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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Only Truth, Julie Cameron: A Review

This cover is impossible to ignore, and with an equally-interesting blurb to match, I was thrilled to be approved for this request.

Isabela's life was dramatically altered when she survived a brutal attack that left her permanently disfigured with no memory of attack. Now, married and having just bought a beautiful house in the country, Izzy realizes there's something about that house that is deeply unsettling. After renovations unearth a possible reason for her unease, she pursues the truth and suddenly finds herself questioning how stable the foundation of her life is. Only Truth is un-put-downable. I finished this in a single sitting and would gladly do it again. Cameron found a wonderful balance between creepy house, unreliable narrator, and underlying sense of foreboding that resulted in a wonderfully-taut thriller. This gave me all the Gothika vibes. Alternating POVs worked really well here, and while I couldn't choose a favorite, I can sing their praises. Izzy is authentic and gripping and highly likable, even when you're not sure you can entirely buy into her quest for the truth. The mysterious killer's voice is terrifying in its honest dissociation from human emotions. As for the plot, Cameron does a masterful job weaving doubt into every character. I find memory-lapse narratives tricky to navigate, as sometimes they can come off as cliche or stigmatize mental illness. This book, however, treats mental illness not as a root cause for evil or a path for blame, but rather a fact, a characteristic that doesn't define a character but adds to who that character is. I found this refreshing and engrossing, and I appreciated her handling of some of the more sensitive subjects. Additionally, Cameron's writing style is beautiful, a readable combination of literary skill and brazen conversationalism. She's taken some of the more overplayed archetypes of the genre and handled them with grace and horror. There is violence, but it's not gratuitous, and while we do get a fair glimpse into a killer's psyche, the focus is primarily on "recovery" and we deal with trauma and change. Overall, Only Truth is a fast-paced, gripping ride full of tension and twists. Big thanks to Scarlet and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.


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