell the author) as although I have read these books, eagerly, in order, the stories are all unique and so although we have DCI Tom Douglas to lead the way through the mysteries, he doesn’t have a huge back story to keep track of and therefore I am certain that these books would all work really well as standalone reads. Of course once you’ve read one you may well need to catch up on the rest but that’s a book lover’s problem for another day, right? As with all crime fiction you probably don’t want me to spend too much time rehashing the synopsis so instead I am going to talk about why I enjoy this series so much with a few hints along the way to let you know what The Shape of Lies has in store for you. I like books where even though my life is (thankfully) far more boring than the chief protagonist, Anna Franklyn, I could put myself in her shoes with no problem at all. We’ve all listened to variations of the cheesy radio shows where people ring in with tales of lost loves… in this version called ‘The One That Got Away’ well how would you feel if one day it seemed to be your story? What’s worse the man Scott is threatening to tell all, and the thing is he’s dead! I tell you I read this part and could feel the hairs on the back of my neck raise, and at that point I had no idea quite what Anna had to fear. Books that have a moral dilemma, something to make me think about what I would do in the same situation, or more prosaically at what point in a relationship do you come clean about some of those big things in the past, always get me thinking, and I like thinking whilst I read. There is a lot made these days of crime fiction being full of twists and turns and while I’m not sure I set as much store on this aspect as the marketing bods seem to think I should, I can’t deny there is a certain amount of pleasure in being surprised. Rachel Abbott always surprises me. The entire premise of this book takes a look at an aspect of crime that hasn’t been covered in any of the previous books by this author, and it isn’t one of those that comes up frequently in crime fiction either. In amongst the lies, deceit and quite frankly odd coincidences that are unsurprisingly preoccupying Anna as she tries so desperately hard to keep a lid on things at home in front of her stay at home husband and two small children, DCI Tom Douglas and DI Becky Robinson have two murders to solve… oh yes, this is crime fiction at its most complex. But one of the key things after the basics of plot and pacing is the characterisation. Now I don’t need to like the character, after all they are created to be judged, aren’t they? I wasn’t a huge fan of Anna’s but I think she was pitched perfectly. Professionally she is extremely capable, a headteacher of an Academy, respected by staff and children alike but she has another side, one that doesn’t seem to have moved on all that far from the days when she was in a relationship with Scott and she lives caught between the stories she’s told so often that she almost believes them herself. As my mother would have quoted ‘What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’ In short this is a book that had me gripped! It is a great author that leads you to the edge of the story and then immerses you in a world you never really knew existed. My poor emotions see-sawed as the revelations made me re-evaluate what I knew to that point. This is not a book to start if you don’t have time to finish it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is one of those stories that begins with a dilemma that you could understand a naive young girl struggling with. As a teenager at university, Anna made her decision and has been paying for it ever since. Anna is now a respected head teacher with a husband and family of her own however her past comes back to haunt her when she hears her ex boyfriend’s name together with his nickname for her, on a local radio show phone in and makes reference to a place known to both of them – promising to tel This is one of those stories that begins with a dilemma that you could understand a naive young girl struggling with. As a teenager at university, Anna made her decision and has been paying for it ever since. Anna is now a respected head teacher with a husband and family of her own however her past comes back to haunt her when she hears her ex boyfriend’s name together with his nickname for her, on a local radio show phone in and makes reference to a place known to both of them – promising to tell all, if voted for, the following week. Anna is totally bewildered and scared as to how this is possible. Scott is dead. So who else know their secrets. Whilst this is happening, the police are dealing with a dead body found in a car, parked in a multi storey car park. With no identification, the body is assumed to be the owner of the vehicle. But as ever, nothing is as straightforward as it seems. Anna was a difficult character for me to engage with, she had a complicated personality and whilst I felt sorry for her, especially as a young girl, I didn’t take to the adult version very much. I could see how the younger Anna could get sucked into a situation that spirals out of control but as an older woman with a family? I just couldn’t really buy into the lies and deceit. Despite my misgivings about Anna, I was nevertheless completely sucked into the various strands of the story. As the body count rises the police face an uphill task to find the person, or people responsible, before the next victim is claimed. In this midst of all this, Tom Douglas is facing a personal family crisis of his own. Luckily for him DI Becky Robinson is back from maternity leave and playing a good supporting role as his wingman. I’ve always found Rachel Abbott’s books absolutely engrossing and this one is no exception. The story moves between the past and the present, gradually revealing the truth as to what happened all those years before. I have to admit there were people in Anna’s past that I could quite happily have killed myself, I hated them so much. There are some very nasty characters here, none of which you would ever want to come across in real life, and the suspense is maintained throughout. And the twists! Did I mention that that there are twists. Well there are. The Shape of Lies is another brilliantly executed crime thriller from this very talented author. I don’t know how she comes up with such intriguing and twisted plots each time, but I’m very glad she does!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    After a little break from Tom Douglas with her last book, Rachel Abbott has brought him back to us with a brilliant (almost a stand-alone!) addition to one of my very favourite series. Don’t worry if you’re thinking “DCI Tom Douglas number 8?!?! I will never be able to catch up and I certainly couldn’t start a series on the eighth book!!” You will and YOU CAN! Although Tom is the detective assigned to solving some rather puzzling murders that seem to have a connection, the story is all Anna’s. Th After a little break from Tom Douglas with her last book, Rachel Abbott has brought him back to us with a brilliant (almost a stand-alone!) addition to one of my very favourite series. Don’t worry if you’re thinking “DCI Tom Douglas number 8?!?! I will never be able to catch up and I certainly couldn’t start a series on the eighth book!!” You will and YOU CAN! Although Tom is the detective assigned to solving some rather puzzling murders that seem to have a connection, the story is all Anna’s. The Anna we first meet here is an upstanding member of the community. A headteacher, wife and mother living a normal life and respected by all. But Anna is hiding something from her past that is about to come back to haunt her. When she hears the voice of an ex boyfriend on one of her favourite radio shows, her reaction is very extreme but once she expands on her shock it’s easy to understand why. Scott was the love of her life, fellow keeper of secrets and “partner in crime” but unfortunately (or should that read FORTUNATELY?) Scott is dead… The way in which Rachel Abbott slowly uncovered the world that Anna inhabited made The Shape of Lies a breathtakingly tense thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. That sounds like a real contradiction doesn’t it but it just works! I love a book where there is a big secret-one that someone is desperately trying to keep whilst I try even more desperately to uncover it! What happened between Anna and Scott? And why would he come back now after all these years? As Anna attempts to find the answers to these questions, we also start to see a very different Anna to the respectable woman on show to the rest of the world. I found the flashbacks to Anna’s past the most intriguing part of her moral dilemma. Her university days and the connections she made there were obviously the root of her problems but I found it hard to reconcile that young woman with the tougher, harder faced Anna that we start to meet in the present. Don’t get me wrong, what she got herself into wasn’t her fault but the way things progressed from there really wound me up and I really wanted to shout at her at times to stop and think before she acted! But there were characters throughout that I could cheerfully have swung for myself so I did have lots of sympathy for her situation. That still left me with more questions than answers and boy, are there some shocking twists ahead for both her and the reader. This book blew my mind with the plot developments and THAT ENDING!! Bravo, Rachel Abbott for leaving me with my jaw well and truly dropped on the floor! I think I can add The Shape of Lies to my list of favourite Tom Douglas books. Although he plays much more of a background role here, we still have a good insight into his personal life and his professional relationships too. His sidekick DI Becky Robinson is back from maternity leave (with a few changes that made me chuckle in places!) to lend a hand with the complexities of some rather gruesome crime scenes and I loved that they were back to their easygoing camaraderie but without ever crossing the lines. Toms personal life wasn’t quite as untroubled but no spoilers here!! I don’t know how Rachel Abbott consistently comes up with such gripping and unexpected storylines. Her characters are intriguing and relatable meaning that her Manchester based thrillers always seem to hit the mark. Tom Douglas has evolved over the series into a character full of vitality who projects off every page he appears on so I’m VERY surprised that he hasn’t been brought to life in a tv drama yet! Another fantastic page turner from Rachel Abbott!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kath Middleton

    Another ‘nose to the book’ novel by Rachel Abbott. It deals with the snowballing of one lie that Anna told to help someone she loved. Her current, happy and successful life is all built on this lie. There are present day scenes in which people are murdered and Anna feels under severe threat. There are past scenes in which we see her student days unfolding. The finale is terrific – exciting and shocking, but credible, in the circumstances. Rachel Abbott is one of the few authors whose books I wil Another ‘nose to the book’ novel by Rachel Abbott. It deals with the snowballing of one lie that Anna told to help someone she loved. Her current, happy and successful life is all built on this lie. There are present day scenes in which people are murdered and Anna feels under severe threat. There are past scenes in which we see her student days unfolding. The finale is terrific – exciting and shocking, but credible, in the circumstances. Rachel Abbott is one of the few authors whose books I will buy without reading the blurb. I know I’m in for a great read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelly K. O'Malley

    Disappointed This has to be the least favorite Rachel Abbot book. I did not like the main character of Anna at all. Thought she was as evil as the actual villain in the story. Very unlikely situations when it started out so promising. Huge disappointment!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    3.5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Noelle

    We’re back with DCI Tom Douglas in Manchester where we are faced with secrets, lies, fear, revenge, guilt, mistrust, consequences, the past and a search for the truth – to mention a few of the various themes and threads throughout this FANTASTIC novel! Well what can I say!? Rachel Abbott delivers another cracking read with this book – when the past comes back to haunt you and you don’t know who/where to turn to … what do you do?! This was such an interesting and addictive storyline and I pretty m We’re back with DCI Tom Douglas in Manchester where we are faced with secrets, lies, fear, revenge, guilt, mistrust, consequences, the past and a search for the truth – to mention a few of the various themes and threads throughout this FANTASTIC novel! Well what can I say!? Rachel Abbott delivers another cracking read with this book – when the past comes back to haunt you and you don’t know who/where to turn to … what do you do?! This was such an interesting and addictive storyline and I pretty much read it in one sitting because OMG I just could not put it down! I must admit, I did figure things out just before the big reveal but I had no clue how it was done so BRAVO!! There were lots of twists and turns that had me questioning everything along the way – Have I mentioned how much I LOVED this book?! Oooh Anna! bit of a mystery this one… a jaw-dropping secret life, she is all about the thrills this one! There are three sides to Anna and she has a past she is desperately trying to keep from people…a fascinating character that had me totally drawn in! DCI Tom Douglas – Adore him! I love that we learn a lot more about him in this novel on the personal level – it made me warm to him even more. Cameron and Jagger – both of these characters really help to move the story along and TOTALLY ramps up the creep factor; thugs and arseholes are really the only simple way to describe this pair – you just hope that karma comes knocking as you learn more and more about their assholic ways. Sooo, would I recommend this book? Oh you bet your sweet arse I would! A gripping storyline, characters that you really invest in and some wonderful, jaw-dropping twists that will knock your socks off – You need to add this book to your TBR today!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    A truly creepy read. We follow Anna who, she believes, has just heard her old boyfriend Scott on the radio hinting at secrets that only they shared. The only problem is, she believes that Scott is dead. Se had thought that she left that secret long behind her. She had already started a new life with a new family, who had no idea of her past or her big secret. Although I suspected what the ending would be, I still enjoyed the ride and following Anna as she tries to piece together what is happening A truly creepy read. We follow Anna who, she believes, has just heard her old boyfriend Scott on the radio hinting at secrets that only they shared. The only problem is, she believes that Scott is dead. Se had thought that she left that secret long behind her. She had already started a new life with a new family, who had no idea of her past or her big secret. Although I suspected what the ending would be, I still enjoyed the ride and following Anna as she tries to piece together what is happening to her now and relive what happened to her and Scott in the past. A truly creepy suspense read that you can pick up as a stand-alone read or read as part of the DCI Tom Douglas series. For more reviews, please check out the link below: Debra's Book Cafe Debs :-)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Fenton

    There is something so assuring about reading any book written by Rachel Abbott. For me personally, I know that I will be transported to a gripping, thrilling and page-turning world featuring intriguing characters, twisted plotlines and clever endings and once again THE SHAPE OF LIES does not disappoint. This is book 8 in the DCI Tom Douglas series and whilst I always recommend starting at the beginning of a series – all of these books work well as standalone’s and you could read them in any order There is something so assuring about reading any book written by Rachel Abbott. For me personally, I know that I will be transported to a gripping, thrilling and page-turning world featuring intriguing characters, twisted plotlines and clever endings and once again THE SHAPE OF LIES does not disappoint. This is book 8 in the DCI Tom Douglas series and whilst I always recommend starting at the beginning of a series – all of these books work well as standalone’s and you could read them in any order! Having said that.. I highy recommend the first 7 books as well. The Shape of Lies features Anna – a mother, wife, respected head teacher with a secret past that is about to destroy everything she has worked for and is desperate to hide. Meanwhile a murder in a car park finds DCI Tom Douglas and his team struggling to track down the killer and identify the victim and when another body turns up Anna becomes a person of interest. I’m not giving anything away, but once again my amateur armchair detective skills proved completely useless as I was convinced I had solved the crimes at least 3 times and as usual Rachel Abbott kept me guessing and back-tracking and changing my mind throughout. Loved it and downloaded Book 9 which I will read next.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Schmidt

    Massive flaw in the plotline I've read most of Rachel Abbott's books and enjoyed them but this one was a real disappointment and I'm amazed by the number of 5 star reviews. It is so out of sync with her previous work that it could almost have been written by a different person. The main protagonist is an irritating woman, who constantly makes bad decisions and would certainly never hold down a job in the real world but most annoying of all was the huge flaw in the plotline. *Spoiler alert* The whol Massive flaw in the plotline I've read most of Rachel Abbott's books and enjoyed them but this one was a real disappointment and I'm amazed by the number of 5 star reviews. It is so out of sync with her previous work that it could almost have been written by a different person. The main protagonist is an irritating woman, who constantly makes bad decisions and would certainly never hold down a job in the real world but most annoying of all was the huge flaw in the plotline. *Spoiler alert* The whole plot flirts around whether or not the boyfriend she left for dead years ago is actually still alive. There was a memorial service attended by his family, of course he must be dead. It turns out at the end of the book that our 'heroine'' was the only person to witness his apparent death and has never actually met or spoken to his family, other than a fleeting glance at the memorial. So in that case, who told them he was dead? Where is the death certificate and who arranges a funeral with no evidence and no proof? This is a really weak link and whilst I was already disappointed by the quality of the writing, this was the final straw. Surely this type of glaring mistake should be picked up well before a book is published?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    While the book kept me engaged, there were a few too many things that didn’t balance out. Unless this woman was on drugs (it is never implied she is), there is no way she could spend a year and a half successfully and simply lying her way through momming each morning and evening at home, living a 5hr secret night life 3 days a week, and running a school over 40hrs/week. Sleep is necessary. The 1st “twist” was set up enough that readers can figure it out before it is revealed. The 2nd “twist” cou While the book kept me engaged, there were a few too many things that didn’t balance out. Unless this woman was on drugs (it is never implied she is), there is no way she could spend a year and a half successfully and simply lying her way through momming each morning and evening at home, living a 5hr secret night life 3 days a week, and running a school over 40hrs/week. Sleep is necessary. The 1st “twist” was set up enough that readers can figure it out before it is revealed. The 2nd “twist” could set someone that loved this book up to hope for a sequel, but I don’t see that going anywhere fast.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    Listened to in audio format. I was surprised and excited to read the latest DCI Tom Douglas. After Rachel Abbott wrote her last book And So it Begins I thought he may have been allowed to live happily ever after. I have read all eight books in the series, and enjoy not only the investigations, but Tom`s past relationships and the death of his older brother Jack. The story was mostly told from Anna`s perspective. It spanned from the present day to her first year at university when she met Scott. I di Listened to in audio format. I was surprised and excited to read the latest DCI Tom Douglas. After Rachel Abbott wrote her last book And So it Begins I thought he may have been allowed to live happily ever after. I have read all eight books in the series, and enjoy not only the investigations, but Tom`s past relationships and the death of his older brother Jack. The story was mostly told from Anna`s perspective. It spanned from the present day to her first year at university when she met Scott. I didn't like Anna but she was certainly not boring. I can understand how Anna naively got got into trouble at university. However as a headmistress and mother of two I couldn't believe her stupidity. I don't want to write any spoilers but why did Anna choose to move her family back to Manchester after being threatened by a violent thug in university. You will have to read the book to see if you agree. That being said the plot was fast paced. I don't understand poker but the scenes at the casino where exciting. The scene with the swarm of bees was particularly descriptive and made me cringe!!! I did guess the first part of the twist but the second part was brilliant and made me gasp in shock. I was glad to see the return of Tom`s bagman Becky from maternity leave. At home Tom was living with his girlfriend Louise. Tom`s daughter Lucy turned up one evening and wanted to live with him after a row with his ex wife. At the end of the book life was about to change for Tom. I look forward to reading book 10.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he’s back. And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts. ---- I've enjoyed most of Rachel Abbot's books about DCI Tom Douglas, but this one is not one of my favorites. Maybe because I didn't like Anna, who keeps making bad choices and continues to get herself deeper and deeper into a morass of lies and deception. Maybe because there wasn't enough of DCI Douglas and the procedural part of the story. Maybe because the plot was hard to wrap my head around and genuinely believe i Yesterday, Scott was dead. Today, he’s back. And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts. ---- I've enjoyed most of Rachel Abbot's books about DCI Tom Douglas, but this one is not one of my favorites. Maybe because I didn't like Anna, who keeps making bad choices and continues to get herself deeper and deeper into a morass of lies and deception. Maybe because there wasn't enough of DCI Douglas and the procedural part of the story. Maybe because the plot was hard to wrap my head around and genuinely believe in. I guess the combination of all three factors made The Shape of Lies less of what I expected. I didn't guess the bad guy which was a plus, but the twist at the end did not "hook" me as it was obviously intended to do. And as for Anna, I'm not at all interested in any more about her. I want DCI Douglas and a police procedural, not an unlikable character who takes over the book with flashbacks and dumb decisions (even if I do kind of feel sorry for her). Kindle Unlimited Mystery/Thriller. Feb. 19, 2019. Print version: 384 pages.

  23. 5 out of 5

    MISS.C.L.GUY

    Gripping from start to finish. As a fan of the DCI Tom Douglas series, I had no qualms of this being anything but a great read -it supersedes all expectations! I could not put it down! A teacher, mother, daughter, wife .... a liar. Anna has reinvented herself and after many years is now in a daily struggle to keep the past hidden to protect herself and her family from the decisions made with her first love Scott many years ago. Secrets only Scott, who is dead can know ... until a local radio show Gripping from start to finish. As a fan of the DCI Tom Douglas series, I had no qualms of this being anything but a great read -it supersedes all expectations! I could not put it down! A teacher, mother, daughter, wife .... a liar. Anna has reinvented herself and after many years is now in a daily struggle to keep the past hidden to protect herself and her family from the decisions made with her first love Scott many years ago. Secrets only Scott, who is dead can know ... until a local radio show takes a call that threatens to reveal the teacher for whom she really is and what she did. Anna has to raise the stakes in order for her husband, children and career to remain in tact. As the crimes begin to stack up and the various characters interweave, the story unfolds with DCI Tom Douglas and his team tasked with uncovering the lies before anyone else dies. But will they be beaten to it? For fans of DCI Tom, his personal life also has some developments, although it can be read as a stand alone book. ( I highly recommend reading all of the DCI Tom Douglas series!) Set in Manchester with scenes in my beautiful home of North Wales, this is fast paced story with a surprising conclusion. You will not put it down.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Miss A.

    I'm a big fan of Rachel Abbott, and even more so DCI Tom Douglas, so always look forward to her books. You don't need to read these in order as they work as stand alone, but I recommend the series. The Shape of Lies is an excellent psychological thriller and police procedural. You don't feel you're particularly rooting for anyone, main character included, but I think that's one of Rachel Abbott great skills in her characters - none of us are perfect and we all have a past and flaws that we'd pref I'm a big fan of Rachel Abbott, and even more so DCI Tom Douglas, so always look forward to her books. You don't need to read these in order as they work as stand alone, but I recommend the series. The Shape of Lies is an excellent psychological thriller and police procedural. You don't feel you're particularly rooting for anyone, main character included, but I think that's one of Rachel Abbott great skills in her characters - none of us are perfect and we all have a past and flaws that we'd prefer to remain hidden. Unfortunately I figured it out about a third of the way through, but I read too many of this genre so I'm quite annoying for guessing what's going on. If you've not discovered this series yet give one of them a try - I promise you'll be gripped.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was a fantastic book! And just in case you're wondering; it can be read as a stand alone. There were so many evil dark characters. But with a really great female who I cheered for throughout the story.I even cried a few times near the ending. I'm so hopeless. 5 recommended stars. This was a fantastic book! And just in case you're wondering; it can be read as a stand alone. There were so many evil dark characters. But with a really great female who I cheered for throughout the story.I even cried a few times near the ending. I'm so hopeless. 5 recommended stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen Taylor

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Made me realise I’ve missed a couple in the Tom Douglas series so I will be putting that right. Guessed the killer fairly early on but the big, shocking secret was a corker and the final twist was great. But wasps, OMG, wasps!! I nearly fainted on Anna’s behalf. Nightmare!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan Aldridge

    Poker and wasp stings – two intriguing elements in Rachel Abbott's latest thriller. Enjoyed this on the whole, the way it portrays how gambling can destroy lives. I also like Tom Douglas, his team and their back story. At times, the plot got a little convoluted for me...as the web of lies (as indicated by the title) got ever more complex. An interesting twist at the end though I think I perhaps saw it coming a little earlier than was intended. And as for the scenes with the wasps - very well don Poker and wasp stings – two intriguing elements in Rachel Abbott's latest thriller. Enjoyed this on the whole, the way it portrays how gambling can destroy lives. I also like Tom Douglas, his team and their back story. At times, the plot got a little convoluted for me...as the web of lies (as indicated by the title) got ever more complex. An interesting twist at the end though I think I perhaps saw it coming a little earlier than was intended. And as for the scenes with the wasps - very well done!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gill Chivas

    Very good story, I liked the way the story was told jumping from past to present until the very end. Quite a few twists and turns in the plot that kept me guessing! Looking forward to the next instalment!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicky Mottram

    Audio version of this book 📚- ok listen but extremely far fetched, not one of the best by this author

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Brilliant - so many twists and turns - thought I knew where this one was going but then everything changes- so many twists and turn and not the ending I expected - certainly a cliffhanger 👍🏻😀

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