The Liar’s Room – Simon Lelic

Published August 22, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:


Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Then Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt.

And Susanna realises she was wrong. 
She doesn’t know him. 

The addictive new thriller with an ending you’ll never guess, The Liar’s Room is perfect for readers of Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door and A J Finn’s The Woman in the Window.


What did I think?:

Simon Lelic is a relatively new author to me but as I thoroughly enjoyed The House, his previous novel when I read it last year, I was excited to read this one, particularly when I read that thrilling synopsis. I adore a good thriller as I’ve mentioned in previous posts and I don’t think you can beat that feeling of not knowing what’s going on, being constantly surprised and delighted by twists and turns and constantly feeling compelled to keep turning those pages. That’s what The Liar’s Room felt like for me, especially in the beginning when I kept bothering my sister, Chrissi Reads via text, saying that I didn’t have a clue what was happening but that I LOVED it. As you can imagine with a novel billed as a psychological thriller, it’s a bit messed up and we’re not aware of the motives of our characters until we’re a fair way through the narrative but add in a couple of unreliable narrators and for me personally, the story just exploded into the stratosphere!

Simon Lelic, author of The Liar’s Room.

As with all reviews of thrillers, I really can’t tell you too much about the plot for fear of spoilers. Believe me, you’re not going to want me to ruin this story for you. What can I tell you? The majority of the novel is set in a counsellor’s office, the counsellor is Susanna Fenton and she has her first appointment with new client Adam Geraghty. She immediately notices that Adam appears on edge but she never could have dreamed or anticipated what he starts to tell her i.e. the reasons behind his visit and indeed, what ends up transpiring in their session over the next couple of hours. You see, Susanna has secrets of her own, secrets that Adam is well aware of and with a tag line like ONE ROOM, TWO LIARS, NO WAY OUT, you wonder if either party is going to leave the room unscathed, if at all.

With Simon Lelic’s writing, I’ve grown to expect the unexpected and I love the unpredictability of the narrative that I can never fully figure out, including exactly what direction he’s going to choose to take both his characters and plot. Both characters are unreliable as I’ve mentioned, and we’re knowledgeable about the fact that they are both liars but that’s the only small juicy piece of information we’re given on entering the counselling room with both Adam and Susanna. Of course this makes them infinitely more interesting as individuals – why are they lying for example? What information does Adam have that seems to give him such a hold over Susanna and, even more intriguingly, why exactly does he care so much?

All these questions are answered eventually but it’s the journey to get to these answers that makes it one hundred percent worth the wait. I was completely captivated by Lelic’s writing style, the intricacy of his plot and the mystery that underpins why Susanna and Adam are in this room, talking to each other in the first place. He’s not afraid to go to some dark places, has the imagination to construct a brilliantly realised narrative which kept me hooked, wanting to read just one more chapter throughout the entirety of the novel.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):


10 comments on “The Liar’s Room – Simon Lelic

  • Another fantastic review, Beth!! I’ve been looking to read more stories about people who shed their identities and start new lives (ever since I heard Jennifer Down, one of my favourites, talk about her obsession with those kinds of real-life stories at the Sydney Writers Festival), so this sounds like it would be a great one to add to that TBR list! Plus, as you probably know by now, I’m a *sucker* for psychological thrillers that keep you guessing, AND unlikeable/unreliable narrators, so this one pretty much ticks every box 😉 If only it had some sexy bits…!

    • Ooh I’ll have to look up Jennifer Down, she’s a new author to me! I do love a psychological thriller, there’s a danger they can get a bit “samey” but not if they’re done well! 😂 @ “sexy bits!”

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