Everything is so tangled up in this family.
Everybody lies: Tara, Noah, and Rosie. We know what lies Tara is telling since she is the narrator, so we are privy to her thoughts and what she sees. What she hasn’t told anyone is that she woke up in Lee’s bed, naked, and with Lee lying dead next to her. Tara is scared and doesn’t know what happened that night. Now she suspects that somehow she was drugged because she thinks it unlikely for her not to remember anything even though she drank a lot. She even goes to the doctor, making up a story about her blackout that night, but since it is a week later the doctor tells her that if she was drugged, it is too late now to be tested.
Noah is also a big liar. We learn more about the relationship between Tara and him. It is only recently that he returned to his family after he decided to be separated from Tara, live in New York, and have an affair with a woman called Amelie. Tara thinks that it is after the separation that Rosie started to act up. Tara and the police find out that Noah lied about going to New York that weekend, but in fact, he was in London. He had arranged to meet Amelia to sort out things. He claims Amelie came to see her on Friday night and then they had dinner on Saturday, but nothing happened between them. I can’t understand how Tara can take his lies so well because I wouldn’t have been so understanding. It isn’t that he had to invent something because he was caught in a difficult position. The man concocted his lies on purpose, talking about a ghost project in New York and acting as if he was really going. When the police find out the lies through one of the neighbours Tara, Noah is taken to the station to be questioned. Amelie corroborates they had dinner on Saturday night, but she denies seeing him on Friday, which is the night when Lee was murdered. Even when Tara decides to go and see Amelie, the woman doesn’t budge and insists she didn’t see Noah on Friday night. So if Amelie is telling the truth, where was Noah that night? And like Tara muses, if he needed to see Amelie to clear the air, why did he need a lie for a whole weekend?
It is not the first time that Rosie has lied, and Tara knows from experience that Rosie can’t always be believed. The problem that Rosie had recently is that she got obsessed with this boy Anthony and kept stalking him, so the police had to intervene. Now Rosie claims that she has an older boyfriend, Damien, who is twenty-four. Her parents want to meet him, but Rosie keeps saying that Damien is too busy. When Tara talks to Rosie’s best friend Abby, the girl tells her that she has never heard anything about this new boy, and if Rosie had a boyfriend, she would have told her. However, she remembers Rosie being secretive when she caught her talking on the phone with someone, and Libby thinks that maybe there is someone.
Tara also finds something among Rosie’s things. The initials LJ are written on her notebook, and I think Tara is so obsessed with Lee’s murder (logically) that she thinks that the initials refer to the man. When she and Noah talk to her, she claims that Lee came on to her one day, hinting he wanted to sleep with her. Tara doesn’t know whether to believe her daughter or not. What I think is that it is too far-fetched to think that those initials could only belong to their neighbour. Even if there was nobody in Rosie’s school with those initials, it doesn’t mean it can’t belong to another person. The two letters might not even refer to a person’s name. I think in this sense Tara is jumping to conclusions. What it is clear is that whether Rosie’s story is totally true or not, there was something going on with Lee.
Tara also finds something more about Lee. His wife, Serena, tells her that her husband was having an affair as the police found an engraved message of love in the back of his favourite watch. Tara has even wondered if his lover could be Rosie, but I think that is quite implausible. If the watch was a present from his lover, I doubt a teenage girl had the funds to buy something quite deary.
After reading almost half the novel, I am more confused than at the beginning. So who killed Lee? Tara is pretty sure that she didn’t kill Lee, and I am also of the same opinion. I think she would remember if she had been involved in such a violent act, and as she says, there was no blood on her. So what happened between the time she was drinking with Lee and when she woke up? Who killed Lee and why? Is Tara the reason why he was killed? Was it out of jealousy? If Tara and Lee had sex, some people might have a motive if these people saw them together. Noah might have killed Lee out of jealousy if he saw his wife and Lee together, but how did that happen? And how can he act so normal if he killed the guy? If Rosie was having an affair with him, he could have a motive to kill him if he saw her mother and her lover together. And there is a third character who is obsessed with Tara, one of her colleagues at school, someone called Mikey Bradford, who keeps pestering Tara and won’t take any notice of Tara’s obvious snubs. Could Mikey be the killer?
These three people might have a motive, but even so, that doesn’t explain why Tara doesn’t remember anything. Was she really drugged? If not, what happened? Didn’t she see what was happening? I am totally clueless.
Maybe some of the other characters could also be considered suspects. His wife, Serena, has an alibi as she was spending the weekend away at a hen party. So in principle that rules her out. And what about Tara’s obnoxious neighbours, Tara and Guy, who feel they rule the roost, organising meetings and gatherings. Tara was the one who went to the police about Noah’s lie about New York. Even thought this couple is not too likeable, I can’t find a reason why either of them could be involved in the murder.
This is a really intriguing book and I have no idea why or how Lee was murdered.