Behind The Lie 
Emilya Naymark

Crooked Lane Books
February 8, 2022
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Behind the Lie by Emilya Naymark
Review by Sharon Blevins

Emilya Naymark’s second novel, Behind the Lie, begins with a literal crash and burn. A neighborhood block party buzzing with crowds of people is the sight of a car crashing through a house, then a fire that puts quite the damper on the fun. One of the newest neighbors, Step Vulcan, has been shot and his wife is MIA. Holly Dubois goes missing, and private investigator, Laney Bird, finds her gun missing. The neighborhood is now the scene of confusion, rumors, and multiple crime scenes.

The story unfolds as narrated by Holly, romance author, wife, and mother of three. She walks through the events that ultimately lead to the undoing of several lives at the block party. Holly and her husband Oliver, have a good life. Oliver is a scientist heading up a research study on drugs that can increase human life expectancy. The block party may be where everything unravels, but the lies and traps previously set in the neighborhood are the beginning of a horrific plan with well-covered tracks and big money on the line.

A second narrator, Holly’s best friend, Laney, has plenty to worry about. Once Holly disappears, she discovers that her gun was used to shoot her neighbor, Step, and she can’t quite figure out what, if any, involvement her teenage son may have in the whole mess. Laney is determined to get to the bottom of it all. Could her private investigation into a teenage disappearance be the very clue to unraveling the whole labyrinth of puzzles?

As with any well-developed novel, secrets and hidden motivations flow through these nuanced characters. Action and surprises await the reader as members of a typical New York suburbia neighborhood live at peace with good intentions while some lurk about with evil agendas. Naymark dives into the action, laying out clear and deep-seated motivations that drive characters to do things they would never normally do and take risks they never would have imagined. If you enjoy distinct character voices and a touch of sensual and dangerous behavior that keeps you pinned to the page, you will need to add this title to your short list.

Dr. Sharon Blevins lives in Kentucky with her husband and growing family where she homesteads alongside her peculiar mix of bird dog and chickens. As a School Psychologist and Adjunct College Instructor, she encourages creativity and hard work in youth everywhere and loves to write, blog, and read a wide variety of fiction as long as it plays to the psychological suspense gene trapped inside.