When I was offered the chance of a sneak peak of Clare Mackintosh’s latest release, Let Me Lie, I really couldn’t refuse. Since I first happened upon I Let You Go by accident I have been a big fan of Clare’s writing and to be honest, I can’t really believe that it’s been nearly two years since we got to read the fabulous I See You for the first time. You know I stil think about that book every time I take the underground. SO what did I think of this book? Well I’ll tell you just as soon as we’ve taken a look at what it’s all about.
About the Book
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.
What a story, what a book. Can I just start by saying that I really, really enjoyed this. A lot. Picking up a Clare Mackintosh book is like sinking into a sofa, pulling a comfy blanket over you and snuggling up to enjoy a really creepy, eerie, tense and sometimes startling movie. You have the best of both worlds – the absolute security of the blanket, as we all know they stop even the most ardent serial killer in their stacks, the knowledge that you are in for several hours of entertainment, this time in the hands of a brilliant wordsmith. Does that make sense? No? Well – just take it as read (no pun intended) this is a fabulous book, okay?
The story takes us into the world of Anna Johnson, a woman who has suffered immeasurable loss in the fact that both of her parents committed suicide in quick succession, leaving her alone and broken. She found solace in the arms of her former therapist and is now a new mother, still struggling to come to terms with what has happened, especially as the anniversary of her parents death is looming. And as the anniversary approaches strange things start to happen, things which cause Caroline to question everything she thought she knew.
Now the pacing in this book is not fast and yet at times the tension still sky rockets, and there are certain scenes, particularly towards the end, which will have you on the edge of your seat. I would say this book is driven more by the suspense and the fear of the unknown rather than high-octane action, but there is still something about it which draws you in. The largest proportion of the story is told from Anna’s perspective as she tries to make sense of a series of apparent threats which are made on her and her family, and questions people around her as to whether they believe that her parents really killed themselves. She is an interesting character, both strong at times and yet vulnerable, and still young to have to deal with the loss of her entire family. What happens changes the entire course of her life and she falls quickly and unexpectedly into a new life with her partner and her new baby.
It is hard to talk too much about the other people in this book without giving too much away. Whilst most of the story is Anna’s there is a secondary perspective, one of someone who remains unidentified for a large proportion of the book, but who clearly has links to what has happened. As their story slowly unfolds you start to understand more of what is happening and what has happened. Add into this the elements of the story that follow Murray, the retired police Detective who decides to investigate Anna’s harassment and claims about her parents on his own time, and you have an intriguing mixture which draws you in and compels you to read onward. Murray has his own troubles and the investigation is a welcome distraction to those, but you cannot help but be moved by his story. I can’t help admitting to shedding a little tear for what happened.
One of the best things about this book is the way in which the author creates tension through not only the pace but the setting. The description of the area, particularly the location at which both of Anna’s parents decided to take their life, really adds to the undercurrent of despair which runs through the novel. There is always something lurking just beneath the surface, something you can’t quite put a finger on, that causes a sense of unease, and the narrative feeds this near paranoia, both through Anna’s actions and the text.
Was the book quite as surprising as its predecessors? Perhaps not. It didn’t have quite the same killer twist but then I don’t think it needed it. It kept the story more grounded in reality and worked perfectly for the premise that had been set up. I really enjoyed this and would heartily recommend it to anyone, especially fans of the author.
My thanks to publisher Sphere for providing an advance copy for review. It is available from 8th March from the following retailers: