Title: Dark and Shallow Lies
Author: Ginny Myers Sain
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller, Supernatural
Published: August 31st, 2021 (Razorbill)
Synopsis: A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power.
La Cachette, Louisiana, is the worst place to be if you have something to hide.
This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World–and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey’s best friend, disappeared six months earlier.
Grey can’t believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychics knows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something – her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.
When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou – a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history – Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent–and La Cachette’s dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.
Thank you to the publisher, PenguinTeen Canada for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Grey returns to the remote bayou town of La Cachette, Louisiana, where she always spends her summers with her grandmother. But this year is different. Her best friend, Elora, has been missing for the past six months ever since she seemingly disappeared into thin air one night, and no one in the entire town of psychics has been able to figure out what happened to her. Even worse, Grey has been experiencing strange visions that seem to be flashbacks and she’s sure they are connected to Elora’s disappearance. Determined to find out the truth, Grey begins to dig deeper into the events of that night, only to find that everyone in town is keeping secrets, from her oldest friends, to her grandmother and even her late mother. The mystery thickens as a stranger suddenly appears on the edge of town with connections to the town’s dark history and Grey realizes La Cachette has more buried secrets than she ever knew, and all of it somehow ties into the events at hand.
Supernatural themes are not something I usually enjoy, but combined with a thriller, I just couldn’t resist trying this one out. With how well written and executed this book was, I could hardly believe that it is a debut novel! The setting of the Louisiana bayou was amazing and provided the perfect backdrop for this story. There were quite a few supernatural elements especially with everyone in town having some form of psychic power, but I thought it was just the right amount, believable even, and I enjoyed it, despite the aspect not being a particular favorite of mine. Combined with some local culture and legends, this was easily the most atmospheric book I’ve read all year.
The characters were interesting enough, but honestly, my focus was entirely on the plot and 400+ pages just flew by in no time at all. It was fascinating how so many of the events in the town’s history were interconnected and woven into the character’s lives, particularly Grey and I was very impressed with how this was handled. The story was narrated entirely through Grey’s perspective, including the flashbacks and despite the frequent jumps, it was easy to follow. The only thing I wish had been done better was Zale, whose character should have been expanded a little more, as despite his major role in the story, his character felt somewhat detached from the plot.
The ending itself was as spectacular as expected, keeping the reader on tenterhooks until the last moment. The mystery was quite hard to figure out and personally, I didn’t find any real hints until near the 80% mark and in a debut novel, this is definitely worthy of praise. This is one book that should definitely be on your TBR this fall, particularly for fans of thrillers or mysteries. It was a fantastic read and I would highly recommend it!
Dark and Shallow Lies releases on August 31st, 2021.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.