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A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone
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A Suitable Lie

by Michael J. Malone

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193537,190 (3.13)4

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Andy Boyd thinks he'll never remarry after his wife dies in childbirth. But one day, when his brother takes him out to the pub to meet someone, he finds someone else entirely. But is Anna really what she seems to be?

The blurbs adorning this book talk about it "bristling with unease" and describe it as "a dark and unnerving psychological thriller". I would agree with these and other similar statements. I found it hard to put down despite the deep unpleasantness of Anna in particular. The book made me itchy.

I'm not sure I have the fortitude to read this sort of thriller (apparently there's a whole subgenre of these "marriage thrillers") on a regular basis, but I suppose it was an interesting experiment for me. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Dec 26, 2017 |
From my blog

Andy is a single widowed father when he believes he has been blessed with another love. He meets Anna and quickly falls in love. And this is when the emotional physical abuse starts. A Suitable Lie is unique where the abuse victim is the husband. When you read books about abuse you realize there are no rules. People stay for all different reasons, dealing with the ultimate betrayal and fear.

I sat on the stairs, balls and head aching, mind dull with worry. What was going on here? Who was this woman I married? She was so small. I was so big. Kindle 25%

Andy also has a close knit family, with him mom and brother living close. In order to keep the secret, the closeness unravels and at times he chooses the abuse he knows he will get in order to spend time with his family. It was all very sad to read, you can feel his torture and bruised ego.

I did have a main part of the story correct but I was a little let down by all of the glimpses of why. I did like the secondary story with his coworker Sheila. She had found the strength to get out of an abusive relationship and Andy cotinued to think could he be as brave and walk away. This storyline was touching.

I wish we were told more about Anna's past. It is amazing how you can continue hurting and hurt others when you don't trust. So many are affected by abuse but when Andy is lying to himself, how can he recover and be the best father, son, brother and possible husband.

A lie could slip out as easily as a feather from a torn duvet. But a ton of feathers was still a ton. All it would take is one last feather, one last lie, and you would collapse under the strain. Kindle 74%

With abuse comes manipulation and how Anna played Andy I thought was obvious but could be a huge surprise for some readers. There was a little mysterious feel to the book.

At times the writing turned me off, I couldn't tell if it was repetitive to try to give us a feel of the family or community but they always called the children, 'the wee boys', it just drove me crazy after awhile. ( )
  marcejewels | Feb 17, 2017 |
I must admit that, given the current trend for psychological thrillers, I was expecting something slightly different when I started this book. What I got was a page-turner of a domestic noir. Andy Boyd is a widower with a young son, Pat, when he meets Anna, the woman who seems to be just what both of them need in their lives. But Anna is definitely not what she seems.

What I liked about this book is that it turned the tables and challenged the ‘norm’. Not only does it represent a bit of a role reversal and something of a taboo subject (although it shouldn’t be) but it’s written by a man from a male viewpoint which really helped to portray exactly how Andy was feeling. I liked him a lot. He was down to earth, kind and a genuinely good man. Anna was portrayed well and if the author intended her to be a thoroughly dislikeable character then he succeeded as far as I am concerned. I winced many times as I read and I despaired as I followed the events. I had a few ideas about how it would all end but the author still managed to surprise me when something quite unexpected took place.

I always find these kinds of stories more scary than any serial killer story. This is something that could happen to anybody. You think you know somebody but then they turn out to be not at all what they seem and sometimes you have to just live with your choices or try and do the impossible and find a way out.

Another bonus with this book was the setting. I love Scotland and there was a real sense of place here. I could imagine the bank where Andy worked and the pubs he drank in, the roads he drove on.

A Suitable Lie is a tightly plotted look at how easily bliss can turn into hell. It’s got a very personable style to the writing which draws the reader right into the thick of the action. ( )
  nicx27 | Dec 14, 2016 |
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