I was delighted to have the opportunity to take part in the blog tour for What Lies Within by Annabelle Thorpe. A couple of years ago, I read and enjoyed Annabelle’s debut, The People We Were Before, so I was excited to read her second novel…
Annabelle Thorpe is an award winning travel journalist and one of the things I enjoyed in her debut was the way it transported the reader to another country and helped to build up a picture of a different landscape. But where The People We Were Before takes places in Croatia, What Lies Within takes place in Morocco, in Marrakech. It is here that a married couple embark on a fresh start following a job offer from an old friend. Freya and Paul have remained friends with Hamad for years, and have kept in contact since their days at university despite their differences in lifestyle. And then the opportunity to join Hamad in Morocco arises, and the couple find themselves in a new country, a country which presents many challenges for the pair. With Freya hoping the move would help reinvigorate her marriage to Paul, circumstances arise which threaten to drive them further apart, and the couple struggle to settle in a new city, in a place where nothing is as it seems. I was intrigued as to where their journey would take them, and whether events would unfold to break the seemingly unbreakable bonds between close friends.
There was plenty of intrigue in this story, and I liked the idea of the friendships and relationships being put to the test in a new, unfamiliar environment. As the story develops, the reader comes to realise that the situation is more complex than it appears on the surface, and further secrets are revealed along the way which build a greater picture of the relationship between the characters. I would say in terms of plot development this is more of a slow burner, with the tension gradually building as we learn more about the characters and what drives them, the memories from the past that haunt them. I enjoyed the style of the writing, and I enjoyed the depictions of Marrakech, which helped add to the atmosphere of the story and the sense that Freya finds herself lost in a city that has left her bewildered. And as the story builds up towards its conclusion, there are little details that are unveiled which pinpoint the flaws in these relationships, as the reader works out who is to be trusted. This is very much a character driven story, which deals with complex relationships, love, loyalty and trust, as Freya begins to uncover the truth about those she holds dear.
What Lies Within is an enjoyable, moving story which follows the relationships between three friends and their life together in unfamiliar territory. It was published on 5th April 2018 by Quercus Books, with thanks to Olivia Mead for providing a copy for review and for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. You can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below!