Review: “Only Lies Remain” by Val Collins

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“Only Lies Remain” by Val Collins is an edge-of-your-seat treat full of twists. What you believe to be the truth on page 50 won’t be the same truth you believe on page 100 — or 200.

About the Book

“Only Lies Remain” by Val Collins

When Danny Walsh disappeared, everyone assumed he abandoned his family. That assumption quickly changes when his body is found fifteen years later. As his wife Maura becomes the main suspect in his murder, estranged family members and other characters from the past resurface with old rumors, secrets, and jealousies.

Aoife doesn’t believe for a second that her mother-in-law Maura killed anyone. Even as Maura’s version of the story changes, Aoife stands by her and rushes to clear the woman’s name. However, it seems that no matter which way she goes, she encounters more lies and deception — and not just from Maura.

There’s a long cast of character in Val Collins’ “Only Lies Remain” and, as the book progresses, revelations and twists make each character suspicious for one reason or another.

There’s Aoife’s new boss Cian. He was just a kid when Danny disappeared, but his behavior gets weirder the longer Aoife works for him.

There’s Aoife’s best friend Orla. She never knew Danny Walsh, but her demeanor with Aoife changes when she starts dating Cian.

There’s Jack. A priest and long-time friend of the family who Maura and Aoife trust. He’s a pillar of support for the family, but what does he know?

Then, there’s Maura’s brother. He only appears in one chapter. It’s just long enough to make you wonder…

And the list goes on.

My Review

“Only Lies Remain” by Val Collins is one of those books that’s good right out of the gate, but gets better and better as the story progresses. It can be a little overwhelming to keep up with everything at first. There are a lot of characters of which to keep track, but each one is needed in the story and important to the plot.

Typically, in books of this genre, there’s one character that seems a little creepy — or something about the character seems off (even if the character is only being used as a red herring). None of the characters in “Only Lies Remain” are totally unlikable or creepy.

But not all of them are as as they seem either.

There’s always dark corners in their personalities, secrets peeking out from their closets, or inconsistencies in their behavior to make you question their motives. That’s part of what makes Val Collins’ “Only Lies Remain” such an edge-of-your-seat treat. There’s always a new twist that brings with it new revelations. What you believe to be the truth on page 50 won’t be the same truth you believe on page 100 — or 200.

“Only Lies Remain” is a dialogue-rich novel that spares the reader unneeded, lengthy narratives and descriptions. The result is a fast paced story that never gets dull or tiresome. Even though “Only Lies Remain” is a psychological thriller, there’s a ‘whodunnit’ quality to the book that makes it impossible to put down.

“Only Lies Remain” is the second book by Val Collins to feature Aoife as the main character. You don’t need to read the first book, “Girl Targeted” to understand or enjoy “Only Lies Remain”, but it’s helpful. Having not read the first book made the very beginning of “Only Lies Remain” a little disorienting for me. I felt like I was missing crucial pieces that would be needed to sink into the story. I was wrong, thank goodness! I was hooked before I realized it — and I can honestly say I loved each new page more than the last.

Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways, VCB Publishing, and Val Collins for the free Kindle edition of this book.

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