Dawg-Eared: ‘One of Us is Lying’ by Karen M. McManus is ‘fast-paced, engaging and shocking’

Leah Foster sits in the lounge of her dorm room while reading “One of Us is Lying”. Photo by Elle Rotter

ELLE ROTTER | STAFF REPORTER | earotter@butler.edu 

Five students walk into Bayview High’s detention, but only four of them walk out alive. “One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus tells the story of a boy named Simon who is found dead by the end of detention, and his four peers are all suspects in his murder. This fast-paced, engaging and shocking mystery will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the end of the novel. 

Alexis Marasco, a first-year Spanish middle/secondary education major, read the book in high school and said that she liked the book because it kept her engaged; she finished the book in one day. 

“I was surprised by the ending because I had suspicions about who killed Simon the whole time, but when it came to the end, I never thought that’s how it would have turned out,” Marasco said. 

First-year risk management major Leah Foster also said that she enjoyed the fact that the book is narrated from multiple perspectives. 

“It was kind of one of the first books I read that had [four] POVs,” Foster said. “I liked that each character had their own little backstory, their own little thing that kept it really interesting.” 

Foster also praised the “found family trope” that was built into the ending of this book. She liked that even though no one knew each other in the beginning, all the characters came together in the end to work as a group and become friends.

“I would recommend it to anybody,” Foster said. “It’s one of my favorites [because] it’s fast-paced, engaging and shocking. You have to read it because I don’t know anybody who has read it and predicted the ending.” 

Sara Albers, a first-year psychology-criminology major, said that while she liked the relationships built between the four main characters, some of the problems they faced seemed unrealistic to the true high school experience. 

“There was a lot of conflict going on between romantic relationships with the characters, and that was their biggest problem,” Albers said. “There could have been more relatable issues for high schoolers to be facing rather than just feeling unsettled in their relationships with each other. I think that there’s other things that could have been focused on like academic anxiety and mental health struggles in general, instead of romance.” 

“One of Us is Lying” is the first in a three-book series that was completed in 2023. Additionally a TV series was released based on the books in 2021. The show is available to watch for free on Peacock

Karen M. McManus has another book coming out later this year titled “Such Charming Liars”. The stand-alone novel is separate from the “One of Us is Lying” series, and it is expected to come out on July 30.


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