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Let Me Lie (2018)

by Clare Mackintosh

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4323441,887 (3.57)20
"In the newest psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You, Clare Mackintosh brings us a gripping story about how those who love us never really leave us... 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"--… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Since I had to get this back to the library this week, I moved this up and am wrapping up my "Watchers" read as well. I have to say that I could not put this book down last night! It was insanely good and the twists I didn't see coming well expertly done. I also like how Mackintosh plays with POVs via some of the narrative choices she chose. I thought this worked from beginning to end and I have to go back and read some more of her thriller/suspense novels.

"Let Me Lie" follows 20 something year old Anna Johnson. Anna is a new mother in a new relationship mourning the loss of her parents (Tom and Caroline Johnson) the year before. Both her father and mother committed suicide and Anna has always thought that someone has murdered them. When she gets a post in the mail that alludes to something sinister happening she goes to the police hoping they will re-investigate her parents' suicide. From there "Let Me Lie" follows not only Anna's POV, but someone close to her (no spoilers) and a retired police detective who finds himself intrigued about Anna's parents' case.

So I really liked Anna and felt for her. She had a great upbringing with her mother and father and feels a bit adrift after having her daughter. Once she receives the anonymous post in the mail about her parents she starts going back over her family's history and meeting with her father's brother and wondering if she ever really knew her parents. When her long-time family friend Laura trying to help Anna let go of the past, she starts to wonder if she's just looking for a reason behind her parents suicides or if there really was something more sinister going on.

I thought that Anna's boyfriend Mark was kept underdeveloped on purpose. You have Anna constantly protesting the relationship internally and saying how it works, but even at times you have her popping her head up and wondering about them being together no matter how many times she protests to her uncle and Laura.

The retired detective Murray Mackenzie's POV was welcomed in this one. I felt so much sympathy for this character. Mackintosh shows how relentless he is in order to figure out the truth and how much inner pain he is due to the constant episodes with his wife Sarah that have caused her to be voluntary committed to a psychiatric hospital.

The writing was really good and the flow works. Mackintosh ensures the chapter headings show us when Anna and Murray are "speaking." And then we get another POV and then a fourth POV that I just shivered in delight with once things get revealed. I went back and re-read those knowing what I know now and just went "ah so clever." I loved the fact that Mackintosh takes a hard look at people's memories of an event and flips it around so many times in this one.

The setting of the book focuses mostly on Anna's family home and how hard she is trying to hang onto it. You get why Mark wants to move since I felt a lot of times that once again Anna was seeing the house in the past (happy families) and Mark was seeing it as it was (place where two people who killed themselves lived and dark aura around everything).

The ending was fantastic! Loved it from beginning to end.

( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
4.5 stars.

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh is a suspenseful mystery about a young woman who begins to suspect her parents' suicides may have been murder.

Anna Johnson is living in her family home with her partner Mark Hemmings and their two month old daughter, Ella. On the one year anniversary of her mother Caroline's suicide, she receives a card that makes her think her parents' deaths might be murder instead of suicide. Taking her suspicions to the local police, retired CID officer Murray Mackenzie who is now a civilian desk clerk, decides to re-examine the closed cases on his own. When Anna's family is threatened and she makes a shocking discovery, she tries to convince Murray to end his investigation, but he has uncovered information that might support her murder theory.

In her mid-twenties, Anna is trying to move on from her parents' deaths and she is coping well enough until the one year anniversary of her mum's suicide. She was quite close to her parents, only leaving home long enough to go to university. She is also close to her uncle Billy and her mum's goddaughter Laura. Anna's pregnancy was unintended but she is embracing motherhood although she is reluctant to say yes to Mark's marriage proposals.

Murray truly enjoyed his career but he wanted to retire on his own terms. He is married to his beloved wife Sarah whose lifelong struggle with mental illness has also included numerous inpatient stays in psychiatric facilities. With Sarah currently in hospital, Murray quietly looks into Tom and Caroline's suicides and he is puzzled by a few details from the original investigations. Since he is a civilian employee now, he must rely on his instincts and good old fashioned detective work to examine the cases. Murray still has a few friends on the force who are willing to do him a few favors when he needs a little extra help. Murray quickly concludes that Anna's parents' deaths are most likely foul play, but he is puzzled by her insistence he end his investigation.

Unfolding from Anna's, Murray's and an unknown person's perspectives, Let Me Lie is an engrossing mystery. The characters are engaging and well-developed although some are more likable than others. It is virtually impossible to guess the unknown narrator's identity and this person's passages are a little dark and somewhat chilling. The novel is divided into three parts and each of them have plenty of twists and turns. Clare Mackintosh brings the novel to a breathless, action packed conclusion that wraps up all of the various threads and with one final, jaw-dropping revelation, the story comes to a stunning finale.
( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
This was chosen for a book club read and took me out of my comfort zone. I found it very slow to get going. ( )
  Deborah_J_Miles | Sep 13, 2019 |
Suicide...or murder?

I finished this a while ago and decided I'd wait until I'd heard the author talk at our annual Lit Fest, before writing my review - never a good idea as that was several months ago and now I wonder if I can do it justice.

What struck me most about listening to the author, was that she'd been a police officer herself, and knew first-hand, exactly how things worked behind the scenes. She also told us that the reason she left the force, was because she felt she was giving more of herself to her job than her family. When the reality of this dawned, she decided it was time to call it a day. Now we get to enjoy her writing instead.

So, on to the the book. The main character is Anna Johnson, a new mother whose father had committed suicide the previous year, closely followed by her mother. The loss of her mother, in particular, is bothering her now that she has a child of her own. If only she could share the experience with the one person who would understand. On the one year anniversary of her mother's death a strange card arrives, with the three words: "Suicide? Think again".

There is also a side story relating to the detective who investigates the case after Anna comes into the police station, convinced that her mother did not kill herself. Murray has retired, he's only supposed to be working on the reception desk, but he can't resist getting involved. His story runs alongside that of Anna's and, I have to confess, is the more believable of the two.

At first I thought this was heading towards being a ghost story and I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. But persevere, it got better and sped up as I progressed, until the ending rattled towards me, almost faster than I could keep up.
Most of the story is told by Anna, but there were some interesting additions and other POVs from a few of the other characters too.

I was listening to this, rather than reading it, and I feel that the narrator, Gemma Whelan, deserves a mention here too. She did such a good job that I forgot I that was being read to.

This novel covers issues of mental illness and domestic violence and was a good read. It was my first book by the author but I'm sure it won't be my last. ( )
  DubaiReader | Jul 6, 2019 |
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Claire Mackintosh does not disappoint with this new thriller, she is my new fave author of this genre! Let me start by saying whatever you think you know about someones marriage, think again because you never really know the exact truth about anyone. I am going to be a bit vague on details because it is a bit difficult review this book without giving away spoilers. This story is told form a few POV's which I thought added to the overall mystery. Anna is still reeling from her parents suicide when she receives a cryptic note that makes her question whether or not it was a suicide. Not only was this an unbelievable, what the heck is really going on with Ann'a parents book, it also touches on a few topics like suicide, depression and alcoholism which the author does a great job of not making light of these issues. Anna's life seems to just come apart at the seams, she even starts to question her marriage as well. Yes I loved this book and the ending was a total shock to me. This book is perfect for all of you Thriller/Suspense junkies out there.This review was originally posted on My Fiction Obsession ( )
  fictionalblonde | Apr 10, 2019 |
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De dood past me niet.
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Drie mensen kunnen een geheim bewaren, als twee van hen dood zijn.

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"In the newest psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You, Clare Mackintosh brings us a gripping story about how those who love us never really leave us... 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"--

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