All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

on March 26, 2018

Let Me Lie
Clare Mackintosh
Hachette AUS
2018, 390p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

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 question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

This is the first book by Clare Mackintosh that I’ve read, although I’ve seen a couple of her books around. I really like the covers – I find them very eye-catching and although the books aren’t linked, the covers are similar enough to easily recognise them as all being by the same author.

Almost two years ago, Anna Johnson’s father committed suicide by jumping off a notorious bluff into the raging sea waters below. Anna and her mother were devastated, with Anna’s mother seemingly struggling to cope with the loss of her husband, whose body was never found. Almost a year after his suicide, she did the same thing at the same place in the same way. A year after her mother’s suicide and Anna is still in a fog of disbelief. She’s lost both her parents in a short amount of time and even though she’s a new mother with a tiny daughter to take care of and focus on, she’s unable to stop going over the out of the blue suicide of her father, who showed no signs of depression or that he wasn’t coping with something. And then for her mother to copy her father’s actions, Anna has been devastated by both.

Then Anna receives a card on the first anniversary of her mother’s death which says simply Suicide? Think again. Although Anna received ‘crank cards’ after her father’s death, as he’d been a car dealer, those hadn’t been the same sort of cards. This one suggests that Anna’s mother didn’t commit suicide either and if she didn’t, maybe her father didn’t as well. She immediately takes the card to the police, getting Murray Mackenzie, a technically retired police detective who still helps out in a civilian context. Although Murray should kick this to the detective team, he knows that if he does, it’ll be dismissed within a day. And so he decides to do a little digging himself, find something concrete and then turn it over.

Anna is a bit of a mess, still grieving, adjusting to being a new mother and I think mostly, she just wants answers. She wants to know why….and if her parents aren’t around to give them to her now, then maybe after getting this anonymous card, the police can find something more than they did before, and give her the closure she needs. She thinks her parents have been murdered but the card is all that she (and Murray) has to go on.

I absolutely loved the character of Murray Mackenzie. The way that he doesn’t humour Anna, gently dismiss her and send her on her way. In the beginning I think he probably is a bit skeptical about whether or not there was more to it than a double suicide but I think he’s also potentially feeling a bit bored in retirement and like this could make himself feel useful. So he makes a few enquiries, unearths a bit of an anomaly or two….and finds that there might actually be more to this than everyone first assumed. Murray was one of those policemen who worked on ‘gut’ and how he felt about something, using his intuition. He often feels disconnected from the younger detectives and their newer methods of doing things and like they perhaps humour his continued presence around the station despite the fact that he’s retired from the force.  Why isn’t he off enjoying his retirement? Travelling maybe. Sunning himself on a beach.

This book is a little slow to begin, points of view revolving between Anna, Murray and a third somewhat mysterious point of view that raises a lot of questions. But then the twists start coming and the pace picks up a lot! I am a perfect audience for a lot of thrillers because I rarely see the twists coming and when they do I’m always shocked. This was no exception….the book nicely hooked me into thinking one way for the first part before a dramatic reveal. Then it also did it again later on. There is plenty of intrigue and the author does a great job to get the reader to question a lot of the characters, to really examine them and their actions and if they could have any possible motives. The result was unexpected and I enjoyed the journey of uncovering precisely what had happened to both of Anna’s parents….and the why.

This was a good, solid read that intrigued me with the premise and kept me interested the whole way through. Loved the unexpected twists and turns and also Murray and his relationship with his wife, which was depicted beautifully. Am definitely going to add Mackintosh’s previous books to my wishlist and keep an eye out for her future releases.


Book #55 of 2018

4 responses to “Review: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

  1. Her previous release, I See You, was sensational.

  2. I have seen this everywhere. Glad that it’s a good one.

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