Katie Burrelli and her husband Nick have been separated for less than a month when Nick
is killed by Jerry, one of his speech pathology clients. Jerry, who is developmentally disabled,
has the mental capacity of a ten-year old. Prior to Katie and Nick’s separation, Jerry had been
living in his own room within their home on weekends.. Now Jerry is being tried for
first-degree murder. The trial is very difficult for Katie...she and Nick had regarded Jerry
almost like a son.
The chapters in Lies of the Heart alternate between the trial at the present time,
and flashbacks of the past. There is never any doubt that Jerry is guilty of deliberately
killing Nick, but he did love Nick, and his motive is in question. In reliving the past, Katie
begins to come to terms with her relationship with the unpredictable but beloved Nick, and to
probe the reasons she can't seem to complete a project in her own profession as a filmmaker.
The prosecuting attorney is determined to convict Jerry of first-degree murder, and Katie has
vowed to assist with that conviction...but Jerry loved Nick, so how could that happen?
Nothing is quite what it seems in this strong, intense psychological sojourn into the anatomy
of Katie and Nick's marriage, and their relationship with the damaged Jerry.
The story is mesmerizing and difficult to put down, but I had trouble believing that a young
couple just starting their married life together would bring a middle-aged, retarded, virtual
stranger, who was prone to unpredictable, violent behavior, into their home and treat him as
though he was their child. The story gave me much to think about. It is a unique and