I decided to pick up Little Black Lies by Sandra Block because I was approved for the third book in this series on Netgalley. When I initially requested the third book in the Zoe Goldman series I didn’t know that there were two books that came before The Secret Room. I’ve been itching to start knocking out my Netgalley reviews and therefore needed to catch up on this series to do that accurately.
This is a mystery novel about a resident in training on a psychiatric ward named Zoe Goldman. Zoe is taking care of a patient named Sofia. Sofia is in the psychiatric ward because two decades ago she killed her own mother but she now appears docile and ready to be released. Meanwhile, Zoe is going through her own troubles because her adoptive mother has dementia and Zoe is trying to find out more information about her birth mother. Zoe starts digging into her own past to find this information and this is where the story takes off.
The first couple chapters of this were hard for me to stomach because I felt that the author didn’t give off good representation for the LGBTQ+ character she included. I decided to move past this and keep going forward as I do have two more books in the series to review. After I finished the book I was happy that I pushed forth because overall I thought her characters she wrote were very well rounded and vibrant. I felt like I knew each character, no matter how minor, very intimately. I particularly loved Zoe’s brother and his devil may care attitude.
While most of this story is focusing on Zoe’s search for information on her birth mother, there is a small love story on the back burner. Zoe is bouncing back and forth between wanting her very “sexy” French ex boyfriend and wanting to just move on. This part of the story doesn’t take up much room and I was pleased to see that. It was just enough love to make the reader care but it didn’t steal the show by any means.
Also you have the patient Sofia and her story to try and decode. This is basically two mysteries in one book. I wanted to comment on how well the pacing was done in this book. When you throw in so much information and searching into a mystery book it’s hard to get the correct pacing down, for me anyway. I get extremely bored of the endless search for answers and that’s why I don’t prefer to ready mystery novels. This book wasn’t like that. Everything was paced beautifully and I never found myself bored.
The ending of this book was wrapped up neat with a bow and I wasn’t sure if I appreciated that or not. While it’s a nice conclusion to a book it’s just something I’m not used to in my everyday reading. Without any spoilers, the mystery was solved very conveniently but I do have do admit that I didn’t see the plot twist coming. Overall I think this is a very solid and quick read. For mystery enthusiasts I could see this series becoming a favorite. As for me I will continue on with Zoe Goldman and her story.