Book Review: “White Lies” by Jeremy Bates – A Disappointing Thriller

It seems that lately I have been beset by books in which the main character (usually female) is dumber than a fencepost. Such is the case with White Lies and, because of this, I cannot recommend it.

The story starts with Katrina, the protagonist, driving at night in a thunderstorm down a deserted highway somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. She spots a male hitchhiker and, against her better judgement, stops to pick him up. This is the first (but not last) stupid thing she does. Why would a woman driving alone at night stop to pick up a stranger? It makes no sense. She soon regrets her decision and tries to get the stranger (Zach) to leave the car, telling him she has a cabin nearby and is heading home. (Again, why would a lone woman who is frightened tell the one she’s afraid of that she lives in a remote area – makes no sense.) Surly, Zach finally gets out of the car and Katrina goes on her merry way.

They meet again at the school where she has been employed as a teacher and she discovers that he works there, too. Their encounter on the road sets off a series of white lies that eventually lead to murder and mayhem.

On the positive side, the book does move along swiftly. But there are just too many things that are out of whack. For example, Katrina has a dog. When she goes to a cabin overnight, she simply leaves the dog home with food in his bowl. Now anyone who has owned a dog knows you don’t leave him/her overnight in the house without a way to get outside to use the bathroom. In another instance, she simply ties the dog to a lamppost while she goes to church and then to confession. She’s pretty much a stranger in this town, but she just leaves her dog outside on the street.

She makes a few more bad decisions, the worst of which is to fall into bed with a muscle-bound stranger she meets in the hardware store. Later, she will help him cover up a murder which, again, makes no sense since she comes off as a pretty straight-laced type.

All in all, it’s not a bad book, just an irritating book. If you like your women stupid, it might be right up your alley.

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