Based in Brighton & Hove the plot of A Bunch of Lies follows a woman’s life unravelling as she searches for meaning following the hit and run death of her eight year- old daughter which slowly leads to the collapse of everything she thought she knew. After finding her daughter’s diary, a web of interconnection and inter dependency is exposed that enforces silence from anyone who might know.
This is a warts and all intro of the city, with plenty of local gay colour, subculture high jinks and police action thrown in, although the police procedures are not the point here though, this is no whodunit, or why dunnit, it’s a more complex dissection of deception and the power of self-denial in relationships, and the central core of a women in love with a man she can’t see is gay.
Rutherford has written a tightly plotted book with a surge of narrative tension that washes all before it, with enough turns and sometimes comedic twists to fully engage and a keen eye for clinical medical detail this is a good dark read and rather funny in a shadowy way. On occasion the dialogue can plod but this is a small criticism of what is essentially a good book which manages to take in just about every minority community in the city with a healthy intersectional nod at the way they interact and divide in times of crisis.
Rutherford knows the city well, geographically and psychologically, and has applied this love of sinister Sussex by the Sea to weave a slyly compelling narrative of unravelled lives.
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