One Little Lie, Carne Maxwell

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

ONE LITTLE LIE is targeted at the upper age limit of YA readers, a suspense novel, that sees four friends, Melissa, Katrina, Belinda and Alison working the Christmas Holidays on Melissa's uncle's tomato farm on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. The girls are hoping for a classic university summer holiday break - working and having some fun at the same time, although there's tension right at the outset between Melissa and her cousins Seth and Tyler, who she hasn't seen for eight years now.

Told in multiple viewpoints, the young women's voices here are particularly successful, as everything hinges on a single moment in time, a missing friend, a police investigation, and secrets that may need to be spilled.

Lots of character backstory, with a classic minefield of teenage feelings and one little lie from Melissa that unravels years worth of hidden stuff.

Would definitely work for the intended age group, possibly tilted more towards female readers, the male characters being marginally less convincing. Lots of details, well addressed, and an ending that brings everything together nicely.


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Year of Publication

Nineteen-year-old Melissa and her three friends, Katrina, Belinda and Alison, take up an offer of work for the Christmas holidays on Melissa’s uncle’s tomato farm on Waiheke Island. The girls can’t wait to swap their university days for the carefree life, summer provides. However, Melissa hasn’t seen her uncle and her two cousins, Seth and Tyler, for eight years, and when she arrives at their home, her life becomes more complicated than she could ever have imagined.

Katrina, Belinda and Alison find Seth and Tyler promising attractions, and feeling sorry for their friend, push Melissa into the hands a handsome stranger. When Melissa finds herself compromised, she does the only thing she can think of: she tells one little lie.

Melissa’s deception turns her holiday upside down. When one of her friends goes missing, and the police start their investigation, Melissa finds that her lie starts to unearth secrets buried for years. Secrets, which send Melissa, her family and her friends down a path of violent clashes of the past, the present and ultimately the future. 

Review One Little Lie, Carne Maxwell
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, November 25, 2021

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