Back to Square One,
This review is from: Two Truths and a Lie (The Lying Game, No. 3) (Hardcover)
As with Sara Shepherd's series, I was able to read this in a few hours with very few breaks. This series, which I think is not nearly as good as the Pretty Little Liars series IS riveting. Like the Rufus and Chaka Khan song, "Once You Get Started," you just can't stop until you reach the end.
I think readers knew going in that the mystery surrounding 17-year-old Emma Paxton and the murder of her twin Sutton Mercer was going to remain a mystery in this installment. As with her other series, you aren't going to unearth any major secrets just yet and you certainly are not going to find out who killed Sutton.
As in the 2nd installment, possible killers and suspects keep cropping up. Emma, fresh off the Greyhound and stuck in an unfriendly upscale Arizona community has to try to survive her sister's bad reputation as a wild child. Readers were thrown tantalizing red herrings in the 2nd installment, but the identity of the killer or killers has yet to be revealed.
Emma, long without a family and raised in unloving foster homes yearns for ANY family and is even willing to settle for the Mercers, who honestly believe she is Sutton. Whether or not they know Emma is not the girl they raised is an open question. Emma is almost Sutton's polar opposite in personality and inclinations, although she did pull a good revenge scene in a boutique in Book 2.
This book does have some of the expected ingredients, such as friendships shifting and changing, much like shape shifters and that includes boys. The person Emma believed killed her sister turned out to be a red herring; the question is where is the killer or killer and will Emma be targeted next? And what is Emma's background? Readers know from the 1st book that she was raised by a single mother who eventually died and this resulted in Emma being shuttled from pillar to post. We know that at her last foster home, the foster mother's natural son Travis framed Emma for a theft she didn't commit. We know that because of Travis who was slightly older than she was, Emma fled to Arizona to find her twin. Emma discovered her twin by accident on a YouTube video.
As in all the books in this newer series, Sutton's voice from the other side is included. Sutton uses the first person, so readers know when she heralds her input. Emma is always written in the third person. It is plain that the twins, although genetically identical have virtually nothing in common.
What I liked about this book is that readers learn more about Sutton and her background. Sutton has always had a complex about being adopted and acts out, often with devastating results. While she does not sound like a likable character, readers gain more insight into what made her tick.
As for Sutton's murder, it most likely was the result of foul play. Perhaps she was in an accident. Perhaps, as another reader on the U.S. boards suggested, Sutton met with foul play as the result of a fight gone awry. Sutton may or may not have had any secrets. That is one of many open questions that have yet to be answered. As to her whereabouts, perhaps whoever killed her buried her in an isolated area. Perhaps she was thrown off of a cliff and left for scavengers. The one thing that many can agree upon is that whoever is responsible for her death tried to keep her hidden from the police and any possible interrogation about her death.
The other reviewer makes the good point that it is highly unlikely that a teenager will solve this possibly violent crime alone. For Emma, being in Arizona with her sister's killer(s) on the loose is too great a risk. The questions remain open: a) who killed Sutton Mercer; b) will Emma be able to leave Arizona and c) why was Sutton killed in the first place? Also, was she killed or was she in an accident? Where is her body? You kind of wish the next book would answer these questions. And why was nobody in Nevada, where Emma left even concerned about where she might be? Although she left the foster home, might the state and related agencies familiar with her background want to know where she is? And do they know she is half of a set of twins? More questions keep cropping up.