The Lies They Tell

International Thriller Award Finalist for Best YA Novel

2019 Maine Literary Award Finalist 

A 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection

Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, has heard of the Garrison tragedy. A mysterious fire. A family of five reduced to one. For people like Pearl Haskins—whose dad was the caretaker of the Garrison property when the house went up in flames—the whispers about that night are more than upsetting. They hurt.

With her disgraced father now trying to find steady work in between booze benders, Pearl’s future doesn’t reach beyond the country club, where she serves food to the rich townspeople who return every summer.

This year, a group of privileged boys has made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section. Though she’s repulsed by everything they stand for, she’s drawn to the quiet leader of the pack, Tristan—the last surviving Garrison—and the sadness coming off him in waves. Befriending the summer boys might irk her to her core, but inside their fold of elite parties and reckless whims could be answers to what happened the night of the fire.

Hidden beneath the glittering facade of wealth and luxury, Pearl discovers a dark and twisted web of lies and betrayals that will change Tenney’s Harbor forever.


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Critical Praise for THE LIES THEY TELL:

“French is masterful….THE LIES THEY TELL is one of the most satisfying displays of the mystery craft I’ve read all year.”–Portland Press Herald

“Gorgeously written, chilling, and twisty, The Lies They Tell kept me guessing until the very end. Small-town mystery at its best.” — Carlie Sorosiak, author of If Birds Fly Back and Wild Blue Wonder

“Gillian French combines class struggles, family drama, and, of course, murder, like an alchemist, creating something greater than its parts. This book lingers in the best way possible.” — Lamar Giles, Edgar Award Finalist and author of Fake ID and Endangered 

The Lies They Tell kept me guessing until the final pages. Readers will root for Pearl as she navigates an undercurrent of darkness and deception. A strong heroine, a satisfying conclusion–one of the best YA novels I’ve read all year.” — Paula Stokes, author of Liars, Inc.

“French describes in unflinching, haunting prose the social inequities and rugged, often treacherous landscape that define the ‘real’ Maine. An excellent teen mystery that reveals far more than ‘whodunnit.’” — Maria Padian, author of Wrecked

“With haunting, gorgeous prose, The Lies They Tell is a masterful mystery where big secrets lurk in small towns. Privileged summer families, murder, intoxicating boys, and a fierce heroine converge in this novel perfect for fans of We Were Liars and One of Us is Lying.” — Shannon M. Parker, author of The Girl Who Fell and Rattled Bones

“Absolutely propulsive storyline. Every single character is written with precision and complexity, while the setting is vividly provoked and lovingly portrayed.” — Jessie Ann Foley, author of Neighborhood Girls and Michael Printz Honor Book The Carnival at Bray

“A lush summer atmosphere, class tensions, and complex romantic feelings all hit pitch-perfect notes in this slow-burning mystery.” — Kirkus Reviews

“With intriguing characters and unexpected twists and turns, French keeps her readers guessing until the very end.  Fans of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars and Allan Wolff’s Who Killed Christopher Goodman? should add this title to their must-read lists. A valuable addition to thriller shelves.” — School Library Journal


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