The Truth Behind the Lie (Kouplan: Book 1) by Sara Lovestam

The Truth Behind the Lie: A Novel by [Lövestam, Sara]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: August 27th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Kouplan

The Truth Behind the Lie—Book 1

Where you can find The Truth Behind the Lie: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The Truth Behind The Lie is Sara Lövestam’s award-winning and gripping novel about blurred lines, second chances, and the lengths one will go to for the truth.

When a six-year-old girl disappears and calling the police isn’t an option, her desperate mother Pernilla turns to an unlikely source for help. She finds a cryptic ad online for a private investigator:
“Need help, but can’t contact the police?”

That’s where Kouplan comes in. He’s an Iranian refugee living in hiding. He and his brother were forced to leave Iran after their involvement with a radical newspaper hated by the regime was discovered. Kouplan’s brother disappeared, and he hasn’t seen him in four years. He makes a living as a P.I. working under the radar, waiting for the day he can legally apply for asylum.

Pernilla’s daughter has vanished without a trace, and Kouplan is an expert at living and working off the grid. He’s the perfect PI to help… but something in Pernilla’s story doesn’t add up. She might need help that he can’t offer…and a little girl’s life hangs in the balance.


First Line

The rain was so strange the day they took Julia.

The Truth Behind the Lie by Sara Lovestram

My Review:

I made a mistake before I started reading The Truth Behind the Lie. I read the reviews before I read the book. This is something that I usually don’t do. I had scrolled down on Goodreads, and one review caught my eye. You all know how that goes. You can’t read one. I got sucked down a rabbit hole of enthusiastic reviews, awful reviews, and mediocre reviews. By the time I emerged, my opinion of the book wasn’t that great. Then I read The Truth Behind the Lie; I can say for sure that my opinion of the book was changed for better.

One thing that caught my attention of The Truth Behind the Lie was that it was set in Sweden. Over the last year, I have noticed that most of the thrillers I read have taken place in those northern European countries. But what set this book apart for the other books was that Kouplan was not native to Sweden. Instead, he was an Iranian illegal immigrant. It was interesting to see Sweden through an immigrant’s eyes.

Kouplan caught my attention right from the beginning. His backstory was sad. He escaped from Iran after his older brother, who ran a radical newspaper, went missing. He was in the country illegally after his bid for citizenship was denied. The tension from that and from not seeing his family were well written. The only way he was surviving was working odd jobs and hoping someone answered his PI ad in the paper.

When Pernilla answered his ad, he thought that he had an easy case. He believed that Julia was taken in a custody dispute. That all he would have to do is find the father, and it would be over with. But, the case ended up being one of the hardest things he ever had to work on. The case was one of the best things about the book. Even when I felt that it was getting nowhere, I knew that something was happening. That Kouplan would break the case and find Julia. There was a break, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be.

There were a couple of considerable twists in the case that took me by surprise. One involved Pernilla, Julia, and the girl in the room. The other involved Kouplan. Neither I saw coming. Both almost made me lose my shit when they were revealed.

I did learn some interesting facts when reading The Truth Behind the Lie. I learned that mental health in Sweden was managed as well as the rest of the country. What surprised me was that the government took children away from parents if the parent had a mental illness. I was not expecting that. I also was surprised to learn that the children needed to be registered with the government. These two things I mentioned are huge in this book, so keep them in mind when reading this book.

The end of The Truth Behind the Lie was exciting. Remember the twists I mentioned above? They are both revealed in the last chapters. I loved how Pernilla, Julia, and the girl in the room was revealed. I got chills up and down my spine when I read it. The twist involving Kouplan came out of left field. I was NOT expecting what was revealed to be revealed. After I got over my shock, I loved it!!


I would give The Truth Behind the Lie an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Truth Behind the Lie. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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1 thought on “The Truth Behind the Lie (Kouplan: Book 1) by Sara Lovestam”

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