After loving Mackintosh’s two previous books, I was so excited to read her latest one.
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 come 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 . . .
The stunning, twisty new psychological thriller from number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh, author of I LET YOU GO and I SEE YOU.
It was the first three lines of this synopsis that had me wanting to read this book – if not suicide and not murder, then what? Let Me Lie slowly unravels the what in a well-rounded and enjoyable third novel from Mackintosh.
I want to draw your attention to the pace of this novel, it is significantly slower than Mackintosh’s previous books and what you’d probably expect to find in a psychological thriller, but it works. You see, Anna is struggling to deal with the loss of her parents and grief is a slow process and that’s reflected in the pace of this book; Anna is dealing with her grief and the new events that are emerging and it plays out more as a drama than a thriller. The slower pace didn’t bother me, I read this novel at a leisurely pace over a few days and I was able to immerse myself in the plot each time I picked it up. I guess, what I’m keen to highlight here is that this isn’t a rapid read but a novel you are forced to take your time with.
Narrated from the point of view of Anna and Detective Murray, with interspersed accounts from an unnamed narrator, Mackintosh paints a picture of loss, lies and secrets all coming together in a showdown ending. As a main protagonist, I must admit I wasn’t drawn to Anna the way I’d expected to be, given her circumstances – it’s odd because there was no identifiable flaw with her character, I just didn’t find that connection. Would I have enjoyed this book more if I did, maybe, but where I found the connection was with Detective Murray. His accounts were my favourite part of this novel, and had the strongest emotional pull. Yes, it was engaging to see him investigating the case, but it was his home life that pulled at my heartstrings. His wife had Borderline Personality Disorder and Mackintosh portrayed this theme of mental health extremely well. We get a little insight into what it is like to live with and love someone with BPD and the affect this condition has on Murray’s wife, Sarah. I found Murray and his wife to be the most likeable characters in this novel and I’m so glad Mackintosh dedicated a sufficient word-count to their story.
In true Mackintosh style, this novel isn’t without its twists, and you have to pay attention, otherwise you’ll be turning back pages trying to piece it all together. Let Me Lie finds its place in the world of psychological dramas, it’s so different to Mackintosh’s previous two books, showing she is a talented author who delivers something different each time you pick up one of her novels. And this is what guarantees I’ll be reading her next book; granted this is my least favourite of the three but one I’d still recommend for fans of a slower paced novel that delves into family ties, secrets and lies.