Everything but the Truth is Gillian McAllister’s stunning breakthrough thriller about deceit, betrayal and one woman’s compulsive need to uncover the truth.
It all started with the email.
Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him.
But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment. Or the chain of events it has set in motion.
Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?
I really love a book that makes you think beyond the storyline and Everything But The Truth, the debut novel by Gillian McAllister, is definitely one of those books. It’s going to be pretty tricky to say everything I want to in this review without giving any of the plot away but I will try. This is one of those books you are desperate to discuss with somebody else who has read it!
Everything But The Truth tells the story of Rachel who is pregnant with her first child to Jack; a man she has been in a relationship with for only a short period of time. Rachel begins to discover that the man she is involved with is not who she thinks he is. What follows is a tale of secrets, lies and insecurities which also has a psychological edge to it. Told over two timelines, switching with ease between the present and a year ago, it is told from the perspective of Rachel.
I had a feeling from the outset that I would enjoy this book as McAllister has chosen the following quote by H. Jackson Brown, Jr at the beginning of the book;
‘Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.’
The characters play an important part in this story and through the use of first person narrative the reader is privy to all of Rachel’s innermost feelings and thoughts and, therefore, her flaws. Her back story is drip-fed resulting in a feeling of anticipation throughout the novel. I found myself questioning how much I could rely on Rachel to accurately portray what was going on due to her own nuances. The result is that this is as much a story about the psychological effects of traumatic events as it is gripping domestic noir.
Add to this the moral dilemmas that are presented throughout—which had me constantly mulling over ‘what would I have done?—and McAllister has written a cracker of a psychological thriller that has that slow-burn I love so much. I was desperate to have a conversation about the book with somebody else who had read it to get another person’s perspective and thoughts.
McAllister has also written a gripping and compelling novel. I devoured Everything But The Truth in pursuit of finding out what that truth was and how things would work out for our main character. You are completely pulled into the novel from the very first line and the combination of prose, thought-provoking storylines and in-depth characterisation make this an accomplished debut.
Everything But The Truth is riveting, mentally stimulating and intelligently written; really giving the reader food for thought. It is a book to mull over and discuss. A highly recommended read and if this is anything to go by McAllister has a great career as a writer ahead of her.
Thank you to Gillian McAllister, Penguin Books (Michael Joseph) and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for my honest review.
Published on 9 March 2017 by Penguin Books (Michael Joseph).