The Lying Woods

Age Range
Release Date
November 13, 2018
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Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees' retirement accounts, Owen's father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout. Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he hardly remembers despise him for his father's crimes. It's bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac...and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing. Owen's only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets--and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he's claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his past--and write a better future.

Editor review

1 review
Captivating Thriller
Overall rating
Writing Style
At first The Lying Woods reads more like a contemporary fiction piece than thriller. Then all of sudden it hits you with all the punches. Ashley Elston eloquently weaves clues along the way that are so subtle. Plot twists and surprises divert your mind from the clues until the end when you realize it was all there in front of you. This is a hard thing for writers to do without giving away the ending too soon. Elston masters this and creates a fantastic ending.

What I liked the most: I loved the way it hops back and forth between Noah in 1999 and Owen in the present. It adds to the suspense/thriller feel of the story. It also moves the plot along at a fast clip as you try to find the connection between the two time periods and the two people. The parallel stories of the two made the unraveling of the mystery intense.

Owen. He has strength. He has a strong moral code. However, he is realistic character in the fact that he has flaws as well as strength that comes at surprising times. Overall, each character feel like you can walk into town and find them just sitting there at the local coffee shop or diner. I really enjoyed watching the characters grow and evolve. The winning aspect of this novel is definitely the ending. Without giving too much away, the ending makes the entire book.

The Lying Woods reads like fall movie thriller. It is full of suspense as well as romance I will recommend this novel to struggling students--it shows that difficulties in life spare no one, but also highlights the fact that most people are good and strive to help others.

A passionate story, full of mystery, love, jealousy, and even grief; this is a book you won’t be able to put down. Find a nice comfy chair, a cozy blanket, and a huge steaming cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and settle down for a ride.
Good Points
Two time periods
relatable characters
fast paced
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