One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (2017)

Review by CJ

Page count:



When five students attend detention and only four leave alive, the surviving students are thrown into the spotlight as suspects in the deceased’s murder investigation.

When it’s discovered that the deceased was going to publicly reveal secrets that could ruin the four survivors, the geek, the jock, the princess and the criminal must work out which of them is capable of murder.

I love The Breakfast Club and I love crime novels so when I saw the tagline “A Geek. A Jock. A Criminal. A Princess. A MURDER.” I knew that I had to read Karen M. McManus’s debut novel. I finished it in one sitting and can confirm that One of Us Is Lying is everything I had hoped it would be and so much more.

One of Us Is Lying had me hooked by the end of the first paragraph. There are twists in the tale, a dash of romance, some deep issues addressed and genuine heart-wrenching moments. Yet One of Us Is Lying doesn’t feel too convoluted or overlong. It is tightly written and the pace always moves appropriately for what is happening.

McManus has managed to create central characters who are not only unique, but who are likeable. Because I didn’t know whodunnit for most of the novel, I didn’t want to get too attached to anyone but I just couldn’t help myself. Each of the four main characters start the novel as who they think they should be and develop seamlessly into who they actually are. It’s a rare and transfixing thing to read such good character development.

One of Us Is Lying is a great entry into the world of mysteries and crime thrillers for young adults, but is also an enjoyable read for adults who enjoy the genre. With compelling characters, a few well placed red herrings and plenty of surprises, One of Us Is Lying is definitely worth checking out.



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