That’s where you’re wrong, Jo. The truth is never complicated. It’s just the truth. Circumstances may be complicated, but the truth is always black and white.
The beginning of the book was very aggravating to me in two ways. One, because I couldn’t stand the situation between Josie and her boyfriend Caleb. Just tell him the truth! It’s going to come out sooner or later. It wasn’t a real plot point and the book could have been just as good without all the dishonesty from Josie to Caleb. Secondly, I was aggravated because I really felt the tension and paranoia that Josie felt after she started listening to the podcast and thought she heard mention of her father or the podcast everywhere she went. When writing can make the reader feel the same emotions as the characters, it is a success.
So much of Lanie’s behavior, and Josie’s suspicion of her, points to some sort of mental health problem. Is Lanie bipolar? Schizophrenic? But then on the next page she’s seems perfectly normal and all suspicion is gone. This is probably intended to create a suspenseful effect but it really just makes Lanie’s character fall flat.
I’m also tempted to say that I wish Chuck Buhrman was more fleshed out. He’s dead and the only meager description we get about him is from Josie. Josie gives us small flashes of her father as well as her parents’ relationship. But, in retrospect, the story isn’t about Chuck. All you need to know is that he had an affair and someone ended his life because of it.