The police say it was suicide, Anna says it was murder. They’re both wrong.
One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to comes to terms with their loss ever since.
Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to ask questions about her parents’ deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger? Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…
Thank you to Little, Brown Book Group UK, Netgalley and Clare Mackintosh for the chance to read and review this book.
Wow! Clare Mackintosh blew me away with this sensational novel. I had never read one of her books but a number of people had recommended them to me saying I would love them. They weren’t wrong. This book got it’s hooks into me from the mysterious opening chapter which left me with a thrilling sense of foreboding. I couldn’t put it down as I needed questions answered and the truth revealed.
Anna Johnson is slowly coming to terms with her parents’ deaths the year before after they committed suicide within a few months of each other. Although initially reluctant to believe they took their own lives, she is learning to accept it and to enjoy life thanks to her partner, Mark, and their new baby, Ella. Or at least she was until the card came containing the words “Suicide? Think again.” Now Anna is convinced they were murdered and takes the card to the police asking them to investigate. What she doesn’t know is that doing so has put her on a course that puts the lives of her and her family in danger.
Reading this book was like putting together a complicated but fun jigsaw puzzle: I could see the pieces being laid out to fit together but I had no idea where they went as some were missing and others kept changing. As we discovered more about the well hidden truths of Caroline and Tom’s marriage and people that seemed to have a motivation for wanting them gone revealed themselves, I began putting the puzzle together. But I was being mislead: some things were not at all what they appeared and the truth changed the final picture. Each time I thought I knew what had happened or who was behind something I was wrong. There were so many incredible twists, turns and illusions in this book that I’m in awe of how the author was able to disguise them in such magnificent ways and keep the shocks coming right until the final sentence.
This multi-faceted and exciting story is also interlaced with emotional moments that deal with the pain of grief, the complexities of grief when someone dies by suicide, and the heartbreaking truth of what life with a mental illness can be like for both the person with the illness and their partner. The latter two things were dealt with in a sensitive manner that would help anyone who hasn’t experienced them have a better understanding and empathy for what it is like to go through them. I lost one of my best friends to suicide and she had the same mental illness as Sara. Reading the passages that Sara was in was painful, but I was thankful that she was a well rounded and likeable character; someone who you were reminded was very sick but not just a sick person. I also found it very emotional reading how Murray felt and went through living with and caring for his mentally ill wife. His narrative brought me close to tears at times and he was my favourite character because of his love and devotion to Sara no matter what she was going through, and because of his dedication to helping Anna find out the truth about her parents.
Let Me Lie is an easy to read thriller that I couldn’t put down. It had me saying “just one more chapter” both nights I read it and was so captivating that the second night I read the final three quarters of the book. As I said earlier this was my first book by this author but it certainly won’t be my last. I’ve never seen so many different twists in a story that are truly a surprise when revealed. This book more than earned it’s five star rating and I recommend it whatever your favourite genre may be.