It wouldn’t feel like a proper Year of Orenda if we didn’t have a Michael J Malone week, and so here it is. Today Mandie is sharing her thoughts on A Suitable Lie, one of the very first Orenda Books I ever read. You can see what I thought here, but let’s just say that this made it very clear what a special writer Mr Malone is, the book drawing me deep into Andy’s world and not letting me go until I made it to the other end. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
Some secrets should never be kept…
Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own.
When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.
A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…
This book has been in my TBR pile for longer than it should have been. I have heard so many people say good things about it that I really should hang my head in shame that I have not got to it sooner.
Andy Boyd is a single father who seems quite content with his life looking after his son Pat after his wife died. He doesn’t think he will ever find someone new until he is dragged out one night and bumps into Anna and they hit it off straight away. She seems to love his son and its not long before they are married. All sounds quite nice so far doesn’t it and that’s what Andy thinks too, problem is once they are married he starts to see a side to Anna that is quite shocking and he doesn’t quite know how to handle it. Passing off things as accidents and denying to himself what is truly happening, what follows is quite shocking.
There is no hiding the fact that this book covers the subject of domestic violence, what is different about it is that it highlights domestic violence against men, not something that is widely discussed in quite the same way as it is against women. Michael has created both a harrowing yet sensitive book and you really would have to have a hard heart if you didn’t feel for Andy as he tries his best to hide what is going on at home from his family, friends and colleagues while at the same time putting on a brave face for his son and trying desperately not to do anything that would set Anna off on another bout of violence and humiliation against him. His struggles within himself, where he knows he is both bigger and stronger than his attacker, yet he refuses to retaliate really are quite heart wrenching.
Anna is certainly the master manipulator, and as her mood swings get worse, Andy finds himself in trouble as he tries to deal with things in his own way, his work suffers and he is in danger of losing his family, his job and his freedom. That’s not to say you wont feel a small bit of sympathy for her as you get to find out about her life before meeting Andy, she is definitely scarred from her past but her refusal to deal with it properly will lead to the books shocking conclusion.
This is not going to be a book for the feint hearted as the scenes of violence are at times shocking but were needed to truly tell Andy’s story. This is only the second book by this author I have read but with each book I pick up I find myself truly immersed in a story that evokes strong emotions and has me not wanting to put it down until I have reached the end.
About the Author
Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.
Books by Michael J Malone: