Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Little White Lies"

Katie Dale's debut novel was Someone Else's Life. She lives in England.

Dale applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Little White Lies, and reported the following:
Little White Lies is (perhaps unsurprisingly, given the title) a novel filled with deception. Characters lie to each other, conceal their true identities, and hide their motivation throughout – even, sometimes, from the reader. The story centres on eighteen-year-old Lou Shepherd, who takes the opportunity of starting at university to reinvent herself. She dyes her hair and changes her name in an attempt to hide her past – but then she meets a guy who’s doing exactly the same thing, for very different reasons. Why does Christian clam up every time Lou asks about his past? Why doesn’t he have any family photos, why does he never go out in the evenings, and why does he dye his blond hair black?

Page 69 is a perfect example of how Christian’s secretive nature often gets him into big trouble. The scene follows a break-in at the pub Christian works at. His keys were found at the site, and he can’t come up with an alibi…or can he?
“You weren’t mugged? You didn’t go out? You didn’t see anyone else at all? No one who could have stolen your keys?”

“No.” Christian sighs heavily, his face creased with misery. “I must’ve dropped them.”

“And no one can confirm your whereabouts during the time of the break-in? No deliveries? No phone calls?”

“Yes, actually – loads of phone calls.”

I look up quickly. Does he have an alibi?

“Who called you?”

“Well, I-I don’t know,” Christian admits. He must mean the nuisance taxi calls, I realise.

The policeman sighs. “You had lots of phone calls, but you don’t know who from?”

“Well, yes…”

“So you can’t contact them to prove this?”

I watch a bead of sweat trickle down the side of Christian’s face as he falters helplessly.

“Well, no, but – ”

“Would you mind coming down to the station please, sir?” the officer says. “I have a few more questions I’d like to ask you. You might want a lawyer present.”

My heart beats fast. He’s going to arrest him!

“Wait,” Christian says suddenly. “That’s…that’s not necessary. Can I have a word?”

“Certainly, sir.”

Christian glances at me and Mike. “In private?”

The officer raises an eyebrow. “Very well. Follow me.”

I stare after them as they enter the pub. What can Christian tell them that will make any difference? How can he possibly get out of this?
But get out of it, he mysteriously does. And as Christian’s secret is finally unveiled in front of the whole world, it seems everything he’s ever told Lou is a lie. Can what the media are saying about him really be true? Should Lou trust him? Or is she in grave danger? For what if their chance encounter was no accident at all…?
Visit Katie Dale's website and view the Little White Lies trailer.

--Marshal Zeringue