Dark and Shallow Lies by by Ginny Myers Sain

Flatlay: Dark and Shallow Lies, a reusable coffee cup filled with a mocha, two small crochet pumpkins - one mustard yellow and one orange.

When seventeen-year-old Grey makes her annual visit to La Cachette, Louisiana – the tiny bayou town that proclaims to be the “Psychic Capital of the World” – she knows it will be different from past years: her childhood best friend Elora went missing several months earlier and no one is telling the truth about the night she disappears.

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 realise 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 realises that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. 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.

I picked this book up last month for spooky season. I remember watching an Electric Monkey panel a while back with this author and it sounded intriguing but I put off getting it as I was worried it would be too creepy or scary for me – I am so glad it wasn’t! It definitely gave me Where the Crawdads Sing and To Kill A Mockingbird vibes due to the setting, a small Southern town where everyone knows everyone else. The writing style was easy to read and immerse yourself in and before I knew it I’d read 70 pages on the first day of picking it up.

I loved the psychic element to this story. Most of the characters had the gift but it emerged in different ways – some can hear the voices of the death, some have visions or can draw something they see, some can be in two places at once. This definitely made it a lot harder to believe any of the characters were telling the truth thus raising the mystery and intrigue of the story as a whole. Myers Sain manages to make the whole town seem dark and uncomfortable rather than cheerful and welcoming but captures the close knit community aspect really well.

I liked Grey as a central character. She is almost seen as an outsider since she only visits La Cachette during the Summer and reading the story from her perspective as she questions everyone from the kids she grew up with to her grandmother, Honey, aids in giving you that uncomfortable feeling that no one is really who they seem.

If you’re looking for something that will keep you guessing to the very end, this is it. I loved it and definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a page turning YA thriller!


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Trigger Warnings: Murder, Child Death, Death, Grief, Death of a Parent, Murder, Gun Violence, Blood, Gore, Suicide, Domestic Abuse, Incest

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