White Lies by Jeremy Bates is the story of Katrina Burton, a young teacher who is moving to a small town in Washington by herself. On her ride up, she makes a decision that will change her life forever — she offers a ride to a hitchhiker. When she starts to become uncomfortable with him, she lies about where she is headed and makes him exit the car. But as fate would have it, he turns out to be her coworker. In order to cover up the lie she told him, Katrina keeps creating more lies, eventually causing her whole life to spiral out of control. She must try to make things right before it is too late.
White Lies fits into the category of a psychological thriller. In the beginning, Katrina’s lies are harmless. However, the resulting cascade of events puts her and others in a great deal of danger. I found it interesting watching Katrina struggle with her conscience about what she was doing. She knows lying is the wrong thing to do, but she is so easily manipulated into trying to please others and to maintain her good reputation. This story raises the question of how far someone should go to protect a loved one and what, if anything, they should compromise.
Author Jeremy Bates has put a fresh perspective on the familiar saying “Think before you speak.” He adeptly demonstrates how one unplanned utterance can get a person into a heap of trouble. He also shows how admitting one’s guilt and accepting the consequences can work out so much better in the long run. I was impressed by Bates’ ability to allow the reader to follow not only each character’s actions but also their thoughts. This allowed me to feel more understanding towards both Katrina and Zach (the hitchhiker/coworker) and why they behaved as they did.
White Lies by Jeremy Bates is intended for an adult audience. Both men and women will find it equally appealing. The plot is quite different from any book I have read in a long time. It is well thought out, and the author seamlessly builds a series of events that culminate in a dramatic ending.
(Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views)