Published by Berkley on March 13, 2018
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Two years ago, Tom and Caroline Johnson committed suicide, one seemingly unable to live without the other.
Their adult daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unable to comprehend why they chose to end their lives. Now with a young baby herself, she feels her mother’s presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents.
But as Anna digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. She soon learns that nothing is as it seemed.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Trigger warnings: suicide, self harm, blood, violence
I’m not normally one to reach for thrillers too often– honestly, I get tired of some of the problematic conventions prevalent in the genre– but after loving both of Clare Mackintosh’s previous novels, I was excited to receive a review copy of her newest release, Let Me Lie. Although this is probably my least favorite Mackintosh book, it still delivered all the twists I expect from this author and constantly kept me guessing!
Let Me Lie follows Anna Johnson, a woman in her mid-twenties who lost both her parents over the course of the past year. The police rule both their deaths as suicide, but when Anna receives a mysterious note on the anniversary of her mother’s death that leads her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents and how they died.
As with Mackintosh’s other novels, Let Me Lie is told through multiple perspectives. We get Anna’s POV, as well as that of retired detective Murray Mackenzie, who helps Anna investigate the case. Sprinkled throughout the book are short chapters from the perspective of what we presume to be one of Anna’s parents (though whether it’s in the past or the present is not immediately clear). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I simply do not understand the way Mackintosh handles different perspectives. Anna’s is in first-person, while Murray’s chapters are told through a third-person omniscient POV. It’s such a jarring shift and feels so unnecessary! The shift in voice pulls you out of the story. And it’s present in ALL of her books. That aside, I really enjoyed Murray’s chapters and learning a bit about his home life and backstory.
As expected, the plot took me on wild ride as the mystery unraveled. There were at least three times I thought I had the situation solved, but I was wrong every time. The story did suffer some pacing issues, IMO– the middle felt like it dragged– but I was still engaged throughout and wanted to keep reading. As new things came to light, I was constantly kept guessing. Also, THAT TWIST AT THE END, THOUGH. Mackintosh always has to throw in that extra twist that makes you question everything you just read, and I have to admit, I love it.
All in all, Let Me Lie isn’t my favorite thriller I’ve ever read, but it’s a solid one that provided a great break from all the contemporary I’ve been reading recently. It’ll keep your mind turning throughout the entire reading experience. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys adult mysteries or thrillers!
Have you read Let Me Lie? If so, let’s discuss in the comments! What’s the best thriller you’ve read recently?