I acquired this book for free in exchange for a review via NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, of Penguin Books.
Which is more dangerous, a secret or a lie?
Truth Hurts is a women’s fiction / thriller novel by Rebecca Reid. It is about Poppy and Drew, a lovestruck couple who marry after a whirlwind holiday romance. However, they agree to marry on the condition that neither of them reveals anything about their pasts. The decision to avoid dredging up memories of past boyfriends and bad breakups sounds great – in theory – but Poppy soon learns her new husband is keeping dark secrets from her and, little does he know, she’s keeping secrets from him too.
I was so engrossed by Truth Hurts that I finished it in just a few hours – I suppose that’s one of the benefits of writing a book about keeping secrets! I was desperately keen to find out more about the characters’ backgrounds and secret pasts.
The main characters were well-developed; Drew came across as an incredibly rich and doting husband yet also an unnervingly private man, akin to Bluebeard. Poppy is “forbidden” from asking questions about his past, and I kept wondering what Drew was really hiding. Poppy is endearing, innocent and vulnerable. I really felt for her because, as she hasn’t received much genuine affection before, she feels to afraid to question whether her new life with Drew is too good to be true, just in case it is ruined.
However, I did think some of the minor characters were a little stereotyped and trivial. For example, Poppy is introduced to Drew’s schoolfriends, all of whom are rich and privileged with similar personalities and views. Their involvement in the plot could be boiled down to accidentally letting a few secrets slip about Drew’s background. On the one hand, this wasn’t a huge issue, as they gave away secrets about Drew that I wanted to know about. Fair enough. On the other hand, it was a shame these characters weren’t as developed as Poppy and Drew themselves and only seemed to exist to drive the plot forward.
I also wish there had been more dramatic conflict towards the end of the book – such as shouting, screaming, imprisonment, violence, madness, for example – because, whilst many secrets and lies come tumbling out, the book then ends not long after Poppy learns the truth about Drew, and this feels slightly underwhelming. Basically, I would have liked a crazier ending.
Nonetheless, I was hooked from start to finish reading Truth Hurts and I really, really enjoyed it. I would recommend.
Truth Hurts was published as an e-book just a few days ago! It is available to buy from Amazon, and it will be available to buy as a paperback from February 2020.
Star Rating: 4/5 Stars