Blurb: A dark secret can be buried.
But not forever.
Eventually it haunts you, even threatens your life. As Selkie is about to discover.
Selkie Moon has escaped her abusive husband to start over in Hawaii but her refuge soon unravels and she’s running from something else entirely.
Suddenly she’s on an odyssey through mystical clues and psychic messages to discover who’s trying to kill her. As the threats escalate, her visions hint at long-buried secrets of love and betrayal, and a danger that lurks closer than she could have imagined.
Can Selkie uncover the life-changing truth before time runs out?
Eat Pray Love meets The Lovely Bones. In this captivating psychological mystery/thriller, award-winning author Virginia King uses elements from Hawaiian and Celtic folklore to explore identity, love and the secrets we don’t know are driving us. It’s a thrilling quest through the messy magic that can redeem us if we’re brave.
Cancel a couple of night’s sleep and join Selkie Moon on the roller-coaster ride of her life.
More than a paranormal mystery thriller, The First Lie tells the story of the awakening of Selkie Moon.
I love how Virginia King has taken ghost stories, myths and legends and woven them into a modern setting, yet retaining the haunting mystery of such folklore. The resulting narrative is packed with layer upon layer of symbolism, yet reads easily and follows an entertaining plot arc. Tales of selkies, in particular, have long haunted me; with their overtones of selfish love, sacrifice, hopeless love, loss and longing. It is intriguing to see these echo as a woman flees an emotionally abusive relationship but still finds herself trapped in a life that doesn’t feel like her own.
Selkie is a fascinating character: brave yet terrified, witty yet subdued, confident enough to be a motivational speaker yet crippled by self-doubt everywhere outside the seminar room. These dichotomies begin to make sense as the narrative unfolds and Selkie’s personal history begins to unravel. I really enjoyed having a strong female protagonist with such realistic limitations and loved seeing the character develop through the narrative.
There is plenty of action here with threats looming in every direction and both Selkie and the reader confused as to which presents the most danger: the domineering ex, the mysterious woman, paranormal forces? At one point I felt like Selkie, overwhelmed at the amount of paranormal in the plotline, yet it was also the uniquely quirky characters and their various ‘gifts’ and wisdom that kept me hooked, desperate to know what would happen next.
For the first two-thirds of the novel the reader is introduced to Selkie, her setting and her companions, and the tension slowly builds as she investigates the strange occurrences and attempts to make sense of her fears. There is gradually more spirituality as the plot progresses, as Selkie moves from cynic to convert in her attempts to reconcile her instincts and her senses. The final third of the novel explodes into action at a terrific pace, and answers come thick and fast, culminating in a satisfying yet surreal ending.
I was left clutching my Kindle, breathless and slightly dizzy. Having been thoroughly submerged in Selkie’s adventure, coming up suddenly into the cold air of reality was a bit of a shock! Needless to say therefore that I have promptly purchased The Second Path too. I need to see where Selkie’s discoveries take her next, and selkie tales have always been my favourite flavour of folklore!
“Are you freaking out, Selkie?”
“What do you think? A face in the mirror, not my face. Ancestors and footprints and messages. I’ve almost got used to Doris. And your fish, the way their eyes follow me round the room like Rembrandts, but this… This is spooky. Things like this don’t happen in Sydney.”
“That’s probably why you left. Your soul was after a roller-coaster ride.”
“Roller-coasters make me throw up.”
– Virginia King, The First Lie
Find more from Virginia King here, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Check out my review of Laying Ghosts in my Short Story Special! here and my review of the folktale companion story collection Leaving Birds here.
The First Lie is available on Amazon right now!
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