Friday, February 20, 2015

Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

Zoe Goldman's return to Buffalo for her residency has awakened nightmares she thought she'd long left behind. 

As a child, Zoe was the only survivor of a fire that claimed the life of her young mother. She was taken in by her mother's best friend and adopted as her own, but until she was a teen she was haunted by nightmares of that tragic accident. In her dream, she is hiding and someone is calling her name. Zoe can't remember who it is, but she is terrified of being found and always awakens before seeing the person's face. With the return of these dreams - and the lack of sleep they cause -, Zoe, a psychiatrist now, is determined to learn more about her past. 

It wasn't my intention to read two psychological suspense titles back to back. Fortunately the two books turned out to be VERY different.

Little Black Lies unfolds in such a way that the reader can't resist being pulled in - and by that I mean don't start this one late at night or you'll be up until you turn the last page! Zoe is a frank and honest narrator, but even she can't tell the reader what she doesn't remember. The obvious route is barred thanks to her adopted mother's dementia, though Zoe does try to get information out of her anyway. The relationship with her mother affects her attempts as well, though, as Zoe is somewhat concerned about the upset involved in asking questions about her "real" mom.

As with the Burley title earlier this week (and something I didn't mention there), Sandra Block does have a medical background. She seems to bring much of her own knowledge into the story: the workings of the hospital and psychiatric wards, psychology, and neurology. It's a definite plus and adds an added air of seriousness and believability to the tale.

Surprisingly, Little Black Lies is Block's debut novel. Not her first time writing or being published, as her bio states that she's been featured in medical and poetry journals, but even that might not necessarily promise a great narrative skill. And yet great narrative skill seems to be exactly what Block brings to the table! Every facet of Little Black Lies works harmoniously - the story is emotional, suspenseful, and fabulously well written!

Rating: 4.5/5


Kay said...

I saw another review of this book recently and it sent a little "ping" through me. Another lovely book I'd like to read. I thought it was funny that the book I highlighted for anticipating being published is also called LITTLE BLACK LIES, but it's by Sharon Bolton. Do you supposed they just run out of titles? LOL

Sandra said...

Thank you for taking the time to read my book, and your wonderful, heart-warming (for me!) review...Not Grumpy at all! :)