‘I Can See Your Lies’ Review: A Frightening Family Affair

Izzy Lee I Can See Your Lies

In Izzy Lee’s debut novella, I Can See Your Lies, generational trauma runs deep. After helming several horror short films that have all made the rounds at various genre festivals around the country, Lee has crafted a taut and well-paced ghost story about mothers and the secrets they keep. It’s also a lightning-quick page-turner that should resonate with anyone who’s ever been trapped in a toxic relationship or fallen into a seemingly inescapable rut in life. As a novelist, Lee is here to tell you that anything is fixable as long as you have somewhere to hide for a weekend getaway and, most importantly, plenty of wine to keep you company.

I Can See Your Lies quickly introduces us to Fin Slattery, a mom and wife at the end of her rope, courtesy of her abusive, cheating husband Jeff. As a child herself, Fin was subjected to another kind of torture, having to endure a myriad of psychological tests after revealing she was born with a very unique ability. Anytime someone lies, Fin knows it. Visions of black bubbles boil up on the face of anyone who isn’t telling the truth. But Fin has learned to keep this power to herself. The problem is, that same power has been passed down to her young daughter Marnie who keeps being visited at night by a strange entity that Marnie refers to as Mrs. Don’t.

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As Fin and Marnie walk on eggshells thanks to living with a useless oaf of a man, Fin begins to think back to her mother Meredith, who mysteriously disappeared after a brief but promising stint in Hollywood. Armed with her mother’s diary and the will to strive for a better life, Fin is suddenly compelled to spend the weekend up the cape to try and solve her own family’s darkly twisted cold case. What she discovers begins to haunt her incessantly and, ultimately, sets her free.

Lee wisely interweaves two storylines together as Fin travels back to the late 1970s through the pages of Meredith’s journal. It’s there that Fin discovers that her mother may not have abandoned her along with a promising film career, after all. She also slowly realizes that the longtime locals inhabiting this small, idyllic town may know more than they’re letting on.

Confidently, Lee spends a great deal of time in Meredith’s daily diary entries, giving enough time to genuinely develop her as another living, breathing character. As Fin finds out more about the whimsical artist’s life of her Mom (with a full pour of rosé in her other hand), we’re reading right along with her. Instead of itching to get back to the time at hand, Lee manages to make the past feel just as vital as the present.

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I Can See Your Lies doesn’t sneak in too many unnecessary clues or overly complicated connections that would force Fin to turn her quaint AirBnB into an investigator’s obsession with walls covered in pictures, pins, yarn, and corkboard. This isn’t pulp fiction; it’s horror fiction. The mystery may have a twist or two to be uncovered, for sure, but the scares are front and center for a reason. The classic structure of a ghost story is meant to keep the reader unbalanced until the final reveal that, traditionally, leads to understanding not fear.

Lee invites us into Fin’s head at the very beginning,

If I can piece together the recent past, my present will become clear.

The straightforward, cathartic storytelling from Lee is reason enough to put down the controller for a few minutes and breeze through I Can See Your Lies. There’s a sense of calm that occurs after every clue is pieced together. It’s a feeling that tends to linger, the way any good ghost story should.

You can purchase your copy of Izzy Lee’s I Can See Your Lies here!



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