Book Review: The Summer of Lies by Louise Douglas

I’m pleased to be welcoming Louise Douglas back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Summer of Lies.

The summer is the hottest yet in the Brittany coastal town of Morranez, but when a new case lands on the desk of the Toussaints detective agency, there can be no time to relax. As wild fires bear down on the town, the alert goes out for a missing girl.

Nineteen-year-old Briony Moorcroft has seemingly been taken from her sleepy Welsh village and brought to France. Her parents are baffled and scared – Briony needs her life-saving medicine or this case will become even more sinister, and with the police dragging their heels, the Moorcrofts are relying on Mila Shephard and Carter Jackson’s sleuthing skills.

Meanwhile there are mysteries troubling Mila’s life too. Two years after the accident that swept her sister Sophie and brother-in-law Charlie away and left their daughter Ani in Mila’s care, new evidence resurfaces that makes Mila doubt everything.

Can Carter and Mila find Briony before it’s too late? And is the truth about Sophie and Charlie finally about to be revealed…


Mila is not looking forward to the responsibility of organising a celebration for her mother’s birthday – a thought that gives her anxiety rather than joy. A case soon takes her mind off her mother and onto an unwell nineteen-year-old girl who has seemingly been taken from her home in Wales to France. Can Mila and Carter find Briony Moorcroft before it’s too late?

I’m so happy to be back in Morranez with Mila, Carter, Cici and Ani. Having enjoyed The Lost Notebook, I was excited to catch up with these characters. It was like catching up with old friends.

Louise Douglas offers up a mystery quickly and it’s not hard to be drawn into the plot and the story. The trail to find Briony is intriguing. There is also a subplot concerning Ani’s parents/Mila’s half sister. I will leave it at that. As usual, I don’t want to give too much away.

Mila remains a good character with good instincts when she allows herself to trust them. She has been placed into a hard situation with Ani and is trying to make the most of it, to the detriment of her own life. With her living in France and her fiancé in Bristol, life isn’t easy. However, is her heart wanting to belong a little closer to her home in Morranez? Personally, I think that’s a yes.

Carter is a bit of an enigma. I feel that he doesn’t give too much of himself away. I’d be interested in learning more about him. I am hoping it’s not the last we see of these characters that’s for sure.

I like Louise Douglas’s style of writing. I raced through this book. The setting sounds stunning. I wanted to step into the pages. There’s some explosive moments, alongside some heartbreaking ones. Some hard themes are explored and I feel this was all done well.

If you like great characters and a good mystery, this book is perfect. I loved it.

(Thank you to Boldwood Books, Netgalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.) 



About Louise Douglas –

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author and an RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Uswas a Richard and Judy Book Club pick.

She lives in the West Country.

Say hello to Louise via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bookbub. Click here to sign up to her newsletter. 

The Summer of Lies was released by Boldwood Books on 7th February 2024. Click here to buy on Amazon and Waterstones


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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